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Tuesday, May 04, 2021

Miami Marlins lose RHP Paul Campbell for 80 games, after positive test for anabolic steroid

Miami Marlins rookie right-hander Paul Campbell was suspended 80 games on Monday after testing positive for an anabolic steroid in violation of Major League Baseball’s drug program.

The suspension involving the performance-enhancing drug dehydrochlormethyltestosterone was effective immediately, MLB said.

The 25-year-old Campbell, a Rule 5 acquisition in December from Tampa Bay, said he never knowingly ingested the PED, or had even heard of it.

“Due to the fact that I do not know the origin of how this substance has entered into my system, I currently have no viable defense,” Campbell said in a statement. “I have unfortunately become one of the many athletes, across multiple sports, who are presenting themselves to the world and asking for members of the anti-doping world to help us find answers as to why this metabolite is continuing to show up in athletes’ bodies, and ultimately costing them significant detours in their careers.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 04, 2021 at 02:12 PM | 17 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: peds

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   1. John Northey Posted: May 04, 2021 at 05:45 PM (#6016948)
Drug testing is a joke imo - every time the story is the same 'I never knowingly took it' with no way to prove one way or the other. The most effective ones are probably undetectable but very expensive so only the best players get them. How many years did that guy in cycling get away with it before he was caught due to his teammates ratting him out iirc? Probably better to just make them legal or viewed as a substance abuse issue instead of something evil that is done to cheat.
   2. Bhaakon Posted: May 04, 2021 at 06:16 PM (#6016951)
Viewing it as just a substance abuse issue is a hard sell when the intent is to earn more money and/or a roster spot in a closed, extremely competitive system where earning those things comes very much directly at the expense of co-workers.

If I worked at a shift-based job and the boss sent an email to the worker pool saying he only had 14 shifts to hand out this week and one guy with seniority took a bunch of meth and worked all of them, yeah, that's a substance abuse issue, but it's also a him taking money out of my pocket issue and an employer letting him do it issue.

Yes, that's begging the question of just how effective PEDs are. To bad.
   3. sunday silence (again) Posted: May 04, 2021 at 06:30 PM (#6016954)
which of those factors make testing a joke?
   4. Zach Posted: May 04, 2021 at 07:25 PM (#6016964)
dehydrochlormethyltestosterone = Oral Turinabol. One of the oldies.

Useful article explaining what this is.

Pretty hard to see how you could accidentally get exposed to this.

   5. Zach Posted: May 04, 2021 at 07:42 PM (#6016966)
Oral Turinabol would not be particularly sophisticated cheating.

It's one of the oldest steroids out there, it's got a ton of side effects, it's not available legitimately, and it's easy to detect. That would suggest he wasn't working with a doctor (not legitimately available, tons of side effects) and doesn't have a source for designer stuff (old drug, easy to detect).
   6. Zach Posted: May 04, 2021 at 08:12 PM (#6016973)
One thing I've noticed from reading about the subject all these many years: a surprising number of sophisticated cheaters get caught eventually.

The best book on the ins and outs of cheating is probably Tyler Hamilton's The Secret Race, about his cycling career for US Postal and other teams. It's a pretty straightforward account of what they did, how they did it, and why they didn't get caught. The athletes were miles ahead of the testers at that point, and they had very organized systems including medical professionals, couriers, microdosing, etc.

And yet... they all got caught, sooner or later. A single test can be beaten using discipline, a technological edge, etc. But test someone long enough and they'll slip up.
   7. McCoy Posted: May 04, 2021 at 08:31 PM (#6016980)
Except the testing wasn't what "caught" them.

It's people coming forward that did it.
   8. Walt Davis Posted: May 04, 2021 at 09:15 PM (#6016986)
Lots of over-the-counter supplements are tainted. Here's a recent article covering Aus and NZ although the press report here goes off on a tangent about high-end PEDs -- hard to see why small amounts of expensive PEDs might get added to over-the-counter stuff, maybe not so hard to see why they might find their way into boutique supplements. (The article says 1 in 20 supplements they bought were contaminated and they didn't even test for banned stimulants.)

Here's an Oz govt "sports integrity" site that says: Our advice is that no supplement is safe to use. ... We do recognise that there may be circumstances where sports dieticians recommend supplements, or where you will take the risk and use supplements. In these circumstances, our advice is to only use supplements that have been screened for prohibited substances by an independent company (also known as ‘batch testing’), such as HASTA or Informed Sport. Supplements screened by these companies cannot offer a full guarantee that an athlete will not test positive, but they are significantly less risky than other supplements.

So don't take supplements ever. Even if they've been tested, that's no guarantee so you still shouldn't take them. Not even if recommended by a dietician. Note the first cite mentions they have cases where one batch of a supplement is clean but another batch of that same supplement from that same company isn't.

Obviously "don't take any supplements" is easy advice to understand. On the other hand, a 25-yo AAAA reliever taking the over-the-counter (maybe an expensive counter) supplement recommended to him by a trainer, coach, dietician (who may or may not know it's tainted). It's even possible that supplement tested clean at some point.

