Showing posts with label Steroids. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Steroids. Show all posts

Thursday, February 4, 2010

More Awesome Chicago Politics

By: T.R. Slyder,, AndyDisco on Twitter

On Tuesday, Scott Lee Cohen won the democratic primary for IL Lieutenant Governor. On thursday he was defending allegations that he beat his ex wife and admitting to using injectable steroids.

Politics in Chicago is surreal. But not in the "I've-never-done-injectable-steroids" kinda way.

for further reading, this is a liveblog of a tv apperance

and the Tribune's report of it

and the Sun-Times

update: this too from the Chicago Reader

That's how I roll.

Monday, August 24, 2009

I Like to Think I Put the "Playa" In "Playa-giarism"

By: T.R. Slyder,, AndyDisco on Twitter

T.R. Slyders scholars know that I'm a lover. I love primates, the Cubs, horse racing, and plagiarism. So why not combine all four? Since my pictures take care of the two former, I'll just plagiarize an article about horse to cover the latter two.

Of course I was trying to be funny but the article I'm plagiarizing is actually a very serious one. Daily Racing Form Publisher Steve Crist was asked months ago to make a speech the Jockeys Club about the state of drug usage in horse racing. On Steve's blog, which I have previously linked to, he did racing fans like me a great service and gave us a voice by asking us what we thought his speech should be about. Of course a man in Steve's position did not have to do that, but he modestly and wisely knows who butters the bread of horse racing and was kind enough to invite the everyday folk to opine. The link to Steve Crist's speech to the Jockey Club can be found here, as well as below in plagiarized format.

Jockey Club Roundtable
August 23, 2009

Thank you for inviting me to speak today, and for recognizing the often unheard voices of racing’s customers. My assignment for today was to report to you on how Thoroughbred racing’s medication issues are perceived by our fans. When I received this assignment back in June, I decided to make this an exercise in participatory journalism. It seemed that the best way to find out how our customers perceive medication issues might simply be to ask them. So I posed the same question put to me by the Jockey Club to the readers of my blog on I did not ask them any specific questions or attempt to frame the debate. I simply told them I needed their help to write this speech and asked them how they perceived medication issues in Thoroughbred racing.

The response was astounding -- in its volume, in its tone and in its content. I’ll share a few thoughts on each. The sheer size of the response was unexpected and overwhelming. On a busy week, we might receive a dozen letters to the editor at the racing form. A typical blog entry might attract 25 responses. But on this topic, I knew we were seeing something profoundly different when I received 200 responses in the first three days. Our blogging software only accepts 100 comments per topic, so I actually had to repost my initial inquiry six times to accommodate what turned into 550 responses in less than a month.

As for tone, I can’t emphasize strongly enough that these were not the complaints of horseplayers who had just lost a photo. They were, for the most part, lengthy and thoughtful responses. There was more sadness than anger, more frustration than complaint. Dozens if not hundreds of responses began along the lines of, “I love racing, but...." And where they went from there surprised even me.

Comment after comment repeated the same themes:

*Drugs in racing are out of control; the inmates are running the asylum;

*There must be swifter, harsher justice, and more punitive penalties -- zero tolerance, three strikes and you’re out of the game.

*Punish the owners.

*Suspend the horses.

These are our fans’ perception of what racing needs to do about the abuse of medication in racing. And please keep in mind that while these may sound like the demands of an angry vigilante lynch mob, these are in fact the sentiments of some of your most loyal and most thoughtful customers.

I felt their pain at what they think has happened to their game, but I also felt that it was time for a reality check. And after the first 400 comments, one presented itself. On July 16, the Texas Racing Commission ordered a six-month suspension of the nation’s leading trainer because of a positive finding for a topical anesthetic in the winner of a maiden race a year earlier. Without belaboring the details of the case, this penalty was ordered despite the absence of any plausible veterinary scenario in which this drug had been administered, and of a finding so infinitesimally small that no one credibly could argue it had had any pharmacological effect on the horse’s performance.

I asked the respondents who had already posted comments, without agreeing or disagreeing with them, if what they really wanted was what they had been suggesting. Assuming the suspension – which is under appeal – were sustained: Did they really want the trainer to be thrown out of the game? Did they really want all of his horses removed from their stalls and turned over to outside trainers rather his assistants? Should all of the owners he trains for also to be sanctioned? Should the hundreds of horses who have run under his name this year barred from competition? Should Rachel Alexandra not be permitted to race again this year? As it turned out, no one really wanted to answer those ques tions. Only a few even tried. And after another week, the discussion simply petered out. Since then, I have been trying to digest and interpret the strange turn that this exercise took as it neared its end. And here is what I think.

