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Tag: Steroids

FBI Agents Sidelined for More Than Three Years After Charges Were Dismissed Against Them

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

When FBI agents Matt and Katia Litton were arrested in an alleged steroid ring in September 2010, they were shocked.

Sure enough, the charges were dropped two months later.

The couple said they were taking steroids because they were trying to have a baby, the Washington Post  reports.

Still, three years after the arrest, the couple has been all but sidelined at the Washington Field Office and Quantico because an administrative review continues, the Washington Post wrote.

“We’ve been in still water,” Katia said. “There has to be some sort of justice to let people move on.”

The FBI declined to comment on the case.

FBI Investigates Florida Physicians Over Probe of Performance-Enhancing Drugs to MLB Players

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A new string of positive tests for performance-enhancing drugs among professional baseball players has prompted the FBI to investigate a Florida supplier, the New York Daily News reports

Physician Anthony Bosch, who has worked closely with Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez, is the target of the probe, along with his father Pedro Bosch, according to the Daily News.

Major League Baseball reported the physicians, who are popular among Latin players in South Florida, to the FBI.

The names of players who suspected of using synthetic testosterone have not been released.

In 2012, three current major leaguers – rookie catcher Yasmani Grandal, outfielder Melky Cabrera and starting pitcher Bartolo Colon tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs.

STORIES OF OTHER INTEREST

Justice Department Wants Cyclist Lance Armstrong to Pay for Lying about Performance-Enhancing Drugs

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Lance Armstrong has made a lot of money in cycling. 

Now the Justice Department wants some of that money and may sue Armstrong for allegedly profiting.

The Justice Department is going after cyclist Lance Armstrong, saying he defrauded the U.S. government by denying years of using performance-enhancing drugs, the Associated Press reports.

One of Armstrong’s long-time sponsors was the U.S. Postal Service, the AP wrote.

Speaking to an attorney familiar with the case, the AP reported that attorneys from both sides have been meeting in hopes of reaching a settlement.

However, the AP wrote, both sides disagree wildly on what’s owed.

NCAA Shouldn’t Ignore Steroid Problem

The author (right) Greg Stejksal and late Michigan coach Bo Schembechler

By Greg Stejskal
ticklethewire.com

In the summer of 2004, a Senate sub-committee, chaired by Senators Charles Grassley and Joseph Biden held a hearing regarding the prevalence of steroids in sports. I had helped arrange for two of the witnesses who testified at this hearing.

One was Curtis Wenzlaff, a convicted steroid dealer, who had supplied steroids to Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire. Wenzlaff had been prosecuted as part of an FBI undercover operation (UCO) targeting illegal distribution of steroids, codenamed Equine.

It was the late Michigan football coaching legend, Bo Schembechler, that urged our FBI office in Michigan to initiate our steroid UCO in 1989. Schembechler was concerned not only about the prevalence of steroids in college football, but indications that performance-enhancing drugs were being used by high school players as well.

During the ’04 hearing, Wenzlaff testified that the short-term incentives for using steroids were perceived by young competitive athletes to be far greater than the potential health risks later in life – the classic Faustian bargain. Wenzlaff testified that among other incentives, athletes would readily use PEDs if the end result were securing a multi-million dollar playing contract.

The other witness I arranged to appear was the “Mystery Man,” which the Daily News dubbed in their coverage of the hearing. The mystery witness was never identified, wore a hood as he entered the hearing room, and had his voice modified electronically. He was a 4-year football player from a prominent Division-I program, whose last season was 2003. The mystery witness testified that “it became evident that many players on my team were using steroids at some time during their career.” One player was supplying seven to eight other players, according to the witness. He also testified that he knew of players on other Div-I teams using steroids.

The NCAA had already begun to recognize there was a problem; in 1996 the NCAA instituted random, year-round testing with relatively stringent penalties for positive tests – a one-season suspension for a first positive test and permanent ineligibility for a second. The tests are, in theory, unannounced, but athletes can often know up to two days’ in advance. (Steroids are generally clear of a individual’s system within 24-72 hrs. Anabolic steroids are a specific type of steroid that promotes muscle growth, and not all steroids are anabolic. Steroids referred to in this column are anabolic.) The NCAA’s current position is that steroid use is no longer a problem with college athletes. In support of their conclusion they point to less than 1% failure rate on their tests.

In a recent Associated Press article about the continued use of anabolic steroids in college football, the report relied on research that catalogued weight gain of different football players. Extraordinary weight gain by athletes can be an indication of steroid use. Citing training experts, the report said, “Adding more than 20 or 25 lbs. of lean muscle in a year is nearly impossible through diet and exercise alone.” The report also relied on interviews of players who admitted to steroid use or knew of other players using steroids.

Steroid use by college football players affects the integrity of the game. It gives those players and their teams a competitive advantage, and it also puts pressure on other players and their teams to use steroids. This “arms war” mentality filters down to high school players thinking they have to use steroids to play at the next level.

