ESPN reports that: JC Romero (pitcher for the Philadelphia Phillies Baseball team) has tested positive for androstenedione (an anabolic steroid). The substance was contained in an over-the-counter supplement called 6-OXO.
An arbitration panel of Major League Baseball (MLB) has now suspended JC for the first 50 games of this season for “negligence” in not checking out the supplement with their toll-free drug hotline run by the National Center for Drug-Free Sport. JC feels particularly hard done by as he maintains that he was not aware of the existence of the hotline until after he tested positive for the violation, despite efforts from MLB to bring it to player’s attentions.
“It’s for you guys to decide what negligence means,” Romero said. “But I [asked] my nutritionist and my strength coach I’ve been working with. I took my supplements to another person to make sure the label didn’t have anything that … had any kind of banned substance.”
Since JC’s violation, the MLBPA Players union has sent a memo to all baseball players warning them that the supplement would cause them to test positive for the steroid.
Although the suspension will cost Romero $1.25 million in salary, before you start feeling too sorry, just consider that 6-oxo is advertised as a ‘legal testosterone-booster’ and was apparently designed by Patrick Arnold (the same chemist who designed THG and was implicated in the BALCO scandal). Surely these two facts should have set alarm bells ringing?