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Sunday, August 02, 2020

Nats’ Tres Barrera, hit with 80-game suspension for banned substance, fires back with lawsuit

“Tres Barrera claims he had never heard of Oral Turinabol when he learned he had tested positive for the drug Feb. 11. Scientifically known as Dehydrochlormethyltestosterone — and more colloquially called DHCMT — the steroid is on MLB’s banned substance list. Barrera faced a possible 80-game suspension, sending him into a tailspin in the days before spring training.
Then, at the end of last week, that suspension was officially issued under the joint drug agreement between MLB and the players’ union. Barrera, a 25-year-old catcher for the Washington Nationals, has now sued MLB, the commissioner’s office, the director of an anti-doping lab and two league-contracted labs in Utah and Montreal. Barrera is alleging that MLB’s test for DHCMT is “junk science”; that the levels found in his system do not qualify as performance-enhancing; that the test results can’t conclusively determine when the substance entered his system; and that MLB’s arbitration process was ultimately unfair because Daniel Eichner, the Utah lab director and an MLB-contracted expert, was the only scientist who testified . . .
“MLB declined to comment through a spokesman, citing the “confidential nature of the Joint MLB-MLBPA Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.” Attempts to reach Eichner were not successful. The MLB Players Association declined to comment through a spokesman, citing its inability to do so on pending litigation. The Nationals declined to comment as well.
“Tres Barrera is willing to sit on a grenade so no other players have to go through this,” Kennard said in an interview with The Washington Post. “He knows that waging this sort of fight could affect his reputation moving forward. But he is not a cheater.””

majorflaw Posted: August 02, 2020 at 07:55 AM | 9 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: tres barrera, washington nationals

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   1. depletion Posted: August 02, 2020 at 09:49 AM (#5967495)
Pretty in depth article. 10 picograms is not a lot of anything, except for a hot alpha emitter or botulism in your blood. On the other hand, I once measured 4 electrons of noise on a 15 femtofarad capacitor. Tres mal, non?
   2. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: August 02, 2020 at 10:57 AM (#5967501)
Well, he can always remember those two at bats.

If he's a member of the union, and the testing protocol was negotiated by the union, has he got a leg to stand on?
   3. gef, talking mongoose & suburban housewife Posted: August 02, 2020 at 11:17 AM (#5967505)
WTF does this have to do with Monty Stratton?
   4. Ron J Posted: August 02, 2020 at 11:42 AM (#5967508)
#2 I'd give heavy odds against him. Thing is that he's claiming procedural unfairness and if there's anything that might get a court's attention, this is it.
   5. ramifications of an exciting 57i66135 Posted: August 02, 2020 at 12:00 PM (#5967509)
“Tres Barrera is willing to sit on a grenade so no other players have to go through this,” Kennard said in an interview with The Washington Post. “He knows that waging this sort of fight could affect his reputation moving forward. But he is not a cheater.””

1. he doesn't have a reputation to affect.

2. if i've learned anything from lance armstrong, alex rodriguez and ryan braun, it's that cheaters will often graciously admit to their own wrongdoing, but only after they've exhausted literally every other option available to them.
   6. BillWallace Posted: August 02, 2020 at 01:28 PM (#5967519)
he doesn't have a reputation to affect.


Why, because he's not a very famous baseball player? I'm not either but I'd still fight like hell not to be branded a dirty cheater if I wasn't.

Given the information presented in the article, have you considered that he might not have cheated?

Have some empathy.
   7. ramifications of an exciting 57i66135 Posted: August 02, 2020 at 01:49 PM (#5967522)
Why, because he's not a very famous baseball player? I'm not either but I'd still fight like hell not to be branded a dirty cheater if I wasn't.

Given the information presented in the article, have you considered that he might not have cheated?

Have some empathy.
i have no benefit of the doubt left to give.

i don't judge players harshly for getting caught with PEDs in their system, but i'm done listening to sob stories.
   8. Ron J Posted: August 02, 2020 at 02:09 PM (#5967525)
#6 If he's not contesting the actual test results it doesn't matter how the DHCMT entered his system. Players have agreed to strict liability and we've already seen somebody suspended due to taking tainted supplements.

EDIT: He is however contesting the actual test. I doubt that he'll have much success but athletes in other sports have occasionally succeeded despite similar strict liability standards when they were able to demonstrate problems with the tests being used. This is why a judge might be sympathetic to the argument that his expert should have been able to testify on the merits of the test itself. I'd guess he has maybe a 5% shot.

Problem being that I think the best possible outcome for him is a new hearing where his expert gets to testify. I'm really doubtful that he'll get any kind of ruling that the test is inherently invalid and must be disregarded.
   9. depletion Posted: August 03, 2020 at 08:25 AM (#5967616)
I just read a research article that states that the typical sensitivity of a mass spectrometer is 480 fg per ml. 10 picograms is a little over 20 times the sensitivity of the machine. I worked on a mass spec design in 1991 or 1992. I designed a capacitor the was supposed to have a very low thermal response but be able to withstand 10 kV . It didn’t work I can go into the details if someone wants.
He doesn’t have much of a case to say that the test is inaccurate , but at least lawyers make money.

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