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.
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.
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.
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
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.