I guess it was only a matter of time before a performance-enhancing drug scandal rocked the world of American soccer. I, for one, am glad that they are ridding everybody else’s national pastime of PEDs. The last thing we need is MLS becoming more entertaining.
With two games remaining in the regular season, Jon Conway and Jeff Parke of the New York Red Bulls were suspended for 10 games and docked 10% of their annual salary for testing positive for some supplement you can buy at your local gym. Because there’s nothing more despicable than our professional athletes going to the store and buying things that the rest of us can.
It’s all kind of amusing considering they play for a team owned and operated by a company that produces a liquid form of speed in a can that is still banned in Norway and linked to a number of health issues, but can’t use a supplement that any American can buy at the mall.
The LOS ANGELES TIMES delves into Conway and Parke’s medicine cabinets, and finds a whole load of stuff that makes you fall down and writhe in pain every time another human comes within three feet of you:
According to MLS, the players tested positive for “androstatriendione (ATD) and boldenone metabolites — performance-enhancing substances.”
The league said the players “purchased and injested an over-the-counter nutritional supplement containing ATD, a substance that metabolizes into boldenone.”
The substance was purchased at a vitamin store that is part of a national chain, