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Archive for  March 2009

Tuesday 31, Mar 2009


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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.

Tuesday 31, Mar 2009

Star player Tejada charged for misleading Congress

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star-player-tejada-charged-for-misleading-congressEnded in a typical justified manner, the federal court on Thursday charged star player Miguel Tejada with a fine of $5,000 and a sentence of probation, 100 hours of community service for misleading Congress. Though, U.S. Magistrate Judge Alan Kay didn’t put any restriction on the player’s travel.

In a 23-minute hearing, Tejada admitted that he mislead the Congress about the use of steroids by his collegues. He confessed that he withheld information about an ex-teammate’s use of performance-enhancing drugs during questionaire in 2005 by congressional investigators. He told Alan Kay that he took full responsibility for not answering the question.

Tejada apologized to Congress, to the court and to baseball fans and said, “I learned a very important lesson.” He also admitted that he himself bought human growth hormone while playing for the Oakland Athletics but didn’t use them.

In a strict sense, Steven Durham, Assistant U.S. Attorney, told the court that “People have to know that when Congress asks questions, it is serious business.” He also said, “And if you don’t tell the truth, we can prove you haven’t told the truth — then there will be accountability.”

Tejada is the first high-profile player from baseball whose name appeared with a steroid issue. A warning messgae was also given to another baseball star, Roger Clemens.

Tejada’s controversial steroid case had its roots in the March 17, 2005 during congressional hearings on use of steroids in baseball. At that time, Rafael Palmeiro, a teammate of Tejada denied his role in using drugs but pointed the doubt fingers towards Tejada. Though, Palmeiro was suspended after failing a drug test later that year only. During his investigation he said that the positive test must have been caused by a tainted B-12 vitamin injection given to him by Tejada. And this led investigators to look for Tejada.

In a statement issued by the Astros team, general manager Ed Wade said, “We’re happy that this issue is resolved.” He also said, “Miguel can now focus on baseball and direct all of his energy toward being a key member of the Astros. It was resolved the way Miguel and his representatives believed it would be, and we can now all move forward.”

Tuesday 31, Mar 2009


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JIM CORNETTE AIRS SENTIMENTS ON STEROID USE IN WWEContrary to previous reports that Vince McMahon did not encourage the use of steroids, it seems that the selection process for wrestlers in the World Wrestling Entertainment had everything to do with the use of the banned substances. Jim Cornette, veteran commentator, promoter and booker for wrestling, expressed his sentiments over the condition of what wrestling has become today.

He says that wrestlers are forced to get into drugs because their professional career relies heavily on their physical appearance – powerful built, extremely muscular and vicious. The only way to achieve this is if they inject anabolics.

Cornette also gave an analyzed that because of the decrease in job opportunities for professional wrestlers and the pressure of giving the audience hardcore entertainment had them turning into drugs. As in the case of Martin who got fire and was re hired because he looked bigger and more muscular, that is after he used steroids. Vince McMahon has to accept the fact that wrestling is a dying business and careers in WWE are short lived especially for the newcomers.

Monday 30, Mar 2009


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STEROIDS USE SHOULD BE ALLOWED IF PROPOSAL TO ADD MORE GAMES TO NFL IS APPROVED  Athletes from professional sports like the NFL, NBA, MLB, and the NHL are providing our evening entertainment by playing on the court, on the field, or on the ice. It is reminiscent of the era of the gladiators in the Roman Empire when they are brought into the arena to kill each other. Nothing much has changed today. The NFL jocks, for example, may be consider the gladiators of the 21st century. They are big, muscular, weighing over 200 pounds, loaded with testosterone aggression and when they are out on the field to determined to “kill.”

With the huge following and excitement generated by one season of football and the millions – no, billions – of dollars it makes in revenue, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell proposed that 1 or 2 more games should be added to the NFL’s regular season. Kevin Van Valkenburg of the Baltimore Sun reacted to the proposal saying that the players should be given the freedom to use steroids, human growth hormones or even marijuana to deal with the pressure that comes with the game.

The NFL boasted that they conduct regular drug test and are able to monitor the use of performance enhancing drugs. But these efforts are useless because to meet the people’s expectations of making every game better than the last and to rake in more income the players would need to use the PEDs or at least some drug for the stress that their bodies and their minds are going through every season.

Monday 30, Mar 2009


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DESPRES EXPRESSES DISMAY OVER UNJUST SUSPENSIONBobsleigh pilot and Olympian Serge Despres talks about his suspension from competing because he tested positive for nandrolone in 2008. This cost him two years of not being able to compete with the Canadian Bobsleigh team, his reputation, and even his income. Together with the suspension he was not allowed by the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sports to even use the bobsleigh tracks in Calgary and Whistler B.C. Nandrolone is a steroid banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency from being used in professional sports.

Still dismayed by the decision even though he is to be reinstated in August 9, 2009. He felt that it was the centre’s way of telling him who was in charge and they can do anything they wanted. Despres said that the nandrolone found in his system was so minute to cause significant changes in his performance.

Despres says his suspension has ruined his chances to join the national team in the 2010 Olympics. But in order to secure a spot in the team he has to win several cups from the American and European Competitions. And he is set in proving that he deserves to be drafted for the Olympics.

