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Manny Ramirez

What Drug Did Manny Ramirez Use?

May 07, 2009 05:30 PM
by Denis Cummings
Baseball suspended Manny Ramirez today for testing positive for a banned substance. Ramirez denied using steroids, and reports suggest he used a women’s fertility drug.

Manny Ramirez Suspended 50 Games for Positive Drug Test

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Dodgers outfielder Manny Ramirez was suspended 50 games Thursday after he tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs. Ramirez issued a statement saying that he did not use steroids or a traditional performance-enhancing drug; rather, a physician prescribed medication banned under Major League Baseball’s drug policy “for a personal health issue.”

According to Yahoo’s Tim Brown and Steve Henson, an anonymous source close to Ramirez “said the substance is supposed to boost sex drive. It is not Viagra, but a substance that treats the cause rather providing a temporary boost in sexual performance.”

Two sources have told ESPN’s T.J. Quinn and Mark Fainaru-Wada that Ramirez tested positive for human chorionic gonadotropin, a women’s fertility drug. A separate source told ESPN that HCG is typically used by men after a steroid cycle to restart the body’s natural production of testosterone, which is diminished by steroid use.

“HCG restores their capacity to make testosterone,” writes ESPN. “The source said that some males may use HCG in lieu of steroids also. HCG by itself can provide a substantial boost in the body's own testosterone, and this may provide some performance-enhancement benefits.”

Ramirez will not appeal the suspension, which begins today.

Background: Other prominent players implicated with using steroids

Major League Baseball instituted mandatory testing for performance-enhancing drugs in 2005, with automatic suspensions for those who tested positive. Ramirez is the 23rd major leaguer suspended after a positive drug test and the second this year after Phillies reliever J.C. Romero. Prior to Ramirez, the most notable player to test positive was Orioles first baseman and Viagra spokesman Rafael Palmeiro.

Many other prominent players have been accused of using steroids and other performance enhancing drugs. A federal investigation into the Bay Area Lab Co-operative revealed that players such as Barry Bonds and Jason Giambi allegedly used steroids. Bonds is facing perjury charges and court documents have revealed that he failed four drug tests between 2000 and 2003.

Baseball’s investigation, the Mitchell Report, in 2007 accused 86 players of using performance enhancing drugs. The list included Roger Clemens, who may face perjury charges for allegedly lying to Congress, and Miguel Tejada, who recently pleaded guilty to lying to Congress.

In February a government leak revealed that Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez failed an anonymous MLB drug test in 2003. Rodriguez, who many believed was the “Natural amid all the syringes,” admitted to using steroids and is now the subject of a book that claims he began using in high school.

Related Topic: Sexual drugs as on-field performance enhancers

Erectile dysfunction drug Viagra is reportedly used by some major league players as an on-field performance-enhancer for the way it relaxes blood vessels. According to a report by the New York Daily News last June, several prominent ballplayers, including Roger Clemens used sildenafil, the generic name for erectile dysfunction drug Viagra.

While the drug has been shown to be valuable for athletes who perform lengthy, aerobic exercise in high-altitude environments—such as cyclists, mountain climbers or marathon runners—the advantage for baseball players is insignificant.

Reference: Baseball guide and Manny’s career

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