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NL MVP Ryan Braun has tested positive for performance enhancing drugs?


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#51 julesfan

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Posted 11 December 2011 - 01:24 AM

That seems overly naive. There's a reason he has produced so well in his prime, and I highly doubt Manny just started on the stuff to extend his career. I bet most of these guys have been and still are on the stuff.


Please, he's produced well his whole career, you think he's been juicing the whole time and just NOW got caught? Pretty sure he's been tested before.

#52 samuelLsamson

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Posted 11 December 2011 - 01:25 AM

See that's what doesn't make sense to me with Braun. I mean he's in the prime of his career and has a very lucrative long-term contract, so what's he to gain RIGHT NOW from juicing? I mean when Manny was busted it was obvious he was a player trying to extend his career and maybe get one more payday, but Braun doesn't fit that profile. This really saddens me, because I can't figure out why he'd be doing this now, if he was in fact doing something wrong.


To play devil's advocate a little, how do we know Manny only starting doping towards the end of his career? Perhaps he just only got caught then. I understand the urge, as a Sox fan, to make this assumption, but I'm not convinced it holds up.

#53 Hee-Seop's Fable

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Posted 11 December 2011 - 01:27 AM

See that's what doesn't make sense to me with Braun. I mean he's in the prime of his career and has a very lucrative long-term contract, so what's he to gain RIGHT NOW from juicing? I mean when Manny was busted it was obvious he was a player trying to extend his career and maybe get one more payday, but Braun doesn't fit that profile. This really saddens me, because I can't figure out why he'd be doing this now, if he was in fact doing something wrong.

He wants to win.

That's what makes this consistent with his "high character" and with every other player in MLB, or in pro sport in general. The same psychological qualities that make athletes the most competitive among us is what drives them to find every advantage, legal or not. That's why the most practical solution is for each sport's sanctioning body or association to specify rules everyone is held to so the sport has the most respectable level of an even playing field possible. Hopefully one that protects the long term health of the players so they don't end up paying a price later in life they were too maniacal to recognize while they're actively playing.

That's all a sport can really do. The moral and historical arguments get really tedious and old every time this comes up. Just find the tightest, fairest standard possible that everyone can agree to and hold everyone accountable.

#54 Fred not Lynn


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Posted 11 December 2011 - 01:52 AM

I see what you did there.

More seriously, we think we have seen at least one previous instance of a somewhat special case with David Ortiz, whose inclusion on a list of positive tests was apparently somehow different from other cases in ways that were never explained that I know of. There may very well be a more mundane explanation for this even if he did test positive, so we should wait for more details before acting like he's been definitively nailed over this.


Ortiz's alleged positive was part of a batch of tests taken in a way that wasn't designed to identify and penalize individual athletes. Testing and chain of custody protocol weren't followed as they would typically be, and since individual results were never supposed to be published, no due process was in place to protect the players.

#55 pantsparty

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Posted 11 December 2011 - 02:14 AM

I can't believe clauses aren't written into contracts allowing them to be voided if a player tests positive for PEDs.

#56 snowmanny

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Posted 11 December 2011 - 09:02 AM

I can't believe clauses aren't written into contracts allowing them to be voided if a player tests positive for PEDs.


Pretty sure the Brewers wouldn't void this contract if given the chance.

#57 Plympton91


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Posted 11 December 2011 - 10:04 AM

Should be stripped of the MVP.


So the guy who finished second and has better masking agents or better timing can get the award.

The default assumption should be that every player in major league baseball is using performance enhancing drugs. If the players don't like that I assume that, then they should support more frequent, completely random testing and they should have supported it two decades ago.

#58 Resonance Wright


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Posted 11 December 2011 - 11:24 AM

Please, he's produced well his whole career, you think he's been juicing the whole time and just NOW got caught? Pretty sure he's been tested before.


You seem to be under the impression that if someone tests negative, they aren't juicing. That isn't how it works; that isn't how it's ever worked.

