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Manny Ramirez Positive Test Proves MLB Testing Doesn’t Work

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When will enough be enough? How many of the game's greatest stars have to be tarnished before baseball takes real action against PEDs? The latest revelation that Dodgers enigmatic outfielder Manny Ramirez has tested positive for a banned substance is a new and glaring reminder that something drastic and decisive must be done to restore integrity to the game of baseball.

The public has become numb to these situations. On the surface, Ramirez and his 50-game suspension may seem to simply place him in a class with the plethora of other frauds who have been found to have used PEDs, but far more can be derived from Manny's positive test. While much of the information about offenders like Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, and Roger Clemens is largely history — occuring in baseball's lawless 80s and 90s — Manny Ramirez has failed a drug test now, under the current, supposedly effective testing system. Some even say that Ramirez's positive test is a sign that the system is, in fact, working. Unfortunately, in reality the proper and accurate conclusion is completely the opposite.

Manny himself stated that he has passed 15 drug tests in the past five years. And therein lies the far-reaching scope of this positive test. Ramirez tested positive for a female fertility drug called hCG. Its street uses are sometimes weight loss, enhanced sexual performance, and, predominately, to restart testosterone production after a steroid cycle.

Relying solely on visual evidence alone, weight loss seemingly can be ruled out. And unless Manny is going to reveal in the next few days that he just hasn't been the same in the sack, it seems pretty obvious sexual enchancement probably wasn't his motivation. So that leaves only the third option as a plausible motivator for Manny to consume this drug.

Let's recap; Manny passed 15 drug tests and wasn't caught doing anything wrong until he tested positive for taking a drug usually consumed AFTER a steroid cycle. And assuming Ramirez used the drug to restore his body's testosterone production (and not sex), that would logically suggest that he passed at least one of the drug tests while on a steroid cycle. This positive test is an exposure and damnation of both Ramirez and the pathetic MLB drug testing policy.

There have been many great stories in the young MLB season. The Toronto Blue Jays have surprisingly surged into first place in the ultra-competitive A.L. East. Zack Greinke continues to dominate the American League with his 6-0 record and his 0.40 ERA. But because baseball and its commissioner refuse to use their authority to eliminate the banned substance epidemic from the game, the actual play on the field is the secondary story and is constantly under a cloud of pessimistic scrutiny. How many more of baseball's titans will fall before the game itself collapses? As a sport whose past, present, and future are firmly connected by statistics, what will baseball be once its numbers are totally violated of their meaning?

The solution to this issue is simple. Implement the strictest, most accurate, and most thorough testing methods, similar to those in the Olympics: institute a zero tolerance policy that bans a player a full season for the first violation and life for a second, and save all testing samples for a set period of time for retroactive testing. These basic steps would make the ramifications of cheating frightening enough to tempted players that all but the absolute stupidest would be deterred. Unfortunately, it seems Manny fits into that undetterable profile.

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About Anthony Tobis

  • Tan The Man

    In a recent blog post by Buster Olney, he mentions a baseball executive/official guessed that 70% of baseball players were on HGH.

  • Tony

    I’m sure that’s probably accurate. They aren’t deterred because the testing is a joke.

  • Aaron Whitehead

    If only there were some proof that HGH has a significant effect on performance. Everybody just decided that it did when there’s no reason to think it does. Except, of course, that that’s what the media has been screaming at us for the past few years.
    I don’t put a great deal of stock in vague numbers from anonymous execs who admit they’re just guessing. What I understand — from people like Will Carroll, who does give his name — is that people are moving on from HGH. They’re one or two generations ahead of that. That’s the reality — by the time baseball is able to get some sort of HGH test, they’ll have spent most of their energy stopping a performance-enhancing drug that is not only obsolete, but probably doesn’t enhance much performance. That’s a crazy weak reason to put a needle in someone’s arm.
    Cheaters will stay ahead of the curve. The only thing is to be vigilant. Either that, or you can turn baseball into medical quarantine where players throw their civil liberties out the window the minute they join up.
    A full season suspension would deter some, but I don’t think it would stop use to the degree that you want it stopped. There will always be limits to the power of deterrence, especially when the stakes are as high as $30 million.

  • Tony

    I personally know “experienced” people who would take issue with your assertion that HGH isn’t effective. Also, it’s kind of ridiculous to think that all these players who took it were merely fooled by a placebo.

    In fact, there is more evidence that HGH has a ton of positive medical properties and anti-aging properties. Sylvester Stalone is a huge advocate of this, among others.

    “Sylvester Stallone isn’t holding back about his using HGH (Human Growth Hormone) to beef up for the new Rambo movie. The A.P. is reporting Stallone told Time magazine, “Everyone over 40 years old would be wise to investigate it because it increases the quality of your life,” Stallone says. “Testosterone, to me, is so important for a sense of well-being when you get older.”

    You don’t have to “take stock” in anonymous testimony. Just use your eyes and see the way the drug has altered the physical appearance of those who take it (Stallone said he put on 40 pounds using it for his Rocky and Rambo movies). If you don’t think muscles help you in every facet of hitting, you’ve never tried to hit a baseball, especially the low, outside breaking ball.

  • Aaron Whitehead

    1. Beefing up does not equal better hitting. The key aid of HGH is faster recovery from injury, which only tangentially enhances performance. Yes, it’s cheating. No, we don’t need to stock up on needles.

    2. “Just use me eyes?” And see what? Bigger hitters? Which drug made them big? We don’t know.

    3. It doesn’t matter if something works. It just matters if people think it works. Or if they just really HOPE it works. “A review of clinical studies among healthy, normally aging individuals found that hGH supplementation does not significantly increase muscle strength or aerobic exercise capacity.”
    Are you willing to put your sources up against the American Medical Association, Stanford Medical School, the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Sydney, Australia or the New England Freakin’ Journal of Medicine? Or these guys as well.

    Look before you leap.

  • Tony

    Yes I am more than willing to put up actual users of the drug against any other source.

    And saying beefing up does not equal better hitting is just plain wrong. Beefing up increases bat speed and bat speed IS hitting.

    Ken Singleton was just talking the other day about how in his era there were about 5 guys that could hit opposite field home runs. Now there is one in nearly every game.

    With athletes who have unlimited access to and funds for the top drugs on the market, it does matter if the stuff really works. Whether or not the public believes it is inconsequential. Like when McGwire put andro in his locker so people would think it was that, not steroids, that made him hit 70 freakin home runs. HE knew what worked even if the public didn’t.

    You can “use your eyes” and do more than look at the bodies of these players. How about their stats?

    No one hits 50 homeruns between George Foster and Big Daddy Fielder and than Sammy Sosa breaks Roger Maris’ record in three seperate seasons….and he’s not even the single season home run king. Yeah, PEDs do nothing for hitting……..except allow you to hit more home runs than Babe Ruth. Didn’t see Bonds putting up any 50 home run seasons pre-steroids. Must have done something, even if the AMA says they don’t.

    Does HGH work alone effectively? Maybe not. But even if you just read the reports of what these guys are testing positive for you would know that HGH is an effective part of a stack. Even in the Sly Stallone example i gave you, he said he takes it WITH testosterone. All users stack drugs.

    When I see a medical study that takes into account the cream, the clear, specific user cycles, stacks, and dossages, then I believe “them” over the users turning themselves into Adonis’ and destroying decades old records.

    Look before you leap….that’s funny.