Philadelphia Phillies pitcher J.C. Romero has become the first Major League player to be hit with a full 50 game suspension for using performance enhancing drugs and he’s furious about it.
Romero apparently inadvertantly used a dietary supplement sold over the counter. That’s not just the standard lie/denial issued by every drug cheat in the history of sports. The National Center for Drug Free Sport actually backed Romero on the appeal of his suspension. The Players Association released a statement describing the supplements Romero tested positive for.
Although Romero bought the “illegal” supplement over the counter he still had it cleared by his personal trainer and the Phillies strength and conditioning coach who both personally went over the ingredients and okayed the product in question. The manufacturer has since placed a label on the supplement that reads, “Use of this product may be banned by some athletic or government organizations.” That warning wasn’t listed on the bottle Romero bought.
So, even though the maufacturer acknowledges its guilt, Romero is still being punished. A justifiaby enraged Romero immediately went to ESPN.com to state his side of the story. Romero revealed that MLB offered to cut him a deal and reduce his supension if he admitted guilt. Romero refused, saying he was innocent. Those are not the actions of a guilty man.
Even Major League Baseball knows Romero to be innocent but they suspended him anyway. How do we know this? Because Romero wasn’t technically suspended for drug use but was ruled guilty of “negligence” and suspended for that.
An ashamed MLB refused to respond to the ESPN story. This is another shameful incident that stains Bud Selig’s tenure as baseball commissioner. Think of all the guilty players that got away with using illegal performance enhancing drugs before formal testing. MLB went out of its way to make sure nothing happened to them. Now realize that since it increased its penalties not one single Major League player has tested positive for drugs. Then, when a player MLB knows to be innocent tests positive, they suspend him anyway.