Performance enhancement has been a black market industry in competitive sports for a long time and ever since people started testing, there's been an arms race between the tests to detect use and the products' ability to evade detection. The only real question about this arms race is whether the products have a small lead in it, or a large lead. A small lead would mean that it's still risky to take them, but the telltale indicators of PED use disappear from your bloodstream quickly enough that a guy has less than, say, a 5% chance of getting caught. A large lead would mean that there's effective PEDs out there that won't turn up in a test. Me, I tend to think it's the former -- the league-wide numbers have reverted from where they were during the Steroid Era, but there's still a whole lotta guys who magically come up big on their walk year.

There are late coming reports out that say Braun is going to be vindicated. I hope so, for everyone's sake. It would not surprise me in the least, however, to learn that he has been taking PEDs. The incentive to take them is still there.

#59 Fred not Lynn


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Posted 11 December 2011 - 12:05 PM

So WADA did do the B sample test, and here's the Braun camp money quote:


This is pretty standard. WADA will be fully prepared to defend their positive result, as they have to be given how typical Braun's defense is. The question now is how good Braun's lawyers and experts are, and whether MLB will find a way to concede their case.

I think the path of least resistance is MLB standing behind WADA's science, upholding the positive while conceding some sympathy for Braun's mitigating circumstances, shaking their collective index finger at him, and holding him up as an example while confirming his high character. They'll say how unfortunate his lapse of judgement in not being careful enough was, and do what they can to protect his star power.

I wonder if they'll end up being that forceful. Many are skeptical:



Biz of Football


I am not clear on whether the second test was on the B-sample, which is an extra amount of urine collected at the same time as the A-sample, or if it was a whole second sample collected at a later date after Braun was aware that he had a positive test. If there are differences between results of tests on samples collected at the same time, then there's problem with the test. Differences between results on samples collected at different times could still point to an anomaly in the testing process, but are far less meaningful since the athlete then had time to take steps to change the result.

#60 Average Reds


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Posted 11 December 2011 - 12:20 PM

I am not clear on whether the second test was on the B-sample, which is an extra amount of urine collected at the same time as the A-sample, or if it was a whole second sample collected at a later date after Braun was aware that he had a positive test. If there are differences between results of tests on samples collected at the same time, then there's problem with the test. Differences between results on samples collected at different times could still point to an anomaly in the testing process, but are far less meaningful since the athlete then had time to take steps to change the result.


Yeah, I think Hee Seop"s post is a little confusing.

My understanding is that the "B" sample that WADA tested is part of the original sample provided by Braun. (This is farily standard. You take a sample, split it in two parts, and both need to come back positive for the test to be declared positive.) Braun then immediately asked for a second sample to be taken as part of his appeal.

This second sample - if clear - might back up his contention that his original positive result was related to supplements and not intentionally taking steroids, but it would not (and should not) nullify the result of his original positive.

Edit: And to make sure I'm making myself clear, the only way a second test could back up a claim about supplements versus steroids is that steroids are not likely to clear the system days after the first test, but supplements are. So if the second test is clear, it would be consistent with a contention that Braun did not intentionally take steroids, but it would prove nothing.

Edited by Average Reds, 11 December 2011 - 12:23 PM.


#61 Greg29fan


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Posted 11 December 2011 - 12:47 PM

Ken Rosenthal

Source: Braun tested positive for a prohibited substance, not a performance-enhancing drug. More coming on FOXSports.com. #Brewers #MLB



#62 Darnell's Son

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Posted 11 December 2011 - 01:27 PM

Wrong thread.

Edited by Darnell's Son, 11 December 2011 - 01:27 PM.


#63 absintheofmalaise


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Posted 11 December 2011 - 01:41 PM

It looks like Rosenthal got his information from this post by Tom Haudricourt of the Journal Sentinel. I'm gonna go ahead and quote the entire post for perspective.

A very good source on the Ryan Braun side of the drug testing controversy assures me that Braun did not test positive for a performance-enhancing drug, as reported by ESPN's "Outside the Lines."

ESPN reported that Braun tested positive for a PED that gave him an abnormally high testosterone level, which proved to be synthetic and therefore not produced by the body.