Our fans are convinced, with good reason, that there is something rotten in the state of racing, but more than anything else they are completely confused about what is really going on – and so are almost all of us who work in the industry or represent it.

We make virtually no distinction between therapeutic medications that have a proper and even humane role in the treatment of these animals, and the abusive use of serious drugs. We make no distinction between marginal overages of medicine and the deliberate use of nefarious chemicals. And thus we have a seemingly constant barrage of news about failed drug tests and repeat offenders -- yet absolutely no one seems able to distinguish between minor administrative matters and serious crimes, between overzealous regulation and evidence of truly criminal activity.

Of course we have a problem with drugs in racing. We probably always have, and perhaps we always will. But we’re not going about rooting it out the right way. And in failing to do so, we’re both worsening the perception, and failing to address the reality, of the problem. It has been tempting in the past for racing to throw up its hands over this issue and act like a helpless victim. We’re good at saying that we don’t have the money, or the authority of a league office, to effect real change. Sometimes we get so disheartened that we start going down the cowardly and dangerous road of throwing up our hands and saying, “Let’s invite the Federal Government to take this whole thing over,” which strikes me as a prescription for disaster.

I personally don’t believe we need to go down that road. I think we can do a lot better on our own. And occasionally we do. The industrywide ban on anabolic steroids may have happened for all the wrong reasons – a coincidence of language involving a serious problem in baseball that may not have been that serious a problem in horse racing. But it was something that had to be done because there was simply no way, in a frenzied atmosphere about steroids and sports, that we could defend injecting horses with steroids if we ever wanted to create another new fan. But whatever the reasons, it worked. The industry decided it had to happen, and it did.It was done quickly and accepted quickly. Not one of my respondents even mentioned steroids as a problem. The steroid ban may have been cosmetic, but it can and should be a model for our getting equally serious about other abuses and other drugs.

I will leave you with a final thought: Despite doping scandals in baseball and cycling that may well be even more pervasive than our own, baseball stadiums are doing brisk business and Europeans still line the streets for the Tour de France. After spending years in denial, officials of both of those sports eventually came clean and said something simple and straightforward that racing’s leaders need to say:

We have a problem with medication, and we’re going to do something about it.

While it may be a tough road from there to reality, it’s past time for racing to make that simple statement – and I guarantee you that it would be a giant first step in changing the perceptions of our fans and bettors, without whom we will have no sport at all. Thank you for your time and your attention.

While Steve didn't drop the hammer, point fingers and spew venom, this speech was very important for horse racing. Much like how baseball was around 2003, no one in power really talked about it openly as a serious problem. So it was great that the Jockey Club wanted the issue to be addressed, and that they wanted it to be address by someone as powerful, intelligent and thoughtful as Steve Crist. It's a good start and has the right people behind it. A plagiarizing vigilante who rides alone in the night mysteriously but who the humble and helpless townsfolk have grown to know, trust and love, and hail as a modern day El Cid meets Zorro, but a man who is too mysterious and humble to accept their overwhelming adulation, a man these townsfolk know simply as "TR Slyder".

I'm T.R. Slyder, and that's how you Tangueray.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Lookalikes v26.0- Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos and the Steroids Dog

By: T.R. Slyder,, AndyDisco on Twitter

Female MMA Fighter Cristiane Cyborg Santos and a picture of a dog on steroids I saw in the news a few years go.

I'm T.R. Slyder, and that's how you Tangueray.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Two Ideas Regarding "The List" of 104 Players who Failed the Anonymous 2003 Baseball Drug Test

By: T.R. Slyder,, AndyDisco on Twitter

1. I think bloggers should speculate about all of the 104 players. They should get some friends together, get a case of beer, just like they would for a fantasy draft, check out the 2003 rosters for every MLB team, and then start filling in the 104 slots.

Sure its conjecture and that isn't fair to anyone. You know what else wasn't fair? Players doing drugs and Selig effectively lying to the public and allowing this to happen, all while profiting from the juiced "ball" era. Baseball conned us out of our dollars, so us spectators have earned the right to speculate.

Worst case scenario? Any innocent player is accused and demands that the list be released in order to clear his name.

