If the information obtained by the New York Daily News is to be believed, then the Cardinals are having a hell of a bad year in PR as they make a run for it in the NL Central: our feel-good story of the year in Rick Ankiel may make us a bit queasy, with reports he bought a year’s worth of HGH in 2004. This was before MLB banned HGH, but regardless of timing or legality, it’s going to leave a bitter taste in a lot of mouths. It’s part of the larger investigation by the Albany DA of a pharmacy in Florida that provided drugs to athletes, but I think this is probably the bigger point to note below:
Ankiel has fought numerous injuries in his career, and some athletes, such as [New England Patriots safety Rodney] Harrison, have said they used HGH to augment the body’s healing process. It is banned in every major professional sport as a performance-enhancing drug because it builds lean muscle mass, but there is no universally accepted test for it.
Eventually, professional sport will have to do one of two things: come up with an HGH test or acknowledge the wear and tear of professional sport and compensate for it — if it means work and an income if you heal faster with the help of something, who isn’t going to try and ensure his or her livelihood?
As for Walt Jocketty, bet he’s having a fun time with this season’s bad PR: La Russa’s DUI, Josh Hancock’s drunk driving death, Scott Spiezio’s rehab, and now this.
Photo: AP/John Roberson