Echoing some of David Ortiz’ earlier comments, Twins reliver Juan Rincon thinks there’s something fishy about the results of baseball’s recent drug tests. From the St. Paul Pioneer Press’ Gordon Wittenmyer.
Rincon, who is scheduled to have a union grievance regarding his suspension heard later this month in New York, charges Major League Baseball with creating scapegoats out of Latin players with the new testing policy. He said MLB hasn’t done enough to clearly educate players who might use products in their native countries that are legal there and appear benign, and yet may contain substances banned under the policy.
Cleveland’s Rafael Betancourt on Friday became the sixth player suspended under the new major league policy this season and first since Rincon. Five of the six are Latin players.
“Look at the percentages. How many guys (in the majors) are from Latin America? And how many tested positive?” he said.
Between 20 and 25 percent of major leaguers are from Latin America, with 83 percent of the positive tests coming from this group.
Mostly, he said, it’s lack of effective communication with players who, in many cases, aren’t fluent in English, along with a lack of awareness by MLB of what’s routinely made available ” and is legal ” in some Latin countries but that doesn’t appear to be steroids.
He suggests baseball invest one offseason in researching the latter issue, and that it step up its efforts regarding the former.
At the very least, he said he would like a list of banned substances so he could compare it with ingredients when buying over-the-counter nutritional supplements. Baseball says it provides a list, but Rincon said he hasn’t seen one.