Another issue in this are advances in drug testing ... maybe having gone "too far." For some substances, they can detect minuscule amounts potentially months after ingestion. This is partly what got Maria Sharapova and others a few years back and most of those suspensions were dropped or reduced because the science didn't actually know how long the metabolites stick around for. (That was an instance where a formally allowed substance was no longer allowed but the tests may have been picking up usage from before the ban went into effect.) If .1% of your supplement happens to be something naughty because whoever made the supplement is also making naughty stuff and not cleaning properly between batches -- that might have no possibility of enhancing your performance but might trigger a positive result.

All that said, I think MLB has a list of tested, approved supplements and/or offers to test stuff for players. Any player who doesn't stick to that regime, it's their own damn fault. If it's a case where the player sent in spring's batch to be tested and it was declared clean then they got busted because April's batch (which they didn't think they needed to get tested) was tainted, I'd let them off with a warning of "test every damn bottle." If there are issues with how efficient that system is then address those issues.
   9. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 04, 2021 at 10:19 PM (#6016997)
Maybe it is because I follow MLB very closely and I'm a casual fan of the NFL, but doesn't it seem like more MLB players still get dinged for PEDs? Are we to believe the NFL, which requires strength and speed more than MLB, is that clean? Do we know how many players are testing positive in each sport?
   10. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: May 04, 2021 at 10:53 PM (#6017000)
I wouldn’t take anything that wasn’t specifically signed off on by a team doctor, and I’d save a pill from every bottle so that it could be tested for contamination afterwards, in case I tested positive for something. That isn’t foolproof I’m sure, but it’s probably as close as you can get.
   11. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: May 05, 2021 at 01:01 AM (#6017015)

Maybe it is because I follow MLB very closely and I'm a casual fan of the NFL, but doesn't it seem like more MLB players still get dinged for PEDs?

The NFL had 22 suspensions/fines for PEDs in 2019, 13 in 2020, 3 so far this year.
   12. Walt Davis Posted: May 05, 2021 at 02:20 AM (#6017017)
With majors and minors, "baseball" has a lot more players "at risk" of a positive. It seems to me that most of the suspensions in baseball have been minor leaguers and some MLers like Campbell. Cano is a dumbass but otherwise it seems the stars are deciding it's not worth the risk (or are getting good stuff). I suppose we can add it to the list of reasons why a young guy should accept a good buyout offer -- once you've signed you can stop and hope you keep fooling the system until you're clear.
   13. Buck Coats Posted: May 05, 2021 at 12:29 PM (#6017064)
How does this work with a Rule 5 pick? I know if a Rule 5 guy spends too long on the IL it won't count as a full season and the team has to keep him on their active roster next year too. Is this the same for a drug suspension? If not, this kind of works in the Marlins favor! They get the Rule 5 guy off their active roster but still get to keep him.
   14. Lowry Seasoning Salt Posted: May 06, 2021 at 01:21 AM (#6017242)
Buck Coats Posted: May 05, 2021 at 12:29 PM (#6017064)
How does this work with a Rule 5 pick? I know if a Rule 5 guy spends too long on the IL it won't count as a full season and the team has to keep him on their active roster next year too. Is this the same for a drug suspension? If not, this kind of works in the Marlins favor! They get the Rule 5 guy off their active roster but still get to keep him.

This is largely correct. Rule 5 guys have to be on the active roster for at least 90 days. If fewer than that, then the following season the team/player are still under the same Rule 5 restrictions, namely he must be on the "26-man roster and must be placed on outright waivers in order to be removed from the 26-man roster in the subsequent season. Should the player clear waivers, he must be offered back to his previous team for $50,000 and can be outrighted to the Minors only if his original club does not wish to reacquire him."

Rule 5 Draft Rules
   15. The Yankee Clapper Posted: May 06, 2021 at 08:53 PM (#6017453)
Rockies prospect Colton Welker also got an 80-game suspension for dehydrochlormethyltestosterone:
Welker issued a statement in response to his suspension (via the MLBPA), saying in part: “I want to make it very clear that I have never willingly nor intentionally ingested any substance to enhance my athletic performance. Given the information provided to me by the Players Association and laboratory, the amount detected was so minimal that it would have no effect on enhancing my performance. I understand that a number of other players, like me, have tested positive for this metabolite at microscopic levels, and I intend to join them in seeking answers as to how this is happening in order to clear my name.”
Some skepticism about players’ denials is probably in order, but I do wonder about some of these allegedly low-dose test results. Is the threshold for positive tests so low it picks up non-performance-enhancing levels, and/or those that can be unintentionally ingested?
   16. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 06, 2021 at 10:53 PM (#6017480)
MLB reduced the suspension for Adalberto Mondesi when he was able to show he ingested the banned substance in a cold medicine.
   17. Ron J Posted: May 07, 2021 at 11:15 AM (#6017545)
#16 But not for J. C. Romero who was able to demonstrate that the supplements he took were tainted. Don't know the outcome of his lawsuit against the various companies involved.

Mind you, Romero didn't go to arbitration.

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