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Thursday 25, Nov 2010

  Alderson addressed issue of steroid use in baseball

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Alderson addressed issue of steroid use in baseballThe Mets’ new general manager, Sandy Alderson, who presided over the Oakland Athletics and G.M. in the late 1980s, recently addressed the issue of steroid use in baseball.

It is worthwhile to note that Alderson was interviewed by Congress and former Senator George Mitchell for a report on the subject after Jose Canseco wrote a book detailing his and teammate Mark McGwire’s use of performance enhancing drugs.

I wanted to enact drug testing at the time but was limited by California state law and the collective bargaining agreement with the players, says Alderson.

Tuesday 28, Sep 2010

  David Justice says he never injected steroids

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David Justice says he never injected steroidsThe former Braves slugger, David Justice, has denied use of injected steroids and disclosed that he has his fear of needles.

This was after Kirk Radomski told George Mitchell that he sold human growth hormone to Justice; this revelation was made when Mitchell was in charge of the investigation about use of performance enhancing drugs in baseball.

Radomski told ESPN that a box of steroids and HGH were given to Justice during a ride to the airport after the former Braves slugger finished playing for the New York Yankees in the 2000 World Series.

Wednesday 08, Sep 2010

  Complete truth revealed by Brian McNamee

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Complete truth revealed by Brian McNameeBrian McNamee, an important figure in investigation by George Mitchell into steroid use in baseball, breathe a little easier after revealing the complete truth and putting an end to his involvement with sprawling steroid probe of the government.

McNamee‘s friend Kirk Radomski, the former Mets clubhouse attendant who supplied steroids to ballplayers, said Brian told the truth and what he was supposed to do.

Thursday 16, Apr 2009

  Athletes did not Get Performance Enhancment Benefit from HGH, says Report

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Athletes did not Get Performance Enhancment Benefit from HGH, says ReportA recent analysis of existing literature on human growth hormone revealed that the hormone might help in increasing lean body mass but it did not increase your exercise capacity. It didn’t enhance athletic performance as it was supposed to do. These findings could add a new twist to the current steroid controversy linked with various baseball players, such as Roger Clemens, Andy Pettitte and others.

According to former U.S. Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell’s report there is extensive use of performance-enhancing drugs in baseball. Great Yankee pitcher Roger Clemens, though, has denied his use of steroids and growth hormone while Pettitte has confessed taking of drugs for recovering from injuries.

The study has been published in the online issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine. Lead author of the analysis, Dr. Hau Liu said, “Our findings are consistent with the Mitchell report.” However, he also said, “This is not the final word. This is basically a call for more research.”

Dr. Liu is an affiliated clinical assistant professor of medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine and associate chief of endocrinology at the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center in San Jose. An assistant professor of rehabilitation medicine at New York University School of Medicine, Dr. Todd Schlifstein said, “Some people might use [growth hormone] by itself, and those may be looking more at the anti-aging benefit as opposed to performance enhancement.”

The analysis was made after studying 44 existing articles from 27 different study samples which included individuals aged 13 to 45. Considering the highest level of evidences in medical science, all the studies were randomized and trials were controlled.

The result reported in an average increase of 2 kilograms in lean body mass, but water retention problem also increased simultaneously. However, no improvement in aerobic endurance was reported. “If anything, we found a hint of evidence that it actually may worsen your performance,” Liu said.

It is well-known that in the world of sports, usage of steroids and growth hormone are increasing rapidly. Because of the new inventive methods of doping presence of steroids ca ne detected but detecting growth hormone is a quite difficult task. That’s why most of the athletes and other sports players use it over other drugs. Human growth hormone is often also taken in combination with other compounds and this practice is called “stacking.”

Whatever the analysis or such studies shows, a bill had already been submitted in both the Senate and the House to declare human growth hormone a controlled substance and it is currently moving through the committee process.

Monday 13, Apr 2009

  Brian McNamee filed defamation summon against Roger Clemens

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Brian McNamee filed defamation summon against Roger ClemensIt seems that long-running war between Brian McNamee and Roger Clemens does not appear to be end. Recently, Brian McNamee has served a summons notifying Roger Clemens that he reserves the right to take legal action against the former Yankee pitcher for defamation. Representatives of McNamee’s lawyers served the summons last week at the Rocket’s home in the Memorial section of Houston.

McNamee’s defamation complaint is based partly on the comments of Clemens, in which he challenged the truthfulness of the trainer. Clemens’ comment also included an interview in front of the congressional committee investigating a steroid report by former Sen. In the report “George Mitchell,” McNamee declared that he injected Clemens with steroids and human growth hormone. The same night, Clemens filed his own defamation suit against McNamee and appeared on “60 Minutes.”

One of McNamee’s lawyers, Earl Ward said, “It is a suit for damages to Brian, based on allegations Clemens made to Congress and in the press.” The “endorsed summons” officially notified Clemens about a complaint that attorneys of McNamee quietly filed in a Queens courthouse in December. Summon preserved the trainer’s right to sue the pitcher within a statute of limitations.

Whatever the reason behind the whole issue, one thing is confirmed that this particular move of McNamee would add more problems to Clemens’s already existing legal troubles. For more than a year, Clemens has been under investigation by the Justice Department for false swearing of allegedly lying to Congress.

Last month a federal judge ruled out that McNamee’s statements about Clemens’ steroid use to Mitchell were protected because they came in the course of a government investigation.