Some football programs, while not explicitly, encourage steroid use. Some schools do testing in addition to the NCAA testing. But it is not required to report positive drug test results and penalties vary and are not nearly as stringent as those imposed by the NCAA. This leads to a patchwork of testing with some schools trying to eliminate steroid use and others just making a show of addressing its use.

I think the resolution should be that NCAA institute a much more rigorous testing regimen. That would mean more random testing, and testing for just cause (based on extraordinary weight gain and/or symptoms of steroid use).The NCAA can afford the increased costs associated with these measures. With the NCAA conducting all the testing, it will insure the testing and penalties are uniformly applied.

I saw firsthand what happened when MLB ignored warnings about prevalence of steroid use in baseball in the mid-‘90s. I hope the NCAA doesn’t repeat their mistake.

Column: NCAA Shouldn’t Ignore Steroid Problem

Greg Stejskal served as an FBI agent for 31 years and retired as resident agent in charge of the Ann Arbor office. This column first appeared in the New York Daily News.

The author (right) Greg Stejksal and late Michigan coach Bo Schembechler

 
By Greg Stejskal
ticklethewire.com

In the summer of 2004, a Senate sub-committee, chaired by Senators Charles Grassley and Joseph Biden held a hearing regarding the prevalence of steroids in sports. I had helped arrange for two of the witnesses who testified at this hearing.

One was Curtis Wenzlaff, a convicted steroid dealer, who had supplied steroids to Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire. Wenzlaff had been prosecuted as part of an FBI undercover operation (UCO) targeting illegal distribution of steroids, codenamed Equine.

It was the late Michigan football coaching legend, Bo Schembechler, that urged our FBI office in Michigan to initiate our steroid UCO in 1989. Schembechler was concerned not only about the prevalence of steroids in college football, but indications that performance-enhancing drugs were being used by high school players as well.

During the ’04 hearing, Wenzlaff testified that the short-term incentives for using steroids were perceived by young competitive athletes to be far greater than the potential health risks later in life – the classic Faustian bargain. Wenzlaff testified that among other incentives, athletes would readily use PEDs if the end result were securing a multi-million dollar playing contract.

The other witness I arranged to appear was the “Mystery Man,” which the Daily News dubbed in their coverage of the hearing. The mystery witness was never identified, wore a hood as he entered the hearing room, and had his voice modified electronically. He was a 4-year football player from a prominent Division-I program, whose last season was 2003. The mystery witness testified that “it became evident that many players on my team were using steroids at some time during their career.” One player was supplying seven to eight other players, according to the witness. He also testified that he knew of players on other Div-I teams using steroids.

Read more »

Justice Department to Probe Professional Baseball Players for Synthetic Testosterone

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

 The Department of Justice is joining Major League Baseball in searching for the source of synthetic testosterone found on San Francisco Giants All-Star outfielder Melky Cabrera, the USA Today reports.

Helping steer the investigation is Jeff Novitzky, a criminal investigator for the Food and Drug Administration who led a separate probe of anabolic steroids about a decade ago.

Some predict the investigation could lead to big headlines as stars are revealed for using performance-enhancing drugs, the USA Today reported.

Cabrera received a 50-game suspension last week after testing positive for testosterone use.

“We can’t have bodyguards on these guys 24/7, Giants manager Bruce Bochy told reporters Sunday. “It comes down to choices. Unfortunately, I do think they get bad advice from other sources.”

Column: Roger Clemens Shutouts Feds 6-0: Feds Should Have Dropped Case

Allan Lengel

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Hopefully the case of baseball star Roger Clemens  provides a lesson for the Justice Department.

Yes, it’s wrong to lie to Congress, which is what he was charged with.

Nevertheless, when you have a questionable case — and in this instance a very questionable one — walk away.

The prosecution screwed up in the first trial when it accidentally introduced evidenced that had been barred by the judge. The judge declared a mistrial. He then considered tossing out the case all together.

Clemens was charged with lying to Congress about steroid use.

The judge eventually let the prosecution proceed with a second trial. He could have saved the government some grief by tossing the case.

But noooo.

On Monday, a federal jury in D.C. acquitted Clemens on all six counts.

For a pitcher, that’s known as a shutout.

Not even close: 6-0.

Big loss for the government in a big case.

 

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Famed Cyclist Lance Armstrong Faces New Doping Charges

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

World-renowned cyclist Lance Armstrong faces dope charges that could lead to him losing his seven Tour de Frances titles, the New York Times reports.

The 40-year-old athlete, who has been accused of doping for more than a decade, dismissed the charges as “a witch hunt.”

If convicted, the United States Anti-Doping Agency could impose a lifetime ban on any sports that are signatories of the quasi-governmental organization that oversees antidoping efforts primarily in Olympic sports.  The U.S. Attorney in Los Angeles recently dropped any efforts to try and criminally charge him.

Armstrong is accused of using the blood-booster EPO, blood transfusions, testosterone, corticosteroids and other masking agents.