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Baseball vs Cycling and Doping

Apr 1, 2009
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Dudes,
I was just reading cnn.com and went to the sport section. It seems that Manny Ramirez tested positive for a "banned" substance. It seems that he is getting a 3-4 month suspension and part of his salary. For those abroad, Ramirez is a top tier baseball player who got a super juicy contract recently.
The contrast with cycling is that if you test positive, you are inmeditalley put in stand by, get chewed by the press and spit out by the cycling authorities into a 2 year career ending suspension.
I guess my post is about for us cycling fans to set the record straight when it comes to doping and all the actions we take compared to other not so demanding and more financially beneficial sports.
Let it rip!
 
Apr 10, 2009
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I grew up playing baseball, no loving, living, sleeping and breathing baseball. I can't even watch it now. They have become circus freaks. Look back to Mike Schmidt, home run king of the 70's, and compare him to guys like Ramirez and Rodriguez and going back just a few years MacGuire. They are freaks now. Brady Anderson, a leadoff hitter, hit 50 home runs one season because he was juiced to the gills.

Cycling is killing itself though, if you just look at the publicity that it attracts. You cannot speak to the average baseball fan without getting the eye roll and "They are all doped up." when you mention you are a cyclist and follow pro cycling. In this day and age, people will swallow what you feed them. All the other sports feed their fans BS (or they say nothing at all about their doping), cycling is much better at not doing that (although it does happen). Unfortunately cycling pays the price for it's "honesty".

Funny thing I would probably still play baseball, but I couldn't find enough players (or fans) my age who aren't obese and out of shape. I can still ride with my peers and that is what makes cycling so enjoyable.
 
Apr 9, 2009
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Hi guys,
Sorry but i'm not from the US and have never seen a baseball game, What benefits would a player have from doping?
Is a game of baseball a long event? Or do the players take it to make them stronger so they can hit the ball further?
Sorry for my ignorance.
 
Mar 18, 2009
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ukpaul said:
Hi guys,
Sorry but i'm not from the US and have never seen a baseball game, What benefits would a player have from doping?
Is a game of baseball a long event? Or do the players take it to make them stronger so they can hit the ball further?
Sorry for my ignorance.

That one...and it can get long sometimes, but I wouldn't call it an endurance sport so much...strength is where it's at.
 
Apr 9, 2009
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Is the size of a baseball field not standard then? Is a home run quite a rare occasion that players would need drugs to hit the ball that far?
 
Dr. Wattini said:
Dudes,
It seems that he is getting a 3-4 month suspension and part of his salary.

It's not even that harsh - it's a 50 game ban, he'll be back in early July!

Flyor64 is right, at least for the hitters it's all about power, but I believe pitchers have benefitted from PEDs that improve their recovery rates rather than simply add strength.

Sad thing is, just about anyone power hitter who was anyone from the early 90's onwards has this suspicion over them. Ruined an era's memories.
 
ukpaul said:
Is the size of a baseball field not standard then? Is a home run quite a rare occasion that players would need drugs to hit the ball that far?

there is no standard size, and they can be quite different, both is terms of the overall area, and in terms of shape. Many of them are not symetrical. Some of them even have obstacles in play (beams in the roof in Tampa Bay, or giant walls like the Green Monster in Boston).

Home runs are rarer than we Brits generally think. Completely depends on the park, the teams and the weather - but many games have 0 home runs in them. Most have 1, 2 or 3.

Power doesn't just mean home runs though - it can turn singles into doubles, or doubles into triples.
Perhaps the more attractive thing to the player is - homeruns are sexy, hit 40 in a season and you'll get $10m + per yr. As the advert goes "Chicks dig the longball!"
 
Mar 18, 2009
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ukpaul said:
Is the size of a baseball field not standard then? Is a home run quite a rare occasion that players would need drugs to hit the ball that far?

Well, the fields are close to standard in size...but there are variants...for instance, Coors Field in Denver is over 1500 meters in altitude and on the smaller side..hence it often leads the league in homeruns allowed.

And no, I'm pretty sure they were hitting it clear long before PEDs (at least how we define a PED now), but I'd say that they've been cheating or trying to cheat in some way, shape, or form since it became a professional competition...everything from corking bats (a technique of hollowing out the bat and filling it with cork to make it more 'lively", to throwing games, etc....

Sneekes said:
Sad thing is, just about anyone power hitter who was anyone from the early 90's onwards has this suspicion over them. Ruined an era's memories.

Agreed. The era of * is here...
 
