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News » Philadelphia Phillies Inside Pitch 2009-01-21

Philadelphia Phillies Inside Pitch 2009-01-21

Philadelphia Phillies Inside Pitch 2009-01-21
J.C. Romero maintains that he did nothing wrong by taking an over-the-counter supplement that triggered a positive drug test and led to a 50-game suspension.

The company that manufactures the supplement agrees with the Phillies reliever.

In a statement, Proviant Technologies contended that its product, 6-OXO Extreme, was untainted and may have caused a false positive. Romero tested positive twice last summer for androstenedione, an anabolic steroid banned by Major League Baseball.

"While advances in analytical testing and sensitivity in detection of metabolites have made drug testers more proficient at catching cheaters, the unintended consequence is that a perfectly legal and untainted substance can cause a positive test for a banned or illegal substance," the statement said.

"Although little information has been released about the specifics of the alleged positive test, our preliminary investigation of these allegations has uncovered information showing that the main active ingredient in our product will trigger a false positive for androstenedione."

Major League Baseball, meanwhile, rejected that notion and defended its testing program.

"All I can say about that is that there definitely wasn't a false positive in Mr. Romero's case," Rob Manfred, MLB's executive director of labor relations and human resources, told "We've been through the lab results with the director of the WADA (World Anti-Doping Association) lab in Montreal, and she's completely confident with the report that there was a banned substance in his urine."

Romero, the Phillies' top lefty reliever, tested positive in August and again in mid-September. After learning of the first positive test in mid-September, Romero discontinued his use of the product. An Oct. 1 drug test, taken before the first round of the playoffs, came back negative.

Manfred said Romero, like all players, is tested randomly. Romero won't be eligible to pitch for the Phillies until June 1. He will lose about $1.5 million in 2009 salary.

The MLB Players' Association objected to the suspension but denied any knowledge that Romero had been taking 6-OXO Extreme. Romero contended that the union approved the supplement, although he didn't call a toll-free hotline provided by the union to address questions about potentially tainted supplements.

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: January 21, 2009

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