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Thursday 13, Oct 2011

  Minor league pitchers suspended

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Two Toronto Blue Jays pitchers in the Dominican Summer League, Aderly De La Cruz and Luillyn Guillen, have been suspended for 50 games.

The two minor league pitchers were suspended for positive tests under the minor league drug program.

While Cruz tested positive for metabolites of Nandrolone, Guillen tested positive for metabolites of Stanozolol.

Monday 05, Sep 2011

  Toronto Blue Jays Pitchers suspended for steroid use

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Toronto Blue Jays Pitchers suspended for steroid useRight-hander Aderly De La Cruz and left-hander Luillyn Guillen, minor-league pitchers within the Toronto Blue Jays organization, were suspended after failing to clear doping tests.

Cruz and Guillen were playing in the Dominican Summer League and their suspensions are effective immediately.

Cruz tested positive for metabolites of Nandrolone while Guillen tested positive for metabolites of Stanozolol.

Wednesday 17, Dec 2008

  Steroid use in baseball “hasn’t died by any means” a year after Mitchell Report

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steroids-mlbIt was in Dec. 13, 2007 when the bombshell that was the Mitchell Report was released. The 409-page, 20-month, and finger-pointing report has focused on the use of anabolic steroids and human growth hormone in the Major League Baseball.

The dwindling confidence of fans and the heightening pressure from legislators had forced MLB commish Bud Selig to request former senator George Mitchell to conduct an independent investigation on use of performance-enhancing drugs in the sport.

The Mitchell Report has aired out MLB’s dirty laundry in public podium and has prompted the league’s officials to take steps to clean up in the aftermath – it implemented tougher penalties for erring players.

Now, a year later, how has the Mitchell Report impacted America’s pastime?

“It appears that [steroid] use is down, but it’s probably too early to make a definitive statement,” Mitchell wrote in an email to Boston Globe. “Our investigation provided further evidence of what has been a widely held belief – that some athletes will use substances that they think will enhance their performance if they believe they won’t be caught. Because of the money involved, there will always be persons seeking to develop new and undetectable illegal performance-enhancing substances.”

“Major League Baseball and the Players Association have responded positively to the report, and they’ve taken significant steps to improve the approach to the problem of performance-enhancing substances.”

But to Dr. Charles Yesalis, an anti-doping expert and professor of Health Policy and Administration, Exercise and Sport Science at the Penn State, MLB’s response needs more than just the press releases – it requires an independent testing program. MLB’s current program is mostly dictated by collective agreement of team owners and players. In short, it’s self-serving.

“Independent oversight means there is a totally independent third party running the program, which they don’t have,” said Yesalis, who has testified before Congress re steroid abuse.

“The era of performance-enhancing drugs in baseball is still in its infancy,” said Yesalis. “It hasn’t died by any means, and to think otherwise is terribly naíve.”

Only three players were suspended last season for violating the major league anti-doping policy. In 2003, the first year of random testing, 104 major leaguers tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs.

In the minor league, specifically at the Dominican Summer League, at least 40 players tested positive for anabolic steroids and other prohibited compounds.

Friday 07, Nov 2008

  Steroid use in Dominican Summer League striking

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It is not only in the National Football League that there has been a spate of failed drug tests, it has also happened at the Dominican Summer League.

USA Today digs deeper into this news:

Carlos Galvez’s shoulder and elbow were throbbing, but the Chicago Cubs prospect had heard of a fellow pitcher getting shelved for two weeks when he complained of a sore arm, and he was determined to finish the Dominican Summer League season.

So when a teammate offered a remedy that was supposed to be legal, Galvez reluctantly got injected with it. He wasn’t told what he was taking, only that it would ease the pain and not make him test positive. A week later he tested positive for boldenone, an anabolic steroid.

Galvez was one of 40 DSL players suspended this past season for 50 games for use of performance-enhancing drugs, an incidence that made front-page news in the Dominican Republic.

The number is striking compared to the rest of pro baseball. The 1,207 players in the DSL — a rookie league that runs June to August and is populated mostly by Dominican and Venezuelan teenagers — made up 15% of all players under contract to major league teams at the start of the season, yet they accounted for nearly 60% (40 of 68) of positive drug tests this year.

The report says that the very significant number of positive tests among DSL players is linked to several factors, including economics and ignorance or naivety of players.

Young people who want to improve their economic status by making it big in the pro league tend to put their trust to the buscones or scouts. These buscones are considered to be part of the problem of steroid use among young Dominican athletes.

“We talk to them all the time, but at that level kids are still influenced by the infamous buscones,” says major league pitcher Mario Soto. “They still trust in them.”

Chuck Yesalis, on the other hand, blames the lack of education on these substances for the failed tests.

“Unlike elite athletes in America,” says Yesalis, professor emeritus at Penn State University and an expert in performance-enhancing drugs, “fewer of them have available to them knowledge or medical advisers on what to take and what not to take so they don’t get caught.”

The prevalent use of anabolic steroids in the DSL is also due to their easy availability and their effectiveness in enhancing athletic performance.

“You can find it anywhere,” says Jose Guillen of Kansas City Royals.

White Sox reliever Octavio Dotel, meanwhile, explains why many are lured to use the prohibited compounds.

“If I had known how effective that stuff was, I would have tried it, too, because the results are incredible,” says Dotel, who said he never has actually used them. “If you’re a 17-year-old kid who’s throwing 87, 88 (mph), and you use that stuff and after a while you’re throwing 92, 93, of course you’re going to buy it.”