But my source -- and again, this is from Braun's end and not MLB -- familiar with the test's findings says the "prohibited substance" was not a performance-enhancing drug or steroid of any kind. And the source says there has "never" been a result like this in the history of the MLB testing program.

The source said MLB "knows that Ryan is telling the truth" and that source firmly believes the postive test will be overturned. Pretty amazing stuff, huh?

The source said more detail couldn't be provided at this time because of the ongoing legal process. But suffice it to say that this is getting more interesting by the minute.

If the prohibited substance Braun tested positive for was a stimulant instead of a steroid, he wouldn't be facing a 50-game suspension. The first offense for stimulants results in a 25-game suspension.



#64 snowmanny

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Posted 11 December 2011 - 02:06 PM

Nm

Edited by snowmanny, 11 December 2011 - 02:13 PM.


#65 maufman


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Posted 11 December 2011 - 02:32 PM

Well, guilty or not, a 50 game suspension is a joke if the league really wants to deter PED use. As The Mainahh said up-thread (not that I agree with his post in its entirety), when a player stands to prolong his career in MLB and/or make a lot of money, a downside of a 50 game suspension is worth the risk.

What would work for all but the marginal cases (think AAAA players) is a life-time ban. The testing and review process would have to be very detailed but it would almost certainly deter players who are talented enough to be regulars in the Majors from seeking an edge to make them a superstar.

Its hard to imagine that guys like Bonds, McGwire or Clemens would have used if getting caught almost certainly meant the end of their careers.

In any event, until or unless MLB does something like this, all the hand-wringing and moralizing is bullshit. And I'll assume that the vast majority of these guys are doing whatever they can to gain an advantage or merely keeping up with their peers.


Olympic athletes accept guilty-until-proven-innocent testing rules and draconian punishments for positive tests, but athletes with union representation will never agree to such a thing. And rightly so -- if I were an athlete, I would not want to be stripped of my livelihood based on something less than proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

The deal MLB seems to have struck with its players is that suspensions can be based on something less than irrefutable proof, but one suspension doesn't ruin a player's career (though a 50-game suspension would be pretty devastating for a marginal player). That doesn't seem like such a bad deal to me.

#66 Dernells Casket n Flagon

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Posted 11 December 2011 - 05:34 PM

If it's just a prohibited substance, couldn't it be something like Manny's female pregnancy drugs? Something that's used more as a masking agent.

#67 Muddy Chicken

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Posted 11 December 2011 - 06:53 PM

I'm of the case that we all should chill a bit here, let's find out a bit more, he does not seem to be the guy who would, but maybe. Let the process happen before judgement. I think most of us here felt the same of Ortiz.

#68 teddywingman


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Posted 11 December 2011 - 07:37 PM

Theres nothing silly about it, only uncomfortable similarities. Does lasic surgery and advanced eye care help modern players in a way that players of older generations did not also have access to? Yes, no one would even bother to argue this. Is this a "performance enhancer?" Hell ya!

All I ask is are these forms of performance enhancers worse than "steroids" or other alleged "performance enhancers?"

Modern baseball players play against the highest level of competition in baseball history, they are the most fit, mentally focused, and medically aided generation of athletes ever. Does it really surprise anyone that there are chemical "enhancements?"

I personally don't really care if Braun used roids or not, he would be a great player with or without them. Maybe the roids help him hit another 3-7 homers per year, maybe they do nothing for him, the simple fact is we don't know. More importantly, every generation has its advantages over the older ones, it is a fact of life. Trying to fight that with revisionist history about how noble old records are is just silly fogeism.


Congratulations! this is the dumbest post ever.

#69 absintheofmalaise


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Posted 11 December 2011 - 08:13 PM

Congratulations! this is the dumbest post ever.

It may very well be, but you need to explain why you think so.

#70 teddywingman


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Posted 11 December 2011 - 08:26 PM

It may very well be, but you need to explain why you think so.



Fair enough. Though I didn't really want to get into it. Probably shouldn't have posted.

But anyway-- his main argument seems to be that MLB tests for PEDs in an attempt to preserve old records. This is absurd and it completely ignores the real issues, which are health risks, legality, and a level playing field.