Sure it's no better than gossip/conjecture/yellow journalism but is the journalistic integrity any worse than the integrity of the game a decade ago? Let the punishment fit the crime. I think it would be cool if a bunch of reputable blogs were then aggregated and spit out how frequently players appeared on lists, like you see with %s of fantasy leagues taking certain players. Maybe Sosa, McGwire, and Brett Boone were on 100% of the lists, but Benito Santiago on only 95%. I'd be interested in those stats.

2. I hope no one thinks that anything ground moving will come from the list. Even the list comprises the 104 most shocking names, they will all issue tepid non-denials along the lines of, "I just didn't read my GNC labels as closely as I should have. Plus I took that supplement for only a week, anyway." I'll save the players and their attorneys some time and offer my own, pre-fab edition they are welcome to use.

"I'm sorry my name was on the list and the news had to come out this way. While I will not deny that my name was rightfully on the list of those who failed 'a drug test', I am here to vehement deny that I EVER purchsed, obtained, or used any steroid. In 2003 I was having difficulty over a nagging (insert muscle or joint name here) that I never reported to the media because I thought it would go away. When it didn't, I visited my local GNC to see if maybe something there could help me. Since there wasn't much of drug testing policy then, I didn't read the label of the supplements as thoroughly as I should have. My failure to do so has let down my family, myself, my teammates, my front office and the fans. For that I apologize. While it may not have been a steroid, I still cheated the integrity of the game I love so much, and owe so much. I used that supplement for 3 weeks and after realizing it did not help with my injury, I discontinued using it. The test was administered in that small, 3 week window, thus resulting in a failed test and my name being added to the list.

*cover mike and lean toward their attorney to hear what he is whispering*

Thank you for your understanding guys. I will not be fielding any questions regarding this matter. Thanks guys!"

I'm T.R. Slyder, and that's how you Tangueray.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Mongy Ramirez and the Hall of Fame Question

By: T.R. Slyder,

You know how some people preface their argument with, "I'm sorry but.."? I'm not one of those people.

I just read an ESPN poll that asked the question:

With the news of his suspension, does Manny Ramirez get your vote for the Hall of Fame?
A) Always had my vote
B) Doesn't have my vote anymore
C) Never had my vote

While I think that is a very good question, and the answer choices provided are good choices, I was disappointed in America's answers. 50% answered A, 31% went with B, and 20% chose C.I'm sorry but, 71% of those answers are not acceptable. C is indefensible and A is not much better.

If Mongy has cloudy piss, and you still put him in the Hall, then what is the point of testing? If you believe in science, then you necessarily believe that Mongy cheated. For those that voted for option A, I think their rationale is something like this, "He may have flunked one test, but that doesn't prove he cheated for years on end. He passed numerous tests and for all we know, he could have taken a banned drug one time. That shouldn't erase a career's worth of work". Believing that statement is a perversion of logic. No one can deny that steroid tests have historically been rife with false-negatives (e.g. a guilty player taking a designer steroid that the tests cannot detect, resulting in a passed test), but who believes there are any false positives? If you believe in false positives, then the testing process has no legitimacy whatsoever.

What perplexes me is why do so many people feel that players are entitled to be in the Hall of Fame? If you believe cheaters belong in the HOF, what's the point of having a Hall of Fame? In response to the Mongy apologists who claim, "One failed test should not ruin a career's work" I say this, "You are wrong. It absolutely should." Much like I'm unable to prove that one flunked test doesn't necessarily mean there was a lifetime of cheating, apologists cannot prove that he did NOT cheat for a career. Positive tests create doubt, and the Hall of Fame should be doubt free. I could not care less if no player is inducted into the HOF for the next 15 years, the point of the HOF is to honor the best of the best, with the honesty of their achievements being assumed in the definition of "best of the best".

Already, I can anticipate the criticism to my argument- I claim we must have faith in testing, yet I am willing to discredit all of Manny's previously passed tests. According to my line of rationale, Manny's positive test should prove that he started taking steroids sometime after his last negative test, right? Wrong.

Mongy tested positive for a female fertility hormone, a banned substance (hCG) that is used after a steroids cycle to kickstart one's system into making its own testosterone again. No rational athlete would take such a system-jarring drug like that, especially if it were banned, if they were not taking steroids. An ESPN article states:

Ramirez's case was set off when a test in spring training revealed he had elevated levels of testosterone in his body. MLB followed up with a more comprehensive test that confirmed the testosterone had to come from an artificial source, the sources said........The hCG use, a doping expert told ESPN, would have been separate from the use of the artificial testosterone reflected by MLB's testing.

