Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Why Let Facts Get In The Way Of A Good Steroids Story?

I guess this is my addendum to the rant below. In 2003, Terrmel Sledge was suspended from international competition for taking a banned substance.

The substance was a form of androstenedione (Andro), which, at the time, was legally sold over-the-counter and was not banned by baseball--nor any US professional sport as far as i know.

Yet, this is how the AP decides to play it today:
Washington (AP) - Washington Nationals outfielder Terrmel Sledge knows all too well the damage that can come from steroid use.

Major League Baseball didn't punish Sledge when he tested positive for steroids two years ago. But the damage to his reputation was more than enough to keep him clean.

This kind of crap really pisses me off. First, the substance wasn't banned anywhere, but in international competition. Second, there are many who would debate whether its a steroid or just a controlled substance.

I can't stand it when sportswriters mold the facts to fit their preformatted boilerplate templates. There's no need to tarnish or drag a player through the mud because it conveniently fits your storyline.

It's particularly stupid, because this story is over two years old. It was settled then and barely registered a blip then. Dragging it out now is unfair to Sledge and unfair to the readers who, not knowing the background of the story, will leap to conclusions based on tha paucity of facts presented.

It's a good thing this AP writer wasn't based in Salem in 1692.

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