Sunday 29, Mar 2009


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JUDGE KAY RULED TEJADA TO GET PROBATIONThe verdict is in. U.S. Magistrate Judge Alan Kay rules that Miguel Tejada gets probation for giving a false statement when he was asked if he knew of other players in the Major League Baseball who were using steroids. He was also asked to pay $5,000 fine and complete 100 hours of community service. Tejada, who is a starting shortstop for the Astros, apologized to his fans for his misconduct.

Tejada is included in the line of baseball players who were reported to have been involved with performance enhancing drugs. The most talked about is Alex Rodriguez who admitted to steroids use. Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds are both facing perjury raps.

The 34-year-old native of Dominican Republic says he takes full responsibility for his actions. He said he has learned his lesson and that the situation really humbled him. This was part of the appeal of Prosecutor Steve Durham to Judge Kay. The judge’s ruling in fact was fair because Tejada is remorseful and regretted doing what he did. Tejada hopes that his probation will not affect his immigrant application. He is not restricted to travel and he does not need to submit to any drug testing.

Miguel Tejada was voted as the Most Valuable Player in the American League in 2002.

Saturday 28, Mar 2009


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DOMINICAN REPUBLIC FACES STEROIDS ISSUEA fertile scouting ground for future baseball pros, Dominican Republic has been dragged into the steroids controversy when former Sen. George Mitchell’s report revealed that human growth hormones have been used illegally in Major League Baseball. The FBI’s investigation produced two Dominicans who were involved in the use of performance enhancing drugs. The most celebrated baseball star is Yankees baseman, Alex Rodriguez who became (in) famous for stepping forward and admitting he used steroids in 2001-2003, now recovering from a hip surgery in Aspen. The other one is Miguel Tejada, starting shortstop for the Houston Astros and 2002 MVP in the American League, who was recently sentenced 100 hours community service and under probation for lying about his knowledge of steroid use of other MLB players.

Dominican baseball commissioner Porfirio Veras said that the country’s reputation is on the line because of the number of Dominicans who are being investigated for steroid use. It would give some people the impression that the country is a breeding ground for roids users.

By giving training, food and housing, the buscones fill in the lack in return for a fraction of the player’s signing bonus once they get into the pros. Buscones have discovered baseball greats like Vladimir Guerrero, Miguel Tejada, David Ortiz and Hanley Ramirez. However, some of these scouts are bad news. They exploit young players of their bonus money taking advantage that they depend on the scouts to provide their needs. Most of the time in desperation to get their wards into the MLB they give the players steroids or performance enhancing drugs. Hopefully when the MLB would begin to implement the sports law this would protect the teens from abusive buscones.

Friday 27, Mar 2009


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WHEN STEROIDS BECOME FATALIt is amazing that the use of steroids can go undetected under people’s noses. What is more remarkable is that they have knowledge of what this substance can do and yet its use is still tolerated in sports. There is no point of singling out just one sport because almost every one of them had a history of steroid use. What makes it more crazy is that despite the obvious physical evidence – increase in weight and muscle mass in a short period of time, more goals, more homeruns, athletes becoming bigger, buffer and faster, not to mention the positive urine tests – big time athletes continue to deny it to the point of facing perjury raps. It is downright vulgar.

Not until a string of scandals, deaths, and perjury charges had awakened everybody’s awareness did the sports organizations do something about this problem.

As the anti-doping agency continue to improve their programs in catching steroid users and dealers, the manufacturing of newer substances and methods to cheat on the detection tests have also increased. The government and sports organization officials should be more serious in imposing more stringent rules on substance use.

Friday 27, Mar 2009


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EXPERT’S ADVICE: MCMAHON SHOULD PREPARE TO FACE MEDIAAutopsy results for Andrew “the Test” Martin’s death will be released two weeks from now and Vince McMahon receives advice on how to handle the possible media onslaught. Martin’s demise is the latest in the series of steroids-related deaths in the WWE. Wrestler Chris Benoit murdered his wife and son then he took his own life. Eddie Guerrero, died of a heart attack which was also attributed to his long term use of steroids. With Martin’s death happening at the height of steroid scandal in the world of professional sports, McMahon can only do so much to keep the media mayhem at bay which could probably be worse than what he had gone through with Benoit.

McMahon and WWE should start planning on some damage control especially since Martin’s death would definitely put them on the center ring. Media vs. McMahon and WWE. And this time the WWE can’t rely on their muscles to knockout the opponent. When it comes to the steroid issue, the media can be pretty vicious.

Thursday 26, Mar 2009


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SHOOLTZ CAUGHT FOR DISTRIBUTION OF STEROIDSPossession of steroids is considered a criminal offense. If caught you can face jail term and possibly pay fines. That is what happened to Ryan Shooltz, 25, who was caught in the distribution of anabolic steroids. Police found steroids and human growth hormones in his apartment. He admitted being guilty as charged and was ordered by US Judge Michael J. Ponsor to pay $10,000 and remain three years in probation. Shooltz was also sentenced to three hundred hours of community service. Ponsor also added that this would humble Shooltz saying that the defendant might have to report even on Saturdays and serve for 8 hours in the next 3 years.

US Attorney Kevin O’Regan requested that Shootlz should serve at a federal halfway house because distribution of steroids is a serious crime and therefore should have heavy punishment as well.

Shooltz earned about $10,000 to $15,000 for distributing steroids, according to Thomas Lesser, Defense Attorney. According to The Republican, statistics show that 17,000 have died for abuse of painkillers and cocaine use. O’Regan said that steroid rings exist because of greed, not because many wanted to use the illegal substances. The use of steroids is not to buff up the body but because of money.

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