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So who’s more important: the drug users or the drug dealers?

Jan 29, 2013, 10:30 AM EDT

Image (1) hgh.jpg for post 4145

Following up on the whole discipline angle from the last post, it definitely seems like more is going to happen before there is either any legal action or baseball disciplinary action in the A-Rod case. I mean, last I checked we don’t prosecute people based on newspaper articles alone.

But what that next step is will be extremely interesting. Because it will tell us whether Major League Baseball and the DEA is more interested in drug users or drug dealers.

Back in the Mitchell Report days, MLB, George Mitchell and federal agents went to the drug dealers first and gave them various degrees of immunity. Why? Because no one cared about drug dealers. The Mitchell Report, as I wrote at length back in the day, was a public relations exercise and everyone involved wanted to get the names of PED-using players out in the open. The league wanted to look like it was taking action, George Mitchell wanted prestige and billable hours for his law firm and the feds wanted some big, celebrity heads on pikes.  This, by the way, is a lot of the reason why the lowest hanging fruit was picked back then and guys like A-Rod and Biogenesis went unmentioned.

But what now?  Once again we have MLB and the DEA pursuing PEDs. Based on the Miami New Times report, the next obvious move for law enforcement is to either get players like A-Rod, Nelson Cruz, Bartolo Colon, Gio Gonzalez and others in a room to talk about the clinic’s possibly illegal prescriptions or else to get the clinic’s operators in to talk about the users. That’s how the next phase of this has to go.

Will the DEA decide to pursue distributors or end users? Will MLB seek out the quickest means to get “just cause” suspension evidence on the players, or will it attempt to learn everything it can about what may very well be the biggest pipeline of drugs into its sport?

The choices that are made about all of this in the coming days will tell us a lot about the league’s and the feds’ priorities.

  1. illcomm - Jan 29, 2013 at 10:42 AM

    why does it matter when hgh has “no” benefit. if you add scientists to the list, then I would say all three are equal in blame. tech it all comes down to the love of money and greed throughtout professional sports.

  2. chill1184 - Jan 29, 2013 at 10:49 AM

    To start off I’m against the drug war in all it’s forms.

    The mindless war on drugs started by Nixon has led to nothing but the expansion of government, the militarization of police forces (or as I like to call them government thugs), stealing of people’s property under loosely defined asset forfeiture laws and the general violations of people’s civil liberties.

    With that said blaming the drug dealer for what the end user did is akin to blaming the gun manufacture because some nut job went on a killing spree. The dealer only supply’s the product, it’s up to the user on what he or she will do with the damm thing. As far as we know the users are all adults and nobody pulled a gun to their heads to force them to buy the product.

    The federal government has no business sticking it’s damm nose in an MLB internal problem. However because as we all know the feds can use the threat of removing MLB’s anti-trust exemption and Selig will do anything if it helps boost his ego and “legacy”. In the end this is going to another mindless media episode which will probably amount to very little if anything.

    • townballblog - Jan 29, 2013 at 10:55 AM

      It’s easier to use PEDs and make $250 million in 15-20 years than it is to use a gun and rob a bank.

      And here is a thought: Perhaps what we need is for PED users to subject government penalties (fines, prison time, etc..) just like folks who use guns to commit crimes.

      • chill1184 - Jan 29, 2013 at 11:00 AM

        The gun example is me demonstrating how absurd is to blame a seller for what a buyer did with said product. I never said PEDs and gun crimes are related.

        I also have a problem putting someone in jail for putting a non-government approved substance inside their own body. Theres no point in letting mindless do-gooder politicians handle the punishment process.

      • townballblog - Jan 29, 2013 at 11:13 AM

        I know what you said.

        “As far as we know the users are all adults and nobody pulled a gun to their heads to force them to buy the product…” I was just playing to your example and I didn’t really have a point.

        I jumped the gun without thinking too much about it…it must’ve been triggered your cynicism there at the end.

      • townballblog - Jan 29, 2013 at 11:15 AM

        Sorry chill1184, I couldn’t resist the gun references. I mostly agree with you :)

      • paperlions - Jan 29, 2013 at 1:39 PM

        I think more guys have robbed banks with guns than have made $250M playing baseball and using PEDs…so, I don’t think that fact is particularly factual.

    • brazcubas - Jan 29, 2013 at 11:29 AM

      Your gun example is a bit misleading. If a gun manufacturer is involved in large-scale illegal arms trafficking, then shutting them down is probably more important than arresting some lowly criminals on gun-related charges.

      As always, it all depends on context, if Biogenesis was engaged in prescription fraud, and other illegal activities, then the Feds should go after them, not the users.

  3. townballblog - Jan 29, 2013 at 10:51 AM

    Important question, Craig: These drugs that are mentioned in the report are banned by MLB. However, are they consider illegal substances by the DEA?