#71 ivanvamp


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Posted 11 December 2011 - 08:33 PM

Fair enough. Though I didn't really want to get into it. Probably shouldn't have posted.

But anyway-- his main argument seems to be that MLB tests for PEDs in an attempt to preserve old records. This is absurd and it completely ignores the real issues, which are health risks, legality, and a level playing field.


Hmmm. Maybe I just completely missed it, but I read his post 3 times after reading yours, and that's not what I got out of it. I got out of it three main things:

(1) Players in every generation have tried to get an advantage.

(2) In today's high-tech world, it should be obvious that the advantages that players today seek are, well, more technologically advanced, like lasik eye surgery and, yes, chemical enhancements.

(3) It is not clear why we should consider one form of advantage (e.g., lasik surgery) to be significantly different than another form of advantage (e.g., PEDs).

And, while I think this is a conversation probably best suited to a different forum, I think that third point is a really good one to discuss (and I'm sure SoSH has had this very conversation numerous times over the years).

#72 teddywingman


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Posted 11 December 2011 - 08:47 PM

Babe Ruth, Joe Dimaggio, and Ted Williams played in a segregated league. Willie Mays, Mickey Mantle, and Hank Aaron played before the advent of weight training. The game evolves and it will continue to. Rather than demonize players for taking advantage of the current medical wisdom of their age I would rather see baseball stop trying to cling to decades old records and embrace its modern incarnation

Grow up, Man up, and enjoy modern baseball for what it is, not what our granddads (or baseball writers) think it ought to be.



Well, there's this too.

#73 teddywingman


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Posted 11 December 2011 - 08:50 PM

(3) It is not clear why we should consider one form of advantage (e.g., lasik surgery) to be significantly different than another form of advantage (e.g., PEDs).

And, while I think this is a conversation probably best suited to a different forum, I think that third point is a really good one to discuss (and I'm sure SoSH has had this very conversation numerous times over the years).


I believe if you spent more time thinking about the eventual consequences, you would understand why surgery is not comparable to PEDs.

For instance, at what age or level of competion would you allow PEDs? Pony league?

#74 PhilPlantier

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Posted 11 December 2011 - 09:00 PM

I believe if you spent more time thinking about the eventual consequences, you would understand why surgery is not comparable to PEDs.

For instance, at what age or level of competion would you allow PEDs? Pony league?


I would like to hear your explanation of this point as it relates to competitive advantages on the field (as opposed to negative
repercussions off it).

#75 Rasputin


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Posted 11 December 2011 - 09:00 PM

Are the Brewers having a worse off season than the Red Sox?

And I wanted to point out that the GNC Supplement excuse isn't as flimsy as may seem. These things are marketed as supplements and are thus not regulated by anyone. There is simply no way to guarantee that what's listed on the package is what's in them and past tests of some of the seedier ones have found some revoltingly dangerous things that weren't on the list if ingredients.

#76 teddywingman


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Posted 11 December 2011 - 09:12 PM

I would like to hear your explanation of this point as it relates to competitive advantages on the field (as opposed to negative
repercussions off it).



One form of advantage is legal and the other is not, and there are perfectly legitimate reasons why this is so.

Did you want me to magically quantify the results of each advantage?

#77 koufax32


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Posted 11 December 2011 - 10:49 PM

Are the Brewers having a worse off season than the Red Sox?

And I wanted to point out that the GNC Supplement excuse isn't as flimsy as may seem. These things are marketed as supplements and are thus not regulated by anyone. There is simply no way to guarantee that what's listed on the package is what's in them and past tests of some of the seedier ones have found some revoltingly dangerous things that weren't on the list if ingredients.


Do you say this from personal experience or just from other stories? If you know of any research that has been done in this area I for one would be immensely curious to read more. Would you be able to link an article??

Just so there's no misunderstanding, I'm not being snarky or sarcastic.

#78 HangingW/ScottCooper

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Posted 11 December 2011 - 10:50 PM

Does this test include things like cocaine, marijuana or other drugs? I assume Lincecum would already have a lifetime ban if pot was included on the banned substance list, but is it possible it's something like that?

