Epic Carnival | Where Sports and Pop Culture Collide: THE 'ROID REPORT FOR THE WEEK OF JAN. 20


by Gary Gaffney, MD, Steroid Nation

And in the streets: the children screamed,
The lovers cried, and the poets dreamed.
But not a word was spoken;
The church bells all were broken.
And the three men I admire most:
The father, son, and the holy ghost,
They caught the last train for the coast
The day the music died. (Don McLean)

January brings the Super Bowl lull, and the political primary push. Mid-January also brought several interesting but generally ignored stories in the doping world. Several athletes are mad, and not going to take it anymore.

Albert Pujols in St Louis denied a media outlet admission to his press conference; in December the station erroneously claimed Pujols as a Mitchell Report name. That cut apparently ran deep.

David Dellucci vented on how 'roiders relegated him to the bench in Arizona. The thinly veiled reference to Luis Gonzalez (and his blow-out 57 home run year) whiffed nationally.

At least Gonzo didn't try to blackmail Dellucci, as some say Jose Canseco tried to blackmail Magglio Ordonez. Canseco's associate reportedly hinted that Mag's name would escape "Vindicated", Canseco's sequel to 'Juiced'. Probably not the last story we will hear about Canseco, who loves headlines; certainly also not the least reason to cast skepticism on Canseco's reportage of baseball's steroid era characters. Even Jay Mariotti wondered why the White Sox signed a juiced Canseco back in 2001, exposing him to players like Ordonez.

Speaking of the MLB steroid's era, statisticians appear to be baffled about PEDs effects on numbers. Perhaps more will be revealed, after the government won a battle to utilize the 'List of 104"...104 names that tested positive in the 2003 MLB dry-run PED testing. The List of 104 could well show up at Barry Bonds's upcoming federal trial, if Bonds tested positive for steroids.

Speaking of steroids, Mark Zeigler with the San Diego Union-Tribune looks at the deleterious effects of 'roiding, and the ugly aftermath of juicing.

"The fact of the matter is, it's a huge problem," says Dr. Richard Auchus, an associate professor at Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas who has testified in U.S. Anti-Doping Agency hearings about steroid use. "It's a ticking time bomb."

The New York Post ran a story concerned about the huge growth of HGH -- human growth hormone -- in the NFL. Undetectable, it is likely HGH (or 'growth') will play a significant role in the upcoming Superbowl. HGH allegedly puts the "Super" in the NFL game these days.

If a reader wants to wax cynical, look at the Sports Illustrated story about a father and a coach juicing a teenage inline skate racer with anabolic steroids and HGH. On the other hand, an optimistic reader can point to the cycling team Slipstream, out in Colorado, which wants to compete the right way -- clean.

As Oakland fans screamed, (will Oakland sign Barry Bonds?) and Chuck Knoblauch dreamed (of not testifying in front of Congress), perhaps ethics did take a train to the coast (as Roger Clemens weaves an even more tangled implausable web), the day the music died...

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