The 10-game suspension of Baltimore Orioles' Rafael Palmeiro is the seventh since baseball toughened its steroid policy, but he is the first big-name player to fail the drug test in the inaugural year of real testing. Mr. Palmeiro claims that he ''never intentionally used steroids.'' But as a 20-year veteran, he has a responsibility to know exactly what enters his body. His denial of drug usage makes the case more complicated.
A positive test for steroids has put not just his sporting career on the line but also his very credibility, given this finger pointing assertion before a congressional committee earlier this year, The World Today reports.
Palmeiro himself harshly denies steroid usage:
“Well when I testified in front of Congress I was telling the truth then. What happened to me here is a very unfortunate situation. It was an accident”, he was quoted as saying by The World Today. “You know, why I would do this during a season where I was going to get to 3,000 hits. It just makes no sense. I would not put my career on the line. I would not put my reputation on the line and you know everything that I have accomplished throughout my career. I would not do that. I am not a crazy person. I'm not stupid,” he added.
A career, legacy and records should mean enough to Mr. Palmeiro for him to give a true reason for his failed drug test. Even if he didn't ''intentionally'' use any steroids, they are still illegal. His unawareness sends the wrong message to fellow players and his fans, Herald says.