#79 Hee-Seop's Fable

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Posted 11 December 2011 - 11:02 PM

Are the Brewers having a worse off season than the Red Sox?

And I wanted to point out that the GNC Supplement excuse isn't as flimsy as may seem. These things are marketed as supplements and are thus not regulated by anyone. There is simply no way to guarantee that what's listed on the package is what's in them and past tests of some of the seedier ones have found some revoltingly dangerous things that weren't on the list if ingredients.

Unintended consequences of neutering the FDA? What of truth in advertising/labeling? Not enough funds/popular interest in chasing the facts down to do anything about it?

This is probably one place where the differences between Olympic sports and major league high revenue sports differ, as Maufman pointed out. The unions/players associations have enough power to defer some responsibility from the players having to know what's in the mislabeled supplements whereas the Olympic athletes are screwed and left holding the bag for the manufacturers' mistakes/laziness. Is this true?

#80 Hee-Seop's Fable

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Posted 11 December 2011 - 11:16 PM

Does this test include things like cocaine, marijuana or other drugs? I assume Lincecum would already have a lifetime ban if pot was included on the banned substance list, but is it possible it's something like that?

Pot is known to weaken sperm count/potency, so I can't imagine it offers any help in increasing testosterone production. But according to this, it is banned. Guess Lincecum knows how to mask it/get rid of it fast. That's where WADA controlling testing outright would flip the players out - no way unannounced off season testing would get by the PA

Banned List Wiki

#81 Lowrielicious

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Posted 11 December 2011 - 11:30 PM

And I wanted to point out that the GNC Supplement excuse isn't as flimsy as may seem. These things are marketed as supplements and are thus not regulated by anyone. There is simply no way to guarantee that what's listed on the package is what's in them and past tests of some of the seedier ones have found some revoltingly dangerous things that weren't on the list if ingredients.


That may be the case for some of the cheap, dodgy online brands. But surely a millionaire sportsman with so much to lose on a failed test could find and pay for a reputable supplement?

For the many sports that now have very specific banned lists there must be companies that provide (probably very expensive) supplements that are guaranteed to be squeaky clean.

#82 Guapos Toenails

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Posted 12 December 2011 - 11:29 AM

Hmmm. Maybe I just completely missed it, but I read his post 3 times after reading yours, and that's not what I got out of it. I got out of it three main things:

(1) Players in every generation have tried to get an advantage.

(2) In today's high-tech world, it should be obvious that the advantages that players today seek are, well, more technologically advanced, like lasik eye surgery and, yes, chemical enhancements.

(3) It is not clear why we should consider one form of advantage (e.g., lasik surgery) to be significantly different than another form of advantage (e.g., PEDs).

And, while I think this is a conversation probably best suited to a different forum, I think that third point is a really good one to discuss (and I'm sure SoSH has had this very conversation numerous times over the years).


I believe that I was the first one to bring something like this up in 2004 after Curt Schilling's ankle surgery. It was meant as food for thought then, and I think it is still a valid discussion.

#83 Average Reds


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Posted 12 December 2011 - 12:17 PM

It is not clear why we should consider one form of advantage (e.g., lasik surgery) to be significantly different than another form of advantage (e.g., PEDs).


Lasik surgery is a convenience issue relative to wearing glasses or contacts. In many cases, it doesn't correct the player's vision as well as glasses or contacts. So there's no performance advantage inherent with the process.

PEDs are, by definition, a different case. They allow the athlete to change their physiology in ways that an athlete who is not using cannot match. To give you a specific example, anabolic steroids have been proven to allow players to build muscle mass that is beyond the norm. And because the process works for both fast and slow-twitch muscles, the advantage (versus the athlete who is not using) is very significant.

I'm not trying to make a philosophical argument in support of a PED ban, but lasik surgery is just not analogous to using PEDs.

#84 notfar

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Posted 12 December 2011 - 12:56 PM

Lasik surgery is a convenience issue relative to wearing glasses or contacts. In many cases, it doesn't correct the player's vision as well as glasses or contacts. So there's no performance advantage inherent with the process.

