Victor Conte on PEDs in MLB
Wed, 22 Aug 2012|
Victor Conte, founder of Balco Laboratories, joined CTL Wednesday to discuss PEDs in professional baseball, and estimates as many as half the players in the league use them - 8/22
Another big name. Today gets the fifty game suspension Bartolo -- elevated testosterone levels and he is now out of the Oakland a's rotation. What percentage do you really truly believe are cheating in baseball today by using -- -- Well as I said. A few days ago. I believe it may be as high as 50%. Arm the reason I say that is because the huge loophole that exists in Major League Baseball testing. Is the fact that during the offseason they do very little testing. The MLB contract allows them to test up to 375. Players during the offseason but you go back and look at the number they actually test. It's in the neighborhood of fifty to sixty so instead of testing up to. 30% or more are of the players that they they are legally. Able to test. -- of their testing less than 5%. So this is -- the fish -- -- this when they need to prepare they're broken line in the water if they wanna catch the fish but our. That the testing during the offseason I believe is an adequate. They Victor Jordan -- feel from WGN radio here. How prevalent are these masking agents in terms of players being able to be ahead of the curve and how much I had -- day. Then the current testing and so how how much of this do you think can be. Sort of a problem that never ends. Well I am of the opinion that it's not about new. Designer substances. I think the opposite I think they went back and they're old school. Meaning of the large loophole is that is synthetic testosterone. Now than normal TE ratio. Is 11. They allow up to for a -- so a player can double their testosterone level and still come you know under the radar so. What they're basically doing is using fast acting forms of testosterone the cream is the gels the patches they can even micro dose of my injection. But they do this after the games and then -- Within six hours -- TE ratios back down to within the allowable for a one so they show that the park of course that would test negative. So -- instead of you know more advanced and sophisticated. Are masking agents as you talked about and designer steroids I think it's more old school. Victor Phil Rogers I've got a couple for you that that the short what has. I heard a former general managers say. Recently with the starter this week at a West Coast player was going to be was gonna come out with a positive test. After Melky Cabrera and today it's Cologne. Do you hear of war in the pipeline right now and then secondly. What do you make or what did you make of the whole Ryan -- melodrama over the offseason. Well. You know I have heard the rumor about Melky Cabrera about a month out arm. And yes I've heard a rumor that. There's a third player here that may come. Fourth with a positive test in in Major League Baseball. If I understand this process takes somewhere between three and five weeks. They test the a sample they find an elevated TE ratio or they find there. Positive test for for anabolic steroid and then the player and the scientific Arum. Consultant and legal counsel go actually to the laboratory and watched the B sample be open and then they go through the entire -- process of a confirmation and then once they get get that in in terms of synthetic testosterone. And they do a carbon isotope ratio test which has -- been nicknamed the nail in the coffin tests. And that's typically it takes somewhere between three of five weeks before that becomes public. In terms of Brian Brohm. I really think that that is just something terrible that happened there to Major League Baseball. Even by the Wada standard many Wada officials stepped up and said. That using the Wada code in terms of collection and transport of samples that everything that that. I did in the collection and transport the sample was exactly per the Wada code some verbiage and in Major League Baseball that. Allowed him to get often they've obviously changed that now. But in my opinion. He's as guilty as a three dollar bill. He should've been punished. It's just sad that Major League Baseball got exposed. You know they talked about having the toughest. Anti doping program in American sports and I just simply don't believe that's true and and I think the people are very easily circumventing the program. In that -- is Chris I'm from her Tribune what would you do. To fix this problem is there -- fix Spurs it's always going to be a perpetual. Arms race between the players and and baseball. No I I believe there's a very simple fix and that is to use the CIR testing carbon isotope ratio testing. As a screen test and every single urine sample that they test they need to use this past. Instead of you know being back down using the TE ratio -- -- -- -- testosterone ratio test. And having it be backed down below the allowable for a one -- a matter of six hours. These CIR test will be -- synthetic testosterone for two weeks so you would. Basically plug. This. Hole. If you did frequent enough testing. And -- you know as I stated earlier. When they show up at training camp they do one of these on I think on the average they probably only do two tests per year on the players I know some do more no. Someone did get five and six tests and I -- one player that got eleven tests and and one season so there are reasons they get intelligence or or they they target people and they do more tests but. I think for the most part they'll only do a couple of tests in the very first one they do it. At training camp that's more of an IQ test and drug test as it's announced. So I really think that the testing is is this is not effective and what they do during the offseason has just completely inept. Victor we quote Q is an expert and we have. We appreciate you coming on the show as an expert. But how do you view your own. Roll and end the steroid story in sports how do you look back at your own involvement. Well I've made some very serious mistakes what people. For the most part don't understand is that I participated at the elite level of sport starting right -- bako in 1984. So for sixteen years I did comprehensive testing. In terms of nutritional parameters and and advised players and and it from many different sports and back to back Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos the entire team back and 9798 when when they want those are Super Bowls and then I -- -- Olympic official track and field. And he told me about some positive drug tests were covered up. And this changed my whole. Approach to things once I realized that that those who were receiving the majority of the financial game for much more work coming in on it. And this was back in 1992 and and he actually initially called me and told me that an athlete that I was working with not providing any sort of PD's but but in terms of nutrition. I was a shot putter and -- that he had tested positive for -- ball. And so I went to the athlete class families of yeah he -- had been using a but he papered the normal amount of time we thought it would be clear. While I called him back a few days later and said listen I'm some of the elder statesmen here got together in track and field and and decided that it was a good time for these positive test come out -- for the going to be swept under the -- to tell your boys off the hook. This had a profound effect upon me and am down. I made that very serious it was nothing more than rationality is that athletes were using wage too high dosages were causing an average help the facts. I -- the clinical laboratory I could do liver testing and kidney function testing and and cholesterol fractions and and try to help them do what they were already doing in their minds they felt to be competitive. It's safer and it was a serious mistaken and I joined the culture and and that. Real. Thing that made me reckless and and I would I look back at the I didn't understand that the time. Was all the people around me and all the people around the athletes. There are harmed when you make this sort of a decision they didn't cheat my mother father. Children they didn't cheat they didn't break the law they didn't do anything wrong if there was a tremendous amount of damage that was done to them. So that's my messages is if I had -- -- all over again I would certainly have made different choices. And I'm sure that these players and athletes that are now testing positive. I I can pretty much guarantee that their families are suffering greatly to. Victor we appreciate it take a time as we let it go like talked to a former cub who raved about his work out with you he tested positive this year were you shocked. That Marlon Byrd came up positive. Yes I was. I did not realize that you know he had. Medical condition I don't know how much is revealed about this that this is personal business but. And he had a surgery for it and and it was coming back and it was something that was very painful and and he took some bad advice and got a hold of our Tamoxifen which is something they used to treat got to -- -- via. And he took tested positive and and he told me about 48 hours before -- was announced so you know that's very unfortunate from our among the bad decision he made it's also unfortunate for me. It is a two way street and because in my past that if there -- I have to be very careful. When I work with people because if it comes back -- -- positive if they certainly point the finger at me is as possible source so. I feel bad for -- -- really like Marlon is a great guy he just made a bad decision.