The MLB steroids scandal is growing faster than Barry Bondsâ€™ head. Now it has been revealed that other prominent major leaguers, who up to now werenâ€™t suspected of any wrongdoing, took performance enhancing drugs as far back as 2002. The allegations keep coming to light as more and more of these steroid peddlers are getting caught.
I have a feeling that this situation is going to get worse before it gets better -- as we learn more about who took steroids and when they took them. It may finally reach a point where all baseball records broken between 1996 and 2005 (to be known throughout history as the â€œsteroid eraâ€) will be erased from the books, because no one can be sure which records are tainted and which ones are legitimate.
Itâ€™s a dark period in major league baseball, thereâ€™s no doubt about it. Pretty soon, the question wonâ€™t be about who took steroids, but rather about who didnâ€™t. Baseball should take these most recent allegations to heart and start being even tougher on steroids. If the problem isnâ€™t checked once and for all, it could surely ruin this great game forever.
This appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle this morning and was featured as a front page story:
Former major leaguers Matt Williams and Ismael Valdez also purchased performance-enhancing drugs, in 2002, from a Florida anti-aging clinic that was raided in February as part of an investigation by the Albany, N.Y., district attorney into alleged illegal drug sales, the newspaper said.
Major League Baseball began testing for steroids in 2003. HGH was banned in January 2005.
Power-hitting outfielder Jose Guillen bought nearly $20,000 worth of steroids and human growth hormone from 2003-05, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Tuesday.
The Chronicle received details of the players' orders in records from a source the newspaper didn't identify.
Those records contained shipping and purchase orders, payment information, Social Security numbers and customers' birthdates, the paper said.
Guillen, 31, spent last season with the Seattle Mariners, batting .290 with 23 homers and 99 RBI. He split the 2003 season between Cincinnati and Oakland, and the Chronicle said business records indicate he had some of the drugs shipped to the Oakland Coliseum that year. He played for the Anaheim Angels in 2004 and Washington Nationals in 2005. Attempts by the Associated Press to reach him via cell phone were unsuccessful Tuesday.
Last week, the Mariners declined their $9 million option on Guillen's contract for next season. He has until Wednesday to decide if he wants to exercise his part of the mutual option at $5 million. If he does, the club can void the deal and pay him a $500,000 buyout. That would make Guillen a free agent.
Mariners president Chuck Armstrong told the AP the team remains interested in keeping Guillen.
"We thought he was an outstanding teammate. We were happy to have him. We know nothing about what happened in the past," Armstrong said. "I continue to admire and respect him greatly.
"Before I feel anything negative about Jose, I need to see something tangible or real."
Armstrong also said if Guillen exercises his option, the Mariners would need to investigate the allegations.
"I for sure would have to talk to Jose about this," Armstrong said.
Guillen just completed his 11th season in the majors. Records show he ordered more than $19,000 worth of drugs -- three kinds of human growth hormone, two types of testosterone and the steroids stanozolol and nandrolone -- from the Palm Beach Rejuvenation Center between May 2002 and June 2005, the Chronicle said.
Williams was a five-time All-Star during his 17-year major league career with San Francisco, Cleveland and Arizona. He was playing for the Diamondbacks in 2002 when records indicate he purchased $11,600 worth of growth hormone, steroids and other drugs, the Chronicle reported.
Copyright © 2010 Ed Attanasio
More MLB Players Added to "Unnaturals" List
Copyright © 2010 Ed Attanasio
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