This directly from the Mitchell Report:
Human growth hormone is a prescription medication. It is illegal to issue a prescription for human growth hormone except for very limited purposes. Human growth hormone never has been approved for cosmetic or anti-aging uses, or to improve athletic performance. Issuing a prescription for human growth hormone for any of these unauthorized purposes is a violation of federal law.
Many have asserted that steroids and other performance enhancing substances were not banned in Major League Baseball before the 2002 Basic Agreement. This is not accurate. Beginning in 1971 and continuing today, Major League Baseballâ€™s drug policy has prohibited the use of any prescription medication without a valid prescription.
The “it’s only HGH” defense is one we’re going to hear a lot in the coming days. Players will say they used HGH only to recover from an injuries so they could help out the club. It’s not steroids! Doctors prescribe it!
That all may be true. I’m no chemist or doctor, I have no idea what human growth hormone does.
But these players got their HGH from a guy who spent his days folding towels and picking up dirty socks. Kirk Radomski was just a regular guy who got a gig with the Mets and figured out how to make a lot of money on the side selling drugs to players.
If HGH wasn’t banned by baseball and is only used to heal injuries, then why did the players have to get it on the sly from some clubbie in Queens? If HGH is so innocent, why is Kirk Radomski headed to jail?
I’d be interested if somebody told me a certain drug would make me a better sportswriter. But if I had to get that drug from some guy working out of his garage instead of my doctor, I’d pass. According to some research I reviewed, an estimated 45 perfect of black-market HGH is fake.
Going 66 is speeding. If you’re 20 years and 364 days old, you can’t drink legally. These guys aren’t criminals, but what they did was wrong and no moralizing can change that.
The best thing baseball can do is wipe the slate clean and warn everybody: Do it again and you sit for 50 games. Then we can all get back to baseball.