Rafael Palmeiro Denies Steroid Use in Face of Government's Reform Committee Wrapping up its Pro
By Staff(AXcess News) Washington - Rafael Palmeiro, who testified before the House Congressional Committee investigating Major League Baseball players use of illegal steroids, denied that he used steroids in a statement released by the suspended Oriole's player Wednesday."All my accomplishments are now tainted, and many people have been hurt. I deeply regret the pain I have caused my family, my teammates, my fans and the game of baseball. I am sorry for the distraction that I have caused to the Orioles clubhouse and the League," said Palmeiro.Stanozolol, a banned substance, was found inPalmeiro's system in May. In statement Palmerio was quoted as saying, "Although I do not know how this substance came into my body, it is possible that a shot of vitamin B12 I took sometime in April might have been the cause."Under questioning by the Major League Player's AssociationPalmeiro revealed the details of howhe got the possibly tainted B12 and then had to testify about the facts to the Congressional Committee under oath.
Since his suspension by Major League Baseball on August 1, 2005, Palmeiro has said that his side of the story would be made public.With the Committee likely now in the final phases of its work, Palmeiro agreed to provide some of the detail concerning the events leading up to hissuspension and the Congressional inquiry.The drug test for whichPalmeiro was suspended by Major League Baseball was administered on May 4, 2005 - seven weeks afterhe testified before Congress.Every other item that might be to blame for Palmeiro's failed test - from vitamins to protein drinks -- was tested, and no steroids were found.
The only item that could not be tested -- and is therefore suspect - was a vial of liquid, injectable vitamin B-12 whichhe took in the middle of April 2005. The B-12 was provided toPalmeiro by a teammate; it was labeled as B- 12; andhis lawyers said that hehas always been convinced that his teammate absolutely believed it to be B-12. Palmeiro was required to name that player by the Major League Baseball Players Association during his arbitration hearing. Palmeiro's lawyers accused the media of publishing false information, inferring that it caused much of the friction and doubt by the MLB and Congress. "Because the Congressional Committee's investigation was on- going over the last three months, the information that has circulated in public - largely via the media - has been based almost entirely on inappropriate leaks and uninformed speculation.
As a result, much of what has been said or written about Rafael - what he did and/or said - has been either greatly mischaracterized or just plain inaccurate."When he was told back on May 4, 2005 that he would have to submit to a random drug test under Major League Baseball's drug policy,Palmeiro said hehad no concerns about steroids. He immediately asked to be retested, because he believed that the test result must have been mistaken. He was tested one week later and found to have no banned substances in his body.Nevertheless, the Commissioner of Major League Baseball on June 10, 2005 suspendedPalmeiro for 10 days, a decision that ledhim immediately to file a grievance with Major League Baseball's Health Policy Committee (HPAC). HPAC found thatPalmeiro had a reasonable basis to challenge the results of the drug test and, on June 16, an arbitration panel conducted a hearing.
Later, on July 14, that panel heard arguments in the arbitration case. At the June 16th hearing,Palmerio made it clear that he had never knowingly taken steroids and did not know how the banned substance entered his body. He believed that contamination of the B-12 was simply the most likely explanation.At the conclusion of the Baseball arbitration process, on August 1, 2005,Palmeiro was suspended because he could not conclusively prove that the steroid entered his system through the B-12. Nevertheless, the arbitration panel hearinghis case declared that "
The Panel considers it important to point out that our decision does not equate to a finding or belief that Rafael Palmeiro - whose testimony in many respects is quite compelling - was untruthful in his testimony before this panel or any other body."Palmeiro's lawyers maintain that Dr. Gary Green's testimony in the arbitration hearingwas incorrect or ill-informed at almost every point.The basis of their view was on the testimony for the defense by Dr. Pinedo's letter that states, "many people in Latin America believe that "B- 12 is a source of energy and aids in strengthening muscles." B-12 is "widely used among athletes, particularly baseball players" throughout Latin America." Dr. Pinedo also relates that B-12 is sometimes mixed with steroids, which appeared to be finger pointing toward the Orioles own staff in preparation for what may turn out to be a long, drawn-out suit for damages to Palmeiro's career.