PEDs are, by definition, a different case. They allow the athlete to change their physiology in ways that an athlete who is not using cannot match. To give you a specific example, anabolic steroids have been proven to allow players to build muscle mass that is beyond the norm. And because the process works for both fast and slow-twitch muscles, the advantage (versus the athlete who is not using) is very significant.

I'm not trying to make a philosophical argument in support of a PED ban, but lasik surgery is just not analogous to using PEDs.


Just to quibble, but if a prescription is nearsighted and strong enough LASIK could give them an advantage even if it doesn't make their vision any sharper because it makes things bigger. However it is an advantage over a player wearing contacts or glasses, not a normal sighted person.

#85 xjack


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Posted 12 December 2011 - 02:40 PM

Everything I've read so far about Braun's test makes it sound like there's a chance -- maybe not a huge one but still a chance -- that there was testing error. According to the NY Daily News story, Braun's testosterone levels were TWO TIMES TIMES THE HIGHEST LEVELS EVER RECORDED in a PED test.

#86 Fred not Lynn


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Posted 12 December 2011 - 02:47 PM

Along the same line, then, wearing glasses or contacts would be a performance enhancing act when practiced by the near or far sighted.

Using a metal bat is performance enhancing. So is practicing. The question is; What principles govern which ergogenic acts are allowed, and which are not?

Health, safety and the integrity of the game are certainly priorities - and doping is banned because it is unhealthy and unsafe.

#87 ivanvamp


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Posted 12 December 2011 - 02:52 PM

I believe if you spent more time thinking about the eventual consequences, you would understand why surgery is not comparable to PEDs.

For instance, at what age or level of competion would you allow PEDs? Pony league?


I won't allow my kids anything like that at all. It's because, from all I've heard and read, there are potentially serious negative consequences to using them. Plus, they're against the rules.

That said, there are also potential negative consequences to getting a pain-killing shot during halftime. If you have such a shot, you might injure your ankle (for example) much more seriously because you don't allow the pain to do what it's designed to do: tell you something is wrong. But that's an artificial drug injected into the body to allow a player to play at a level that he otherwise could not play at without the injection.

True or not true?

#88 ivanvamp


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Posted 12 December 2011 - 02:53 PM

Along the same line, then, wearing glasses or contacts would be a performance enhancing act when practiced by the near or far sighted.

Using a metal bat is performance enhancing. So is practicing. The question is; What principles govern which ergogenic acts are allowed, and which are not?

Health, safety and the integrity of the game are certainly priorities - and doping is banned because it is unhealthy and unsafe.


Right. So PED use, from what you've just said, isn't a "moral" issue (as in, someone is a "cheater" for using PEDs); rather, it's a health and safety issue (as in, dude is an idiot for going that route because it could harm him big-time in the end).

#89 Fred not Lynn


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Posted 12 December 2011 - 03:07 PM

It becomes a moral issue, and cheating, once rules are in place.

If there is a rule, and you break it, you are cheating. I have no fundamental moral issue with athletes who practiced doping in the absence of rules prohibiting it...as long as they stopped when the rules were put in place.

Doping is prohibited in sport to protect the heath and safety of the athletes, because if it wasn't prohibited it would be something everyone would need to do in order to be competitive. The thing you need to understand is that when it comes to gaining a competitive edge, athletes collectively ARE idiots and will do all sorts of stupid and dangerous things. Athletes need the rules of sport to protect them from themselves.

Edited by Fred not Lynn, 12 December 2011 - 03:11 PM.


#90 BigJimEd

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Posted 12 December 2011 - 03:20 PM

Is it really a health related issue or more of a PR issue?

Many supporters of allowing PED use, such as Dr Norm Fost, argue that many PEDs are relatively safe for adults. Most risks are short-term reversible or simply the cosmetic variety such as hair loss. They would argue, professional athletes take and do things that carry far greater risk.


