Craig Calcaterra

Blogger at NBC Sport.com's HardballTalk. Recovering litigator. Rake. Scoundrel. Notorious Man-About-Town.
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Marlon Byrd: “I alone am responsible for what I put in my body”

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Marlon Byrd and his attorney, Jay Reisinger of Farrell & Reisinger, LLC, have released statements in the wake of Byrd’s 162-game suspension for PEDs.

Byrd takes full responsibility for taking a supplement that was not on the list of certified supplements available to all players. When he was told he tested positive for Ipamorelin, a peptide prohibited by the Joint Drug Agreement, he retained private counsel and an independent chemist to test his supplements and determined that one of them contained the bad substance. Though Byrd says he didn’t intentionally take Ipamorelin, he said “I alone am responsible for what I put in my body,” decided to forego an appeal and issued apologies to the Cleveland Indians, his teammates, his fans and his family.

Below are their statements in full.

Byrd:

Today, I have accepted a 1 year suspension by Major League Baseball.

Recently, I was notified that I had tested positive for Ipamorelin, a peptide prohibited by the JDA.  In 2012, I tested positive for the medication Tamoxifen, which I was using on the advice of a physician for a medical condition resulting from surgery, and I accepted my suspension without challenge.  Since that time, I have paid close attention to the substances that are banned by the Joint Drug Agreement, as I had no intention of taking any banned substances.  I relied upon a medical professional for assistance and advice with respect to the supplements that I was taking.

However, certain supplements I was taking were not on the NSF Certified for Sport list, and therefore, I assumed certain risks in taking them.  When I learned that I had tested positive for Ipamorelin, I retained the services of private counsel and an independent chemist to determine the origin of the Ipamorelin test result because I never knowingly ingested Ipamorelin.  After an extensive investigation by my lawyers and an independent chemist, it was concluded that the most likely source of Ipamorelin was a tainted supplement.

I alone am responsible for what I put in my body, and therefore, I have decided for forgo my right to an appeal in this matter and accept the suspension.  I apologize for any harm this has caused the Cleveland Indians, Indians’ fans, my teammates, and most importantly, my family.

Reisinger:

My partner Tina Miller, a former federal prosecutor, and I, along with the assistance of one of the most respected biochemists in the country, explored every avenue in this matter.  Our conclusion is that Marlon’s positive test was the result of a tainted supplement.  Marlon is devastated, but understands that he is responsible for the supplements he takes, and any time a player takes a supplement that is not on the NSF list, they run a risk.  As a result, Marlon will not pursue an appeal in this matter.

 

Anthony Rizzo leads the voting in the first National League All-Star returns

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The first returns for the All-Star Game voting for the National League are in and Anthony Rizzo of the Chicago Cubs leads all voters. That noise you hear right now is a bunch of Royals fans saying they’re being disrespected that a Royals player isn’t leading the voting. When told that the Royals aren’t in the NL, their fans started putting more names on their ever-growing enemies list. But they’re not paranoid or insecure or anything.

Anyway, here are the leaders in the vote total right now. Remember, however, that MLB is likely to cull a good 20% of the votes before the All-Star Game because they violate the voting rules, come from bots or are from obviously phony email addresses. They wouldn’t have to do this if they actually gave a crap about the integrity of the vote and even put some 1995-level verification on the voting on the front end, but they don’t care. Their aim is to send as much traffic to the sponsored website where voters are funneled into an eSurance sweepstakes thing and it’s probably a lot better for all involved if the votes come in fast and furious.

But hey, it’s not like the All-Star Game has any stakes or anything, so it’s all good.

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Report: Marlon Byrd tested positive for PEDs, faces a 162-game suspension

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Vince Grzegorek of Cleveland Scene reports that Indians outfielder Marlon Byrd has tested positive for a performance enhancing drug and faces a 162-game suspension. This has not yet been confirmed by Major League Baseball, but it is expected to be soon.

The suspension would be Byrd’s second for PEDs. The first came in 2012 when he tested positive for tamoxifen, which is used to deal with the side effects of steroids. Byrd served a 50-game suspension then. As of now, a second offense brings a suspension of 162 games.

Byrd signed with the Indians in March on a minor league deal and made the team out of spring training. He’s being paid $1 million and had the possibility of another $2.5 million in performance bonuses. Though he turns 39 in August, he’s been productive this year, hitting .270/.326/.452 with five homers and 19 driven in while playing the corners in the Indians’ injury-riddled outfield. Now, if this report is confirmed, it will be an even thinner squad.

As for Byrd, he didn’t have a job until late March this season, despite the fact that he was coming off of a 23-homer year in 2015, and then he could only land the minor league deal at that. It’s hard to imagine him latching on anywhere after a year-long suspension at age 39. As such this may be, for all intents and purposes, a career-ending suspension for the 15-year MLB veteran.