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Nelson Cruz says infection led him to Biogenesis

Aug 5, 2013, 3:28 PM EDT

Nelson Cruz AP

Nelson Cruz says that a gastrointestinal infection, helicobacter pylori, led him to seek out the assistance of performance-enhancing drugs prior to the 2012 season.

According to his statement, timed with the announcement of his 50-game suspension, Cruz said he became seriously ill in Nov. 2011 and that, by the time he was properly diagnosed, he had lost 40 pounds.

Just weeks before I was to report to spring training in 2012, I was unsure whether I would be physically able to play. Faced with this situation, I made an error in judgment that I deeply regret, and I accept full responsibility for that error. I should have handled the situation differently, and my illness was no excuse. I am thankful for the unwavering support of my family, friends and teammates during this difficult time. I look forward to regaining the trust and respect of the Rangers organization, my teammates, and the great Rangers’ fans, and I am grateful for the opportunity to rejoin the team for the playoffs.

The Rangers will probably have to welcome Cruz back should they reach the postseason — he’s a key cog in the middle of their lineup — but they’ll probably wash their hands of him after that. Cruz is a free agent at season’s end, and the Rangers aren’t likely to throw a whole bunch of money at a guy who bailed on the team.

  1. flamethrower101 - Aug 5, 2013 at 3:32 PM

    To me this instantly comes off as a pathetic excuse. But if it is true, what kind of freakin’ doctors did he see? No way the Rangers’ medical staff is so incompetent that they couldn’t diagnose this.

    • clydeserra - Aug 5, 2013 at 3:46 PM

      there is the money question. Why these “doctors?” who are the “doctors” that the other players are going to?

      What bugs me about this is there is this clinic in Miami that gets exposed by a alt weekly writer who has virtually no backing, ni funding, no interest in doping further than its a good way to sell papers (or give them away and sell ads for the new times I suppose). it catches 12 fringy guys. 1 star, two or three good players and one super mega star.

      How many clinics like this are there? Why can’t MLB root those out? It stinks of the lone gunman theories. I feel like MLB is saying “look at us, we smoked out the bad guys, Hank aaron still has the MLB record for HRs!”

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Aug 5, 2013 at 3:54 PM

        Correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t the state going after this clinic first? And then it was found out the MLB players were involved? We’ve spent so much time haggling over the JDA/CBA I can’t remember the order of operations here.

      • clydeserra - Aug 5, 2013 at 4:06 PM

        maybe. I don’t remember either.

        Point is, this is a tiny clinic. it doesn’t seem possible, or probable this is the end of peds. Seems like fishy that mlb is going all out on it.

        Boesch doesn’t get his doping info in a vacuum. if he is cooperating, he has to know people that are doing the same thing, or at least trained in the same way.

      • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Aug 5, 2013 at 4:07 PM

        Why can’t MLB root out the suppliers? Because MLB is too busy making deals with the suppliers. Instead of asking the players to give evidence against the drug-supplying networks of doctors and clinics, MLB chooses instead to ask the drug peddling doctors to dish on players so Bud & Co can create the illusion of going after this problem.

    • brianc6234 - Aug 5, 2013 at 4:02 PM

      He definitely didn’t talk to the team doctor. He did this on his own but I don’t believe his story. He did it to get big money. It’s all about greed.

  2. apkyletexas - Aug 5, 2013 at 3:36 PM

    “I had a stomach ailment, so I shot needles full of horse testosterone into my ass.”

    Well – that makes perfect sense!

    • eightyraw - Aug 5, 2013 at 3:53 PM

      Because you know exactly what he took?

      • jwbiii - Aug 5, 2013 at 7:51 PM

        No, but we do know that the Biogenesis linked players who failed tests, Melky Cabrera, Bartolo Colon, and Yasmani Grandal, all failed for exogenous testosterone. Ryan Braun failed a test for the same thing, but that was before Biogenesis was open. I think it is fair to assume that Anthony Bosch was selling testosterone.