It is a moral issue when it is against the rules. However, breaking this rule seems to get a much larger negative reaction than breaking almost any other rule with many calling for much larger punishment than the rule states.

#91 maufman


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Posted 12 December 2011 - 03:31 PM

Pot is known to weaken sperm count/potency, so I can't imagine it offers any help in increasing testosterone production. But according to this, it is banned. Guess Lincecum knows how to mask it/get rid of it fast. That's where WADA controlling testing outright would flip the players out - no way unannounced off season testing would get by the PA


Actually, it's because WADA rules go against our culture's sense of what is fair. WADA is willing to ruin a few careers based on questionable science in the name of keeping sports "clean," but Americans cling to pesky things like due process, even when there's a lot more at stake than the sanctity of sport. Any testing regime in U.S. professional sports will need to balance effectiveness against other considerations.




#92 ivanvamp


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Posted 12 December 2011 - 03:31 PM

It becomes a moral issue, and cheating, once rules are in place.

If there is a rule, and you break it, you are cheating. I have no fundamental moral issue with athletes who practiced doping in the absence of rules prohibiting it...as long as they stopped when the rules were put in place.


Right. I agree that now that it's a rule, to violate it is cheating. But many people argue that PED usage is, *in principle*, a moral issue. But again, I don't see much of a difference between a pain-killing injection allowing a player to compete at a certain level and a different drug allowing him to compete at a certain level. In both cases a drug is used, a competitive advantage is gained, and negative consequences are quite possible. Yet one is legal and the other is not.

Doping is prohibited in sport to protect the heath and safety of the athletes, because if it wasn't prohibited it would be something everyone would need to do in order to be competitive. The thing you need to understand is that when it comes to gaining a competitive edge, athletes collectively ARE idiots and will do all sorts of stupid and dangerous things. Athletes need the rules of sport to protect them from themselves.


Not just athletes. There are people in every walk of life who will take dangerous or unwise risks in order to gain an advantage. Students cheat and plagiarize even though they know that if they get caught, they could be expelled from school/college. Businessmen cut corners and skirt the law in order to close the deal in order to get an advantage over their competitors. Industries have unsafe work environments in order to save money and gain and advantage over other factories. So yes, athletes often do dumb things to get an edge, but tons of people in a whole lot of other fields do too.

#93 Fred not Lynn


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Posted 12 December 2011 - 04:29 PM

Is it really a health related issue or more of a PR issue?

Many supporters of allowing PED use, such as Dr Norm Fost, argue that many PEDs are relatively safe for adults. Most risks are short-term reversible or simply the cosmetic variety such as hair loss. They would argue, professional athletes take and do things that carry far greater risk.


It is a moral issue when it is against the rules. However, breaking this rule seems to get a much larger negative reaction than breaking almost any other rule with many calling for much larger punishment than the rule states.

In safe, supervised situations, with the correct dosages and medical checks the use of most substances we're talking about is plenty safe. The problem is that among athletes, if 1 pill is effective, you know the competition is taking 2 pills - so you'd better take 4...and the next guy will take 8 to beat you.

Sure, you could set complicated rules to govern use of doping - but they're going to be a pretty hard set of rules to enforce. Easier to see the difference between NO dpoing and SOME doping, than to set a limit and see between SOME doping and TOO MUCH.

Besides, at that point, what's the benefit. So you allow safe doping to a certain level - every athlete will then dope to that level and you've got a bunch of equally competitive athletes, just like you started out with in the first place.

#94 HangingW/ScottCooper

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Posted 12 December 2011 - 05:17 PM

What was the separation between the positive test and the clean re-test?

#95 absintheofmalaise


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Posted 12 December 2011 - 08:21 PM

Jay Jaffe over at Baseball Prospectus has been updating his article on Braun as new info comes out. Here is the latest version. Lots of good information in it.

#96 Fred not Lynn


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Posted 12 December 2011 - 09:19 PM

The big problem at this time, isn't that Braun may or may not have been doping. The problem is that at this point in the process, the whole thing should be being handled in strict confidence. This incident, coupled with the leaking of names from the 2003 list really calls MLB and MLBPA's ability to protect the privacy of their players into question. If you're going to have a strict anti-doping policy, and expect if to be respected, you have to keep your organizational nose clean and live up to your end of the bargain too. We should NOT know any of this right now.