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jan 29, 2013 at 12:09 PM

      Anabolic steroids are illegal to use without a prescription, so the doctor is breaking a federal law giving them to the players. I believe HGH falls under the same category.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jan 29, 2013 at 12:10 PM

        ugh I should have kept reading as raysfan1 already responded. Oops

      • paperlions - Jan 29, 2013 at 1:42 PM

        The physician isn’t breaking the law by prescribing steroids, HGH, or IGF-1; he is breaking the law for prescribing them for uses that that are not FDA approved. Doctors don’t get to make up their own rules about what is good for what, they are limited in what and how much they can dole out and which ailments they can dole it out to treat.

    • badintent - Jan 29, 2013 at 6:38 PM

      craig, the anwser to your question is both. Dun ! Winnning ! Tiger Milk !

      Charlie Sheen, the LA mayor and some hookers approved this message

  4. raysfan1 - Jan 29, 2013 at 11:05 AM

    The short answer to whether the drugs are “banned” by the DEA is no. Very few drugs are completely illegal under the Controlled Substances Act–the ones that are have no legitimate medical use (prime example is heroin). The drugs in question here are legal if prescribed by a licensed medical provider for a legitimate medical reason.

    • townballblog - Jan 29, 2013 at 11:19 AM

      Thanks, @raysfan1. If that is the case (assuming the good dr. here is legit) then the DEA, as @Chill1184 mentioned, has no business being involved.

      Furthermore, we should be concerned that if nothing illegal was happening and the DEA would investigate a medical facility simply because MLB requested it.

      • paperlions - Jan 29, 2013 at 1:44 PM

        Prescribing HGH, IGF-1, or testosterone to enhance sports performance is illegal, which is what this guy appears to have been doing.

      • badintent - Jan 29, 2013 at 6:41 PM

        I would hate to think that deer hunters are chopping off antlers to sell the horns for some growth stuff for Ray Lewis/ just saying……………………..

  5. heyblueyoustink - Jan 29, 2013 at 11:08 AM

    If the DEA is involved, they’re after the dealers. Their existence is to find a way, one way or another, to get to ther top of the beast so to speak and cut off it’s head. They may use the users to get to that end, but make no mistake, that’s what they’re gunning or, along with all the assets and monies the seller has.

    That point can’t be undersold, the DEA can be very profitable from time to time. And that could be on the books money for on the books things, or off the books money for off the book things.

  6. unclemosesgreen - Jan 29, 2013 at 11:18 AM

    It really depends on who you’re asking. If you ask a drug dealer, the user is more important, gotta have customers. And a drug user, especially an addict, knows for sure that the dealer is more important.

    Wait, is that what you meant?

  7. Old Gator - Jan 29, 2013 at 11:31 AM

    Dealers or users? Ach, this has the potential to metastasize into another cake versus pie argument.

    – Should I even mention Alice B. Toklas brownies in this context?

    – No, Pussy, please don’t….

    • mazblast - Jan 29, 2013 at 12:12 PM

      Pie, if made correctly, which is infrequent. Cake is excellent and more consistent, but good pie…

  8. macjacmccoy - Jan 29, 2013 at 12:07 PM

    We will learn about your priorities too. Seeing that you have only wrote 1 story about the suppliers and around 5 about A Rod.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jan 29, 2013 at 12:12 PM

      Here’s a hint, this is a baseball blog. One of the parties plays baseball, the other doesn’t. Which do you think he’d write about?

      • heyblueyoustink - Jan 29, 2013 at 12:52 PM

        I see you’re on top of your game today, Church, always fun when not on the receiving end of your retorts.

  9. APBA Guy - Jan 29, 2013 at 12:21 PM

    Where are Crockett and Tubbs when you need them?

    • Old Gator - Jan 29, 2013 at 2:58 PM

      Long since retired, having cashed in their alligator for the meat and skin.

  10. gsrider911 - Jan 29, 2013 at 6:40 PM

    I’m wondering why all those annoying, Nattitude-drunk National fans aren’t prematurely coming to Geo the man-child Gonzalez’s defense.
    In seeing all of the names associated with the Miami New Times article, Geo’s was the most surprizing to me. The reason that I think that the records that were taken from Biogenesis/Tony Bosch are likely accurate is that ALMOST ALL of these dudes listed (baseball or other) have already either admitted PED use (A-Roid) or have already been suspended for it (Grandal, Melky, Colon and tennis player Odesnik). And **shocker** most of them have ties to the UM baseball team, who apparently feeds their players PEDs as in between inning snacks.

    • gsrider911 - Jan 29, 2013 at 6:41 PM

      Oh wait, all of the Nats fans are celebrating the 2013 World Series already.

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