Mar 18, 2009
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Sneekes said:
Home runs are rarer than we Brits generally think.

You know your baseball...swing by up here and help me explain the game and the attraction to my Norwegian colleagues...if you don't mind :D

And thanks for the nod to green monster...that's my team, and I love Fenway...
 
Apr 2, 2009
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baseball v cycling

major league baseball commissioner seems to think the drug testing now in place is adequate. it almost seems as though he ignores the facts when asked by the press. i don't even know if wada or usada is involved with testing or guidlines. baseball also tries to keep their dirty laundry in the hamper.


most fans of baseball know this is not the correct direction the sport should be taking.

where as cycling drug testing labs like to leak news to certain sources who blast the non-negatives or positives to the press almost immediately.
on the surface it appears that cycling had a much larger problem with doping than baseball.

this is not true.
 
Apr 1, 2009
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So in baseball you dope, you test positive and get 50 games. If you translate that to cycling terms is similart to getting canned for 3 races?
Amazing, isn't it? All these freaking reporters should concentrate in the effortds that cycling puts on cleaning up the sport. Additionally we should put cycling in baseball terms. 2 years of a cycling career will probably mean 8 in baseball terms... simply no comparison
 
ukpaul said:
Hi guys,
Sorry but i'm not from the US and have never seen a baseball game, What benefits would a player have from doping?
Is a game of baseball a long event? Or do the players take it to make them stronger so they can hit the ball further?
Sorry for my ignorance.

Barry Bonds. Before and After.

BigBarryBonds.jpg


It's hard to tell from the right pic but he is not fat. This is him still playing at age forty or something. His hat size is several sizes larger.

barry-bonds-case-could-hinge-on-a-single-word-knowingly.jpg
 
Apr 28, 2009
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You guys know far more about these things than I do, so I'll leave it to you guys to discuss as it's kind of confusing listening to what the media has to say.

The media is reporting that the drug in question is HCG -- human chorionic gonadotropin.

The media is also reporting that there are some legitimate uses for this stuff. . .you tell me.
 
Apr 2, 2009
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from what i understand, that drug is a female hormone that steroid users use after going thru a round of steroids. i am sure the wording is not 100 percent correct, since i am not a linguist.
basically this can be purchased otc(over the counter). and oh by the way 'i didn't know this was on the banned list' , according to the guilty, allegedly .....
 
quadsRme said:
from what i understand, that drug is a female hormone that steroid users use after going thru a round of steroids. i am sure the wording is not 100 percent correct, since i am not a linguist.
basically this can be purchased otc(over the counter). and oh by the way 'i didn't know this was on the banned list' , according to the guilty, allegedly .....

Using steroids can deplete the bodies natural production of HCG, thus steriod users will often take HCG illegally to "reset" the bodies hormonal balance of HCG. It does have performance benefits alone that are akin to Testosterone doping. It is most certainly on the UCI banned list; not sure about MLB. HCG can be elevated in the body either by illegal doping with it OR if you have testicular cancer. If Manny has cancer he could get out of it, but it's either cancer or doping with HCG, cut and dried.

Lance Armstrong had hugely high levels of HCG in his body upon his diagnosis of testicular cancer. Interestingly enough his UCI test controls never tested him positive for HCG in the last races he did in 1996 prior to his cancer diagnosis, so the either the tests themselves failed or the results were kept quiet. It was a huge scandal back then - do a search on it if you want the background.
 
On to the topic at hand: I think baseball is doing next to nothing to combat doping in that sport. They are doing their best to sweep it under the rug and not talk about it. Cycling is at least making a significant effort to combat doping, and the sports image suffers because of it; because we actually catch people on a regular basis, and big name riders as well. We as fans need to emphacize this to people when they call our sport dirty (even though it is of course, but at least we're trying to clean it).
 
Sad thing about Bonds - is that he was REALLY good before he started roiding.

Another way in which baseball's punishment is lighter is that if you get banned for 2 years in cycling you're going to miss 'your' race. If you're Pfannberger you miss two lots or Ardennes classics, if you're Kohl you miss 2 x TdF...but Manny Ramirez is going to miss 50 regular season games. His LA Dodgers will probably still be first in the division when he comes back - and he'll be able to take part in the play-offs in October!

Other than the tarnish on his reputation - Manny may not even be that bothered?
 
Apr 2, 2009
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BikeCentric said:
Using steroids can deplete the bodies natural production of HCG, thus steriod users will often take HCG illegally to "reset" the bodies hormonal balance of HCG. It does have performance benefits alone that are akin to Testosterone doping. It is most certainly on the UCI banned list; not sure about MLB. HCG can be elevated in the body either by illegal doping with it OR if you have testicular cancer. If Manny has cancer he could get out of it, but it's either cancer or doping with HCG, cut and dried.