So in the Spring he had too much testosterone, and a recent test confirmed he still had artificial testosterone in his system that was different than the kind of testosterone found in the Spring. That defeats the theory that Mongy was a one-time user. Does that prove he had used performance enhancing drugs in any previous season? No, but it proves he is a cheater; by definition, cheaters cannot be trusted. So if you want to take your kids to the Hall of Fame, pay $16.50 to get in, shouldn't you not have to hope that the inductees' statistics are legitimate?

Would you pay to go to an art museum if you knew that all of the works were forgeries? What if only some were forgeries, but you weren't sure which? I'm in favor of removing all doubt. Mongy Ramirez has raised such doubt.

Manny Ramirez Got That Cloudy Tinkle

By: T.R. Slyder,

Manny Ramirez failed a drug-test and is now suspended 50 games. I told my Red Sox-loving friend that Manny was a juicer. He entered the league as a solidly built guy, and he eventually became a hulking pile of muscle. Thanks for cheating to sweep the Cubs out of the 2008 postseason, anus.

Remember how he and his agent Scott Boras held out for so long in their contract talks, demanding more money? Who knew it was possible for Boras to be more hated? Thanks for making sure you won't be (sweeping the Cubs) in the postseason, Manny! I tried to find a clip of Manny leaning over the plate, flicking out his bat and hitting a 430 foot home run to center field, but couldn't find it. This was the runner-up clip.

What was the last good thing to come out of Los Angeles? Anything?

Here is a pic of the aforementioned home run. Does this look like a prototypical home run swing? Bent over the plate and about to fall over? There's a reason you don't see many home run swings like this- much less, home runs to center field- most players aren't 'roid monkeys.

In fact, I've just called him Manny Ramirez for the last time- from here on out it's Mongy Ramirez exclusively.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Steroids-Related Injury for Shawne Merriman

By: TRSlyder,

One of the reason that bloggers and mainstream sports media hate each other is that bloggers claim that the mainstream media is in bed with athletes. Bloggers claim that the journalistic integrity of the mainstream is compromised because if they write critically of an athlete, that athlete will deny future interview requests. When Sports Illustrated wrote an article which criticised Michael Jordan's decision to play baseball, Jordan never granted them an interview again. That was a problem for them. With such a dynamic in place, the mainstream is then forced to bury criticism even when it is due.

Case in point- Charges All-Pro Linebacker Shawne Merriam's career is now in jeopardy due to two torn ligaments in his left knee. The mainstream media is writing all of their articles in passive voice as if this injury simply spontaneously occurred. Left out of their articles is the cause of this. Apparently, Merriman's injury didn't happen during a play on the field, or an accident at home, nor was it a genetic condition. It was steroids.

Calling this injury a "steroid-related injury" would not be inuendo, conjecture or mean-spirited, either- Merriman flunked a steroid test in 2006 and was suspended for four games as a result. It's well known that steroids put tremendous strain on ligaments since the muscles grow abnormally large due to the steroids, while the ligaments remain the same size as they are unaffected by steroids. The muscles then grow too large for the tendons to be able to contain and the tendons tear. It's like trying to carry bricks in a paper grocery bag- they're not designed for that kind of heft. In fact the most common injuries associated with steroid usage are ligament damage to the knees.

This is an open and shut case of steroids ruining an athlete's career, and the mainstream media hasn't mentioned it. Way to set a good example for the kids, Mainstream. This is a GREAT opportunity for the media to say, "Hey kids, look what happens when you do steroids. They're a deal with the devil. The commercial that tells you 'steroids don't create great athletes, they destroy them' is exactly right." But instead the hidden message to kids is, "Hey kids, cronyism and compromised integrity is a way of life. If someone cheats to get ahead, go after them only if they are incapable of furthering your career."

got what he deserved, but it's too bad the mainstream media hasn't gotten their just comeuppance.

8/25 Update: just ran this article. The only sentence which describes his ailment is phrased, surprisingly, in the passive voice. "Merriman told reporters in San Diego on Saturday that he has a tear in his lateral collateral ligament as well as a grade-three tear of his posterior collateral ligament. " Funny how Merriman didn't say "I tore it during..." or "I tore it while I was..." he said that he has a tear. A tear arrived upon his knee. His knee was visited by a tear. We all have friends that have torn ligaments in their knee. But didn't all of our friends endure some kind of accident that tore their knee? I thought so...

other football related article(s) on this site: Two Teams I Hope Chad Johnson gets Traded to