And commenting on the above article; Manny didn't not get the "benefit of the doubt" becuase of his likability or lack thereof, he didn't get the benefit of the doubt because he waived his right to any appeal or due process. Manny is in a way, the first athlete I have ever seen to test positive and just 'fess up, "Yeah, you got me, see you in 50 days." I might say that is refreshing, but it does show a disturbingly cavalier attitude towards the real dangers of doping.

And if the sample for the 2nd test was taken more then 30 seconds after Braun was notified of the positive on the first one, then it doesn't really tell us much. (OK, 30 seconds is hyperbole, but the point is that if the second sample was taken after he was notified, there's a lot of chemical monkey business that could have taken place between when he was notified and when the second sample was taken.)

Edited by Fred not Lynn, 12 December 2011 - 09:25 PM.


#97 teddywingman


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Posted 12 December 2011 - 09:41 PM

Right. I agree that now that it's a rule, to violate it is cheating. But many people argue that PED usage is, *in principle*, a moral issue. But again, I don't see much of a difference between a pain-killing injection allowing a player to compete at a certain level and a different drug allowing him to compete at a certain level. In both cases a drug is used, a competitive advantage is gained, and negative consequences are quite possible. Yet one is legal and the other is not.





There is a difference. I find it hard to believe you can't see it.

#98 ivanvamp


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Posted 12 December 2011 - 09:56 PM

There is a difference. I find it hard to believe you can't see it.


I would like to see the argument articulated as to the difference. I have already stated the similarities - injecting a foreign substance into the body, allowing the athlete to compete at a higher level than he would "naturally", producing a competitive advantage, and in both cases there is the potential for serious negative consequences.

Those are some similarities. Humor me please and present the argument for why these are apples and oranges. Thanks in advance.

#99 JMDurron

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Posted 12 December 2011 - 09:59 PM

Jay Jaffe over at Baseball Prospectus has been updating his article on Braun as new info comes out. Here is the latest version. Lots of good information in it.


What the hell is Jimmy Rollins thinking? Why would a player want to draw attention to more of the "sausage making" in the drug testing and appeals problem? Implying that there are more cases to dig into doesn't seem like a good idea for any of the current stars of the game.

#100 Fred not Lynn


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Posted 13 December 2011 - 12:17 AM

That said, there are also potential negative consequences to getting a pain-killing shot during halftime. If you have such a shot, you might injure your ankle (for example) much more seriously because you don't allow the pain to do what it's designed to do: tell you something is wrong. But that's an artificial drug injected into the body to allow a player to play at a level that he otherwise could not play at without the injection.

True or not true?

You have a valid point that the half-time pain-killer could well be a dangerous practice, and that there could well be legitimate arguments for banning it. However, at this time, MLB, NFL and I would guess most other leagues and governing bodies have decided, after I would imagine some consideration, not to do so. Sometimes the lines between what is legal and what is not may seem rather arbitrary - so you better make sure you know the rules, and know what's going into your body at all times.

What the hell is Jimmy Rollins thinking? Why would a player want to draw attention to more of the "sausage making" in the drug testing and appeals problem? Implying that there are more cases to dig into doesn't seem like a good idea for any of the current stars of the game.

You're working on the assumption that players are anti-testing. They shouldn't be. Unions, in the past, have appeared to be anti-testing because they were using it as a bargaining chip, but athletes really are the primary beneficiaries of a well run anti-doping program, in that it saves them from having to engage in dangerous and unhealthy practices in order to be competitive. Maybe Rollins wants the world to know that the system is letting doped players continue to get away with it. Rollins' interest is in seeing the system work as efficiently as possible to catch cheaters and protect clean players, such as himself (assuming he is, in fact, clean). Rollins wants a level playing field, and he's implying here that the system that's supposed to provide him with one, isn't working.

Edited by Fred not Lynn, 13 December 2011 - 12:29 AM.





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