(graphic via ESPN)
For all you baseball fans. You probably know that Manny Ramirez was suspended for fifty games because he got caught taking a "banned substance." Sports reporting is very similar to political reporting. They have their own Village, their own Beltway mentality and their own wankers. And people like Peter Gammons (who at times is a very good reporter and is beloved by his Village elders) fill the David Broder role for them quite well. The medication Manny is believed to have taken is called HCG:
One report on the wire suggests that Ramirez took a drug called HCG, used to stimulate female fertility as well as testosterone production in men, and to treat delayed puberty in boys.
As the NY Times writes:
H.C.G., which has been banned since 2008, is similar to the drug Clomid, which has a history of being used in conjunction with steroids. According to medical experts, doctors prescribe H.C.G. to men who are having fertility problems or who have low levels of testosterone, both of which can be side effects of steroid use.
Jose Canseco was busted for illegally bringing HCG into the country:
HCG most recently made news when former major leaguer and admitted steroid user Jose Canseco was caught attempting to smuggle it into the U.S. from Mexico.
The Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement stated that Canseco admitted to bringing it across the border because “he is currently on a hormone therapy plan because his testosterone levels are extremely low due to his past steroid use.” HCG and LH were added to the banned drug list by MLB a year ago. They have been banned for male athletes by the World Anti-Doping Agency since 1987.
So while Manny says he needed it for medical reasons, there isn't much doubt why he needed it, is there?
Back to Gammons. He's a big-time ESPN hall of fame pundit and Boston apologist. This is what he had to say about Manny and the drug use from ESPN2 that I transcribed:
Gammons: He had a medical issue, went to a doctor in Miami, he got a prescription, the doctor told him it was perfectly alright, it would not violate drug policy, it turns out it does, and the drug did violate baseball's drug policy which is very strict and, ummm this is not, to my understanding it's not steroids, it's not a performance enhancing drug, but guys have been suspended before for drugs that were not on the list. I mean we had J.C. Romero got suspended for sixty days for something he bought at a normal store so, ummm, it's unfortunately doctor's and players don't always know what is banned and what isn't banned. I am told that he is absolutely devastated by it and I can tell you something else.
I, there was a rumor floating around about an hour and a half ago, I contacted one of the people in the Red Sox front office and he said he did not believe it for a second. So, it's not like there was a history there from a team that he doesn't have exactly good relations with. That team didn't believe for a second that he cheated.
Gammons sucks up the propaganda from the Red Sox organization like a man stranded in a desert without any water. Can you think of one reason why the Red Sox would deny that he was a juicer? Oh, wait, maybe it would tarnish their two World Series wins. You know, how that ended the curse of Babe Ruth. And the "medication" that Manny took was called HCG which steroid users use when they come off a steroid cycle to help them produce testosterone again.
Hey Peter. It wasn't a steroid, but it's for steroid users...What a wanker that Gammons is. Now back to politics.