Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Palmeiro still denies positive steriod test

Free-agent first baseman Rafael Palmeiro still isn't sure why he tested positive for steroids, he told The New York Times for a story published Wednesday.

The 41-year-old Palmeiro was suspended in August for 10 days by Major League Baseball. His steroid test in May came up positive — just six weeks after he testified in Congress that he had never taken the performance-enhancing drugs.

"I wish I could pinpoint exactly what happened," Palmeiro told the newspaper. "I would think it was the B-12. I'm not certain of that; I can't prove it."

He has said former Baltimore Orioles teammate Miguel Tejada gave him vitamin B-12 earlier in the season, and suggested it might have been tainted with performance-enhancing drugs.

"I wish I could have turned in the vial for testing," said Palmeiro, a former Mississippi State star. "But when I found out, it was long gone and I couldn't come up with it. If something happened that I'm not aware of, an intentional act by someone else, I don't know. I can't rule out anything."

Palmeiro also told the Times that he blames no one but himself for what happened.
"I'm going to take the responsibility, me being careless and taking something I wasn't knowing if it was clean, having full trust in what I was getting. It was careless, stupid, naive of me to think it was safe."


Palmeiro, one of four players in baseball history with 3,000 hits and 500 homers, told Congress at a March 17 hearing examining performance-enhancing drug use in professional sports, "Let me start by telling you this: I have never used steroids. Period. I do not know how to say it any more clearly than that. Never."

About six weeks later, he tested positive for stanozolol, a steroid.

Palmeiro challenged the test results and was suspended by baseball on Aug. 1. He told the Times his tests the previous two seasons were negative, and a test he took three weeks after the positive test was negative.

In November, the House Government Reform Committee determined he did not commit perjury when he earlier testified he had never taken steroids.

"Never in my wildest dreams did it cross my mind that I had something in my body," he told the Times. "That was the furthest thing from my mind. I went in after the game. I wasn't hiding anything. If I had done anything, I would have been scrambling to figure out what to do. I was stunned when they called me and said I had tested positive. I thought someone was playing a sick joke on me."

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Why can't Palmeiro just come clean and admit that he took the steroids? All this lying and cover-up makes him look worse and worse.

Now Palmeiro is part of the exclusive 3,000 hits and 500 home-run club, does he deserve to be put in the Hall of Fame? Should baseball dismiss all of his career achievements because he tested positive once, at the end of his baseball life?

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