More about drug use, rooting for Beatty, and Mara’s shot across the bow.
1) The Galea complaint and steroids. Last week, Texans linebacker Brian Cushing was suspended for four games for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy. While Cushing is still figuring out how HCG got into his system, Marcus Welby M.D. a.k.a Dr. Anthony Galea was making house calls to inject HGH (human growth hormone) and other interesting substances into athletes’ bodies. Because of his alleged illegal behavior, on Tuesday in a Buffalo federal court, a criminal complaint was filed. According to the court documents, three NFL players were named in the complaint.
With more negative news about NFL players using banned drugs, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell must be seething. Or has the NFL tolerated this behavior because of a hidden agenda? Last year, Goodell floated the idea of adding two more regular season games. Has NFL had an unspoken agreement with the players union about the use of performance enhancing drugs? In other words, the NFL knows about the (extensive) scope at which steroids and other drugs like HGH are being used. However, they have turned a blind eye (to the loopholes etc) because the sport is so prosperous. With a looming work stoppage, is the NFL looking to court public opinion by painting the players union as the antagonist? Although the league has been complicit to an extent on cracking down on drug use, they want to garner as much support as possible from the media and fans. The league does not want a work stoppage.. The Union is the obstructionist. They do not want to agree on key principles like on the percentage of the gross revenue as well as a stiffer drug policy. Perhaps the league’s hand has been forced with revelations about Cushing and now this Galea affair. Here is the league response on the Galea complaint:
“This is an ongoing federal investigation and we have not been informed of the identity of these players. We obviously have a very strong interest in learning who these players are and about their involvement with any prohibited substances so that we can enforce our policies. When we have had evidence of illegal purchase, possession, or use of HGH, we have imposed discipline and are fully prepared to do so again if the facts support it. We have been in touch with law enforcement and will continue to cooperate with the federal authorities as the case moves forward. This case highlights the need for enhanced testing and in our discussions about a new Collective Bargaining Agreement with the NFL Players Association, we have proposed expanding our current testing program to include growth hormone.”
Human growth hormone (HGH) is being used by athletes because they believe it helps improve performance. Recently, a study conducted by Austrailian researchers have confirmed this belief. Although HGH is not an anabolic steroid, it is combined with steroids to form potent cocktails. Needless to say, if an athlete wants to receive these performance enhancing drugs, all they need is a credit card. As Wonder stated, “There is no doubt in my mind that there is an underground society to feed this demand. Where there is a lot of money and a lot of need, there are going to be people filling that need. Chemists, out of work medical professionals, drug reps with contacts… lots of people out there with a very lucrative opportunity.”
Galea is just the tip of the iceberg. There are countless Galeas providing these type of services to athletes. Moreover, under the guise of wellness centers and rejuvenation clinics located throughout the United States, HGH and steroids are readily available. If professional sports leagues including the NFL want to put a stop to the rampant use of performance enhancing drugs (PED), they have to have stricter testing programs. Once the NFL begins to tighten their grip on PED use, then they will be able to ferret it out of their sport.
2) Beatty-ing out Diehl for LT? Will William Beatty ferret out Diehl from his tackle spot? According to the Football Outsiders, Giants’ coaches would like to see William Beatty win the left tackle job. “The coaches would like to see William Beatty win the left tackle job, which would allow them to kick David Diehl inside to left guard and push Rich Seubert into a reserve role.”
3) Shot across the bow? During last week’s photo opportunity at the New Meadowlands Stadium, replete with a major campaign to host a future Super Bowl, Giants co-owner John Mara’s words got lost. Asked about the upcoming 2010 season, Mara answered, “We have a couple of question marks which hopefully get ironed out in training camp, but going into this season we should be a better team than we were last year. We better be.”
The Tom Coughlin watch has begun. Imagine for a minute, the Giants lose their first game at home in their new stadium. Then, they travel to Indianapolis and get toasted by Peyton Manning. They begin the season 0-2. And their third game, is a must win against Tennessee. It is conceivable. NAAA!! Let us hope this is not going to be the case. Especially, with what we had to endure last season.