50 Game Ban on Manny for Taking HGC, Fertility Drug for Women
The Los Angeles Dodgers' Manny Ramirez has become the latest athlete to get some bad advice, and subsequently test positive for a performance-enhancing substance ... or at least that's his explanation, Sports Illustrated reports. Apparently, the performance-enhancing substance at issue was a woman's fertility drug known as HCG, or human chorionic gonadotropin, that helps the body produce testosterone. The story noted that even though the substance is "not classified as a steroid", it is "clearly defined as a banned performance enhancer" under the agreement between MLBPA and the league.
As a result, the consequences are harsh as Manny has received an immediate 50-game suspension under Major League Baseball's drug-testing rules that went into effect in 2003. However, much like suspended Phillies reliever J.C. Romero has pointed the finger of blame elsewhere, it looks like Manny would like to pass or at least share, the buck:
"Recently I saw a physician for a personal health issue. He gave me a medication, not a steroid, which he thought was OK to give me. Unfortunately, the medication was banned under our drug policy. Under the policy that mistake is now my responsibility."
That's sort of accepting responsibility, kind of ... but it is arguably a bit better than taking advice on supplements from your local GNC or Vitamin Shoppe employee. Just a guess, but the physician who allegedly gave Manny the medication, might be a bit concerned. The story went on to note that Manny's not going to fight the suspension, which is probably going to cost him just short of $8 million (don't cry to hard for Ramirez, he'll still have $17 million coming to him). As a result, he'll be able to get back in his Dodgers uniform on July 3.
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