News with Editorial Commentary...
Recently, the names Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz have been released as two more Major League Baseball players who have allegedly (I say this for both legal reasons and the fact that the actual results have not been offucially released to the public yet) flunked a 2003 drug test conducted by MLB officials in conjunction with federal authorities, as is supposed to be listed in what is commonly referred to as The Mitchell Report.
Since then, for the most part Ramirez has exercised his right to remain silent (especially in light of having recently completed a 50 game suspension for testing positive for an anti-steroid side effects chemical), while Ortiz exercised his legal rights and questioned what he was supposed to have tested positive for.
Ortiz held a press conference on August 8th in conjunction with MLB Players' Union counsel Michael Weiner and together they revealed the following facts:
*Although 104 players were allegedly tested, the pre-test agreement was only for a maximum of 96.
*Based upon the quality of testing procedures in 2003, some legal substances could have created a false positive reading during the test.
*Every player who tested positive was given a second test seven days later to verify the results of the first test, to either verify or disprove the previous test results.
The press conference also raised the following questions:
*Who has been leaking confidential information from a sealed Congressional record? For The Mitchell Report has yet to be officially released.
*How many players were actually tested in 2003, and even if it was the full contingent of 96, who is saying 104, and why add 8 extra players?
*Are the leaked results from the first test or the second? And do the results of the two tests concur with each other?
*Just who is actually guilty of taking steroids and who was only taking something that created a false positive reading?
Some of the previously leaked names have admitted their guilt, and allegedly (this said for legal reasons and the fact there are no officially public accessible results from more recent tests) are clean now.
But I have a few questions of my own.
Who is right?
Who is wrong?
And who can you trust in the current situation for accurate information?
Only time will tell.
But I do stand by my previous statement on the subject, although obviously a bit amended in light of recent events:
If a player is found guilty of taking illegal performance enhancing drugs and said test results are verified as accurate, then that player should be stripped of ALL honors, awards, contract bonuses, etc.; earned during the verified time of use.
This should be applicable to any player in any sport!
There are (young) people in the world who look up to athletes as role models, and the action of taking illegal substances does not set a good example for the players of the future.
For further information about the Ortiz/Weiner press conference, you can go here:
or to your favorite (sports) news information source(s).