Are we surprised?
Tell me we aren’t.
So MLB busted Manny Ramirez for failing a performance-enhancing drug test, and now Ramirez is gone for 50 games.
Gee, another big name goes down in flames because of steroids — just in the last year:
Roger Clemens, via the Mitchell Report.
Alex Rodriguez, via Selena Roberts.
And now Ramirez, who’s laughably claiming a doctor gave him a medication for some undisclosed personal issue.
Uh-huh. Never heard that one before, Manny.
None of it matters, even all the previous drug tests Ramirez may have passed. He’s been busted, and will never be looked at the same way again.
UPDATE: From ESPN’s T.J. Quinn:
The Los Angeles Dodgers star said he did not take steroids and was prescribed medication by a doctor that contained a banned substance. The commissioner’s office didn’t announce the specific violation by the 36-year-old outfielder, who apologized to the Dodgers and fans for “this whole situation.”
However, two sources told ESPN’s T.J. Quinn and Mark Fainaru-Wada that the drug used by Ramirez is HCG — human chorionic gonadotropin. HCG is a women’s fertility drug typically used by steroid users to restart their body’s natural testosterone production as they come off a steroid cycle. It is similar to Clomid, the drug Bonds, Giambi and others used as clients of BALCO.
But what does this really mean, other than A-Rod’s return to the field just got a little easier for he and the Yankees?
Basically, the last 10 years — or more, definitely likely more — have been a fraud in baseball. A-Rod was right about the “loosey-goosey” culture in baseball, that all things were considered fair game when it comes to PEDs. Think of the names associated with steroids and PEDs — Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Rafael Palmeiro, Clemens, A-Rod, Jason Giambi, Eric Gange, and the list goes on and on. What’s scary is that looking back, and considering the names involved and the bulk of innuendo, baseball may have been playing on a rather even playing field all along.
Ramirez is saying that he didn’t test positive for a steroid, that some substance in the medication he got somehow triggered the positive — drugs for such things as hair-growth would turn up positive on the MLB test (insert dreadlocks joke here). He better hope he’s right. If it is leaked that Ramirez used something like Winstrol, a powerful steroid that Palmeiro was busted for, then all bets are off. (See Update above.)
Here’s the thing, though. We’re so far beyond the “I really didn’t know what I was doing” stage that Ramirez has to know what’s going in his body. This isn’t 1998 or 2002 — we’re in an age where there is a testing policy that has real teeth. And Ramirez didn’t even appeal the positive test. By saying nothing, that says a lot.
There will be a lot of discussion about this, and no one is probably happier about it than A-Rod. But if this follows the same pattern as everybody else — as it already has with his “the Doctor did it” excuse — then we’ll know.
And Manny being Manny will never mean the same thing again.