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8/1/2005  

Blog about Palmeiro

Rafael Palmeiro is a cheat and liar. It’s plain and simple folks, Palmeiro the newest member of the exclusive 3000 hit club and more exclusive member of the 500 home run/3000 hit club, now a tainted member of both clubs, has tested positive for steroids. Is this proof enough for the head-in-the-sand crowd? Is the apology to Jose Canseco in the mail? Jose said it, Rafael denied it, the failed drug test proved it. There’s no doubt that Palmeiro is now ruing the day that he decided to point the finger at the Congressional Committee and declare in no uncertain terms that he never took steroids. Ask Martha Stewart what happens after you lie to Congress. Palmeiro’s stock drug-cheater’s “I-didn’t-know-what-I-took” and “why would I take the chance, it makes no sense” excuse is beneath comment. Every cheating athlete, ever, has used the same story. And those in the media who are shocked that Palmeiro would risk taking steroids because he is under the spotlight of scrutiny, just don’t understand the issue. Olympic athletes and athletes in other sports such as cycling and weight-lifting have had to contend with the specter of drug testing for decades, and yet these athletes still risk getting caught using drugs because they want to be the best at what they do. Athletes are willing to cheat to reach the top. How can this be a surprise to anybody? Cheating to reach the top happens in every profession, every day. Cheating to become rich – or even just to make more money – is commonplace. I am amazed that people who spend so much time around athletes would be surprised that a professional baseball player would cheat by using steroids to A) reach the top B) stay at the top C) become an all-time great and D) to enrich themselves. This whole story is a great illustration of all of the problems with Major League Baseball and their drug testing. First of all, Palmeiro’s failed test was handled differently that the other tests this year, in that he was allowed to secretly appeal the failed drug test before the positive test was announced. And the confidential/secret nature of this program just adds to the confusion. Not knowing if the player tested positive for an injectable steroid - or not - does a disservice to the players and their fans. A guy who tests positive for some over-the-counter supplement shouldn’t be lumped in with the hard-core injectable users. Also, the timing of this announcement stinks as the league waited until after Palmeiro got his 3000th hit and after Sunday’s Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. Finally, for all of the naysayers out there that have denied that there has been a steroid problem in baseball for years, give it up. At every turn there is MORE evidence that steroid use in baseball is a huge problem, and there hasn’t been one indication to the contrary. Sal Marinello


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