Lance Armstrong had hugely high levels of HCG in his body upon his diagnosis of testicular cancer. Interestingly enough his UCI test controls never tested him positive for HCG in the last races he did in 1996 prior to his cancer diagnosis, so the either the tests themselves failed or the results were kept quiet. It was a huge scandal back then - do a search on it if you want the background.

That's interesting, thanks for the explanation

yest hcg is on the banned list for MLB(Major League Baseball)
 
Mar 10, 2009
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ukpaul said:
Hi guys,
Sorry but i'm not from the US and have never seen a baseball game, What benefits would a player have from doping?
Is a game of baseball a long event? Or do the players take it to make them stronger so they can hit the ball further?
Sorry for my ignorance.

Think of it like weightlifting, or the 100m dash. These guys and gals are looking to improve explosive strengths.
 
Mar 17, 2009
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Baseball is just getting started. The tests are naive, punishments laughable. Still a lot of denial going on... baseball fans today are like cycling fans in the mid to late 1990's. Don't want to believe it, but inside, know that it's true.

The shame of it is, baseball is a bit like cycling in that it's an old sport with traditions that exhibit sportsmanship and character. Doping goes against the very roots of those ideals. Still, at least baseball is starting down that long road to cleanliness.

US football, on the other hand, has doped as a matter of team policy for decades, and most likely is still doing so. Lyle Alzado, before he died of brain cancer, detailed his 'roid use which was extensive, and encouraged/financed by team management. That sport is still very much in the 'don't ask, don't tell' phase.

And, just like cycling, baseball didn't address doping until the fans demanded it, and the effects could no longer be explained away. Doping investigations weren't initiated by the Major League Baseball association, they were started by the US Congress, at the behest of senators who love the sport, and outraged constituents. And much of that came out of the BALCO scandal.
 
Not an American, not a baseball fan, too boring for me, but when I lived in the US, got into it a bit, hard to avoid when in Red Sox territoty, baseball was what I put on the TV whislt doing other things. Actually seen Barry Bonds play in SF, dont think he even hit that night and no home runs at all.

Didnt Ramirez play with the Red Sox and didnt he win a world series so he is not exactly a small time player. Even then, there were plenty of rumours about guys on roids, dont think there was any testing back then. I magine.

Last time I was over in the US, winter 07, the congressional investigation into drugs in baseball was happening, I remember it on TVs at the airport, even then I remember the attitude was so different to cycling even though loads of guys were caught.

Baseball is the equivilant of soccer in Europe so it is the untouchable sport, the length of the Ramirez ban is a joke. I am going to visit the States again in a few weeks, will be interesting to see if I hear a single peep about the incident. Probably will be long buried. Cycling is the drugs sport in everybodys eyes but thats so unfair its ridiculous which is why I choose to stay with the posrt.

There is a link between cycling and this product Gonadthropin and if more attention had been paid to the incident at the time, we might have had a different sport now but I was suppose it was a more naive era then.

Down Memory lane here, I think an Italian by the name of Alberto Volpi was caught for this product Gonadthropin back in 93 after the long dead Leeds classic. His team was Mecair. In the winter of 93, the official doctor of Mecair, Walter Polini caused a fuss in Italy when he spoke on the subject, pinpointing the role of one Dr.Ferrari who was looking after half the team whilst Polini was looking after the other half. Guess which half Volpi was with.

Polini had been dismissed in favour of Ferrari having total control so Polini spoke of all the products that could make it through tests including EPO.
Reaction of Moreno Argentin, Ferraris star man "I wouldnt go to Polini even if I had a cold" Mecair moprhed into Gewiss in 94 with Ferrari as doctor, guys like Berzin & Bobrik who had been with Polini in 93, were now working with Ferrari. The rest, they say is history.

They are catching guys in Baseball for a product that was first caught in cycling almost 20 years ago!!!
 
Apr 1, 2009
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great thread.
let's really put in perspective what cycling does as an sport to preserve integrity. Cycling is actually fighting to really have a clean fight and with that really show who is the strongest/smartest man at a race.
I get sick and tired of this so called cycling fans thrashing and bashing the sport when in fact cycling is the only sport that does not have its head stuck in the sand. Even with all the drama, leackage, and stuff that goes on with the press, cycling is proactive and is trying to do something. Really an example that should be followed by other sports.