Rafael Palmeiro Suspended for Steroids Violation
Rafael Palmeiro was suspended 10 days for violating Major League Baseball’s steroids policy Monday, nearly five months after the Baltimore Orioles first baseman emphatically told Congress that “I have never used steroids. Period.”
Palmeiro became the highest-profile player among the seven who have failed a test under the toughened major league policy that took effect in March, rules criticized by Congress as not being stringent enough.
In a conference call Monday, Palmeiro said he never intentionally took steroids and could not explain how the drugs got into his body. He also apologized and said would accept his punishment. “I have never intentionally used steroids. Never. Ever. Period,” he said. “Ultimately, although I never intentionally put a banned substance into my body, the independent arbitrator ruled that I had to be suspended under the terms of the program.”
The 40-year-old is the seventh player to test positive for steroids under the policy adopted earlier this year. Palmeiro doubled on July 15 to join Hank Aaron, Willie Mays and Eddie Murray as the only players with 3,000 hits and 500 homers.
Palmeiro said the arbitrator “did not find that I used a banned substance intentionally Ã¢€” in fact, he said he found my testimony to be compelling,” but still ruled that he needed to serve the suspension. Palmeiro wouldn’t go into the specifics but left the impression that the banned substance was contained in a supplement that was not prescribed.
Given that there had been no previous suspicion of Palmeiro as a steroids user (at least none of which I was aware) I’m inclined to believe him. Still, it’s rather embarrassing under the circumstances.