By Nathan Petrashek
Bud Selig has been on a whirlwind public relations tour over the All-Star break, but he just can’t seem to keep focused on the All-Star game. Instead, everyone wants to know when the other shoe will drop in the Biogenesis investigation, a wide-ranging probe in the now-defunct anti-aging clinic that baseball believes supplied banned substances to some of the game’s brightest stars.
“This sport is cleaner than ever,” declared Selig at a POLITICO-sponsored breakfast interview. It’s common to hear Selig speak of baseball’s drug agreement as the “toughest drug-testing program in America,” with harsh penalties and strict enforcement.
You have to wonder: if that were true, why is Biogenesis even a thing?
Keep in mind what baseball is desperately trying to do here. They’ve doled out loads of money to consultants, private investigators, and drug peddlers in an effort to come up with something, anything, tying players to PEDs. And there are apparently a lot of players caught up in this fishing expedition; if you believe media reports, anywhere between 20 and 100. And though Selig has declined to say how many players might be suspended, he confirmed David Letterman’s hunch that a “day of reckoning” was on the horizon. Those aren’t exactly words you use if you’re talking about a couple of fringe players.
And yet, as far as we know, not one of the players whose head is on the chopping block has actually failed a drug test. Well, excluding Ryan Braun. But even that test was thrown out because it was handled improperly – which is, by the way, evidence that the “toughest drug-testing program in America” really isn’t.
Is it really a clean sport if you have a huge segment of your playing population implicated in a drug scandal and yet can’t produce one positive test to corroborate circumstantial evidence of use?