Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Manny Ramirez was hit with a 50-game suspension by Major League Baseball because of a positive test for a banned substance. A statement by Ramirez, released through the players' union, says in part: "Recently I saw a physician for a personal health issue. He gave me a medication, not a steroid, which he thought was OK to give me."
The secrecy is what kills this argument for me. If you truly aren't trying to get away with using a performance-enhancing substance, why not state specifically, right up front, what your health issue is and what medication was prescribed? I know he's got a right to privacy, but is this privacy worth being suspected of being a cheater?
So we look to others to fill in the blanks. ESPN reports that the substance in question is human chorionic gonadotropin, a women's fertility drug. So is Manny trying to make himself into the second coming of Octomom? On the other hand, Yahoo! Sports quotes a source close to Ramirez as saying that the drug was not "an agent customarily used for performance enhancing" -- except in the bedroom. The source said that the drug was prescribed to treat Manny's erectile dysfunction.
I suppose that's possible, but why not just use Viagra or Cialis? Unfortunately for Manny, he's now under a huge dark cloud of suspicion. HCG is, quoting the ESPN report, "typically used by steroid users to restart their body's natural testosterone production as they come off a steroid cycle."