Tuesday 31, Mar 2009

  OPERATION EQUINE WILL BE AIRED ON DISCOVERY

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OPERATION EQUINE WILL BE AIRED ON DISCOVERYBefore any of the steroids controversy ever happened to the Major League Baseball the crackdown on steroids had already begun. Called “Operation Equine,” an investigation on steroids trafficking was conducted by FBI agents Greg Stejskal and Bill Randall in 1989. This tells us that steroids use had been extensive even before the report of George Mitchell was released to the press.

Operation Equine was created when the late Bo Schembechler, Michigan’s coach tipped the FBI of the prevalent steroids use in college football. Stejskal and Randall went undercover and the investigations resulted to convictions of 70 dealers. This was a precursor to the use of performance enhancing drugs that would later on be uncovered by the Mitchell Report. The full account of this investigation will be aired in Discovery Channel on Tuesday.

One of the dealers who were convicted as a result of the investigation was said to have been the supplier of steroids to Mark McGwire. Stejskal shared with The News the lack of support they received back then during the investigation. They had warned the MLB and they turned a deaf ear. Back then prosecutors dismissed their investigation; ironically some of them were from the Northern District of California, where the prosecution of BALCO is.

Friday 30, Jan 2009

  A CLOSER LOOK AT THE MITCHELL REPORT

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radomski-steroids1While former US Senator George Mitchell moves on to a new project in the Middle East, issues about his disagreement with certain passages in Kirk Radomski’s book, “Bases Loaded”, are still being examined. Radomski wrote that the senator himself asked him if he knew anything about the illegal steroid use of certain athletes such as Randy Johnson and Alex Rodriguez. Not all that were asked were identified in the Mitchell Report though and according to the anabolic steroids dealer, this was because Mitchell couldn’t get any second hand information about them. The senator’s deputy, John Clarke, denied any allegations. The problem is, however, it isn’t only Radomski who pointed out this tactic. Past interviews with other baseball personalities revealed the Mitchell’s office tried to fish for names and information.

Radomski is an important witness to the Clemens case and the Mitchell Report. It would look back if people start having the notion that the senator only wants positive news about his office and would rather hide the dirt on how the report was created. Although the Mitchell report had done a lot of good in naming athletes who had used steroids, the methods by which this information was taken would be scrutinized by the public.

Saturday 24, Jan 2009

  MITCHELL CLAIMS THAT RADOMSKI’S BOOK IS NOT ACCURATE

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kirkradomski-steroidsThe famous Mitchell Report lists down 90 current and former Major League Baseball players that had been using performance enhancing drugs. In order to create this list, George Mitchell needed the cooperation of steroid dealer Kirk Radomski who had provided anabolic steroids to different athletes. Radomski currently wrote a book, “Bases Loaded” that discusses how Mitchell attempted to tie athletes with steroid use. He wrote that before the release of the Mitchell Report, Mitchell himself asked him specific questions on the athletes. Mitchell had good information but needed a second source to confirm which of those players were using performance enhancing drugs. Mitchell needed Radomski to remember whom he had dealt with and make sure that the stories are correct. Radomski wrote that he didn’t have firsthand knowledge on some of the players that Mitchell asked about. These individuals were left out of the Mitchell Report.

Mitchell rebuts what Radomski had written, saying that the steroid dealer’s account on the conference was inaccurate.

This isn’t the first time Mitchell commented about what was written in Radomski’s book. The claims of the first dispute were similar to the second one.

On Monday, Mitchell disputed a separate passage in the book in which Radomski describes being asked by Mitchell about five high-profile major leaguers who were not among his customers. Radomski writes that Mitchell had suspicions about the five players and had been told by baseball officials that some had tested positive for steroids.

Radomski says he told Mitchell he had no firsthand knowledge linking these five players to drug use, and ultimately, only one of them was named in the report. Mitchell, however, said Monday that at no time did he raise with Radomski the names of specific players who had not previously been identified by Radomski.

While the publishers of the book have not yet released their comments on the ongoing dispute, “Bases Loaded” will be released in stores by next week.

Tuesday 23, Dec 2008

  Brian McNamee says he’s been coerced to testify in Roger Clemens’ steroid case

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clemens-steroidsBrian McNamee, former friend and trainer of Roger Clemens, claims he was coerced by federal agents into identifying the slugger as a steroid user in a 2007 baseball investigation. And if he proves that there was indeed coercion, he may be granted immunity in a defamation suit Clemens has lodged against him, according to Bloomberg.

To back up McNamee’s claim, Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Parrella, who is investigating the use of anabolic steroids and other prohibited drugs in the sport, has submitted sworn statements in a Houston federal court Dec.18.  Parrrella said he told McNamee that the former trainer may become a target of investigation if he refused to tell what he knew about Clemens and other players.

“I told McNamee that speaking to the Mitchell Commission was part of his cooperation with the investigation in order to maintain his witness status,’’ Parrella said in his affidavit. “Prior to the interviews with the Mitchell Commission, I informed McNamee that the proffer agreement executed earlier would cover those interviews and that he could also face prosecution’’ if he made false statements to the Mitchell panel.

“He didn’t do it voluntarily, but under the threat of prosecution as part of his agreement with the government,’’ Richard Emery, McNamee’s lawyer said. “He didn’t want to say anything about Clemens. But in order to protect his children, he testified.’’

Clemens filed a lawsuit against McNamee for defamation of character in January this year. Clemens accused his former trainer of lying and ruining the pitcher’s reputation, Clemens also claimed that McNamee’s testimony may ruin his chances of getting elected to the sport’s Hall of Fame.

MLB commissioner had asked former senator George Mitchell to conduct an independent investigation on the use of performance-enhancing drugs in the pro baseball. McNamee was among the key witnesses interviewed by the commission. McNamee said he began injecting Clemens with steroids during the 1998 season and that he continued to provide these steroids through 2001.

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.