This much we can say about Major League Baseball’s drug policy. It is working. Players are failing tests and being suspended. And, accusations of players using performance-enhancing drugs at an anti-aging clinic in Miami are being investigated.
Also clear is PEDs won’t go away, with players thinking the risk of being caught and docked 50 games pay is worth it for the performance numbers and an enhanced contract.
There is no greater example than Melky Cabrera, who paid his fine and sat out 50 games and the postseason only to be rewarded with a two-year, $16-million contract.
Perhaps, what should be open for discussion is to strengthen the penalties.
Alex Rodriguez, who admitted using steroids from 2001-2003 before joining the Yankees, yet vehemently denied taking the drug. He finally came clean. To clean your system of drugs permanently, you have to stop taking any, and Rodriguez hasn’t really done that.
He along with Cabrera, Nelson Cruz and Gio Gonzalez, were linked by a Miami News Times report they sold performance-enhancing drugs. Reportedly, Rodriguez used human growth hormones.
In material supplied the paper from an employee at the clinic, Rodriguez’s name appeared 16 times. Rodriguez retained heavyweight lawyer Roy Black, who denied the Yankee third baseman used. Even so, 16 mentions represent more than a coincidence.
The documents indicate Rodriguez’s alleged use of HGH began in 2009, the year he helped carry the Yankees to a World Series title.
Rodriguez, who recently underwent hip surgery (his second), might not be able to play this season. If found guilty of HGH use he won’t be suspended 50 games while on the disabled use, but could be fined 50 games salary.
Rodriguez once took great care in protecting his image, but that doesn’t appear the case anymore after being caught in Toronto with a stripper while still married, high-profile relationships with actresses while at the same time attempting to pick up women from the dugout in the ALCS.
Now comes this. As of now, the man many thought could become the all-time home run champion is hurt, connected to PEDs a second time. Rodriguez has his hired gun, but there is over $100 million at stake for the remainder of his contract. It wouldn’t be surprising if the Yankees explore their legal options under the presumption they were mislead when they signed Rodriguez, thinking he was clean.
Teams have been reluctant to challenge players on this issue because of the strength of the MLB Players Association. Now might be the time to go to court.