  3. koufaxmitzvah - Aug 5, 2013 at 3:37 PM

    He went to Biogenesis to heal quicker. Not to hit the baseball any harder. Not to run the bases any faster.

    When Mark McGwire began taking steroids was after his 2 shoulder surgeries in 2 seasons. It was to help his shoulder grow stronger. So that he can heal quicker.

    Not everyone is a cheater. Not everyone is trying for ill gotten gains. Some guys are really just trying to get out onto the field and be the teammate the institution of baseball expects them to be.

    • bronco58lb - Aug 5, 2013 at 3:43 PM

      In the era of 95-plus mph fastballs, it seems unfathomable that a pitcher could get through the grind of spring training, 162-game season and potential playoffs without some pharmaceutical assistance at some point.

      • koufaxmitzvah - Aug 5, 2013 at 4:04 PM

        This is the era of the 5-man rotation. And the 100 pitch count. Which, of course, supports a need for Quality Start stats.

        We’ll just agree to disagree.

      • joestemme - Aug 5, 2013 at 4:16 PM

        So, bronco – EVERY PITCHER IN THE HISTORY OF MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL before the ‘roid era were either on some sort of “drugs” or, what, Super-Men?

    • mvp43 - Aug 5, 2013 at 3:46 PM

      I used to believe that but no longer. I don’t trust what any of these players say from this point on. These aren’t stick in the ass needles like Bonds or Sosa- , they are custom designed drugs that are supposed to be completely untraceable, and they normally are. Cruz got nailed because his name was on a list and that’s it. Braun got nailed for the same reason. Braun could gert tested now and pass, even if he’s still on them.

      • koufaxmitzvah - Aug 5, 2013 at 4:08 PM

        You’re letting Bud Selig, the man who supported forgoing the 1994 World Series, in a year that could have seen Tony Gwynn bat .400, some shmo from the Giants not named Barry Bonds hit 62+ homers, and have the best team in baseball actually come from Montreal, be more credible than the athletes playing the game. That’s a slippery slope.

    • adcoop22 - Aug 5, 2013 at 3:48 PM

      Tell that to Connor Jackson. I have never hear anyone getting steroids for H pylori, weak excuses.

    • themohel - Aug 5, 2013 at 3:58 PM

      That is garbage. Recovering quicker between workouts and after injury increases performance.

      • koufaxmitzvah - Aug 5, 2013 at 4:09 PM

        I’m not following. You described what an athlete does. Working out, getting on the field, improving performance….

      • themohel - Aug 5, 2013 at 4:18 PM

        Not playing the troll game with you, Sandy…

      • koufaxmitzvah - Aug 5, 2013 at 4:25 PM

        You did call my point garbage, which is your prerogative. I’ll stop trying to figure out how you expect athletes to perform and compete if they aren’t trying to get better.

        You’re welcome to believe that every athlete is a crook. Wondering just what dirty little trick someone is trying to pass on me is not the way I want to go through life.

      • themohel - Aug 5, 2013 at 5:53 PM

        Taking PEDs to get back to playing or to recover quicker after a tough game is called cheating under the current rules, which they all agreed to years before these violations. Knowing that they could lose 50 games for their team and taking the risk anyway is selfish. Whether PEDs should be legal is another conversation, but is somewhat theoretical at this point.

        So, I don’t think any of them are crooks for using PEDs, but I do think they should be treated according to the rules they have agreed to.

    • brianc6234 - Aug 5, 2013 at 3:59 PM

      Excuses, excuses. He’s a cheater. Are you actually dumb enough to believe his story?

  4. scoutsaysweitersisabust - Aug 5, 2013 at 3:42 PM

    This makes him doubly stupid, as all players should be aware that you are guaranteed to be tested for steroids during spring training.

    • cohnjusack - Aug 5, 2013 at 3:50 PM

      Because the most effective way to catch them is to let them know exactly when the tests will occur, thereby giving them ample time to cycle off.

    • clydeserra - Aug 5, 2013 at 3:50 PM

      he was, presumably, and wasn’t suspended in 2012.

    • eightyraw - Aug 5, 2013 at 3:55 PM

      He never failed a test, and we have no idea if he took steroids.

      • brianc6234 - Aug 5, 2013 at 3:58 PM

        He took PEDs for sure. This isn’t about steroids anyway. It’s about using any performance enhancing drugs. I doubt many athletes use steroids anymore. Those things are caught easily in testing. Now they use things like whatever Bartolo Colon is using this year.

      • eightyraw - Aug 5, 2013 at 4:19 PM

        I prefer “banned substance.” PED makes it sound like he took something that is magically capable of making him a better player.

    • mvp43 - Aug 5, 2013 at 4:05 PM

      Yes, they know they’ll be tested but they also know that these drugs are virtually undetectable. You don’t take these every single day. You may take them once a week lets say, and you’re gambling that you won’t be tested. Its all a timing thing…. they exit your system in 24 hours. I’d say that its still worth the risk if you have a guaranteed contract. Nothing will change until teams can void contracts. Until then the drugs are getting better.

      • scoutsaysweitersisabust - Aug 5, 2013 at 4:19 PM

        Exactly. That’s why if I’m going to take an illegal substance, I’m going to do so AFTER I’ve been tested in Spring Training. Not before. Of course, you are playing the odds on detection, but hell if you are going to lie/cheat/steal/etc do so when the odds are in your favor, not the other way around.

  5. schlemealsschlimazel - Aug 5, 2013 at 3:52 PM

    Back in my day, a tablespoon of Milk of Magnesia and a 12 pack of Schlitz would have had me back on the field within 6 hours. Pansy.

  6. brianc6234 - Aug 5, 2013 at 3:56 PM

    These cheaters should be banned from the playoffs too. And I don’t believe his story. Sounds made up. If he had a problem like that go to the team doctor and get help.

  7. crimson428 - Aug 5, 2013 at 4:03 PM

    So who had Cruz in the “first with an excuse” pool?

  8. cubanxsenators - Aug 5, 2013 at 4:12 PM

    Boy that new agent got right to work.

    “Doctors failed you, so you went to this fake doctor, see . . .”

  9. gibbskins9 - Aug 5, 2013 at 4:13 PM

    Why not your primary care physician? LIAR

  10. miketreedy - Aug 5, 2013 at 4:21 PM

    There are like 10 posts saying the same thing. Just click thumbs up or down on the first posting.

  11. miketreedy - Aug 5, 2013 at 4:27 PM

    Not sure why people think the Rangers won’t resign Nelson. They have two corner OF positions plus a DH to fill this off season if they don’t sign Nelson. The don’t have any strong minor league OF prospects. There are a few FA options but no guarantee they can sign any of them – even though they will have money to spend. Plus Nelson will probably be willing to take a 1 year deal until people forget about this story and then can become a FA again after 2014.

  12. paperlions - Aug 5, 2013 at 4:30 PM

    Cruz is from the DR. If he was there while sick, I have no problem at all believing that it took a long time for proper diagnosis….hell, a colleague of mine had malaria for 6 weeks and kept telling his US doctors that malaria is what he had until after multiple failed attempts to treat him, they finally decided, “huh, I guess you have malaria, our bad.”

    Doctors are essentially auto-mechanics for the human body, the degree does not come with expert diagnostic abilities or strong inference skills.

    • historiophiliac - Aug 5, 2013 at 6:12 PM

      Hence, “practicing” medicine. I had a similar experience.

  13. ninthwardfriend - Aug 5, 2013 at 4:31 PM

    Yeah right!!!!

  14. granadafan - Aug 5, 2013 at 6:47 PM

    If you think Cruz wrote that statement, then I have some swamp land to sell you. His lawyer/ publicists wrote it.

  15. bmoreravens1012013 - Aug 5, 2013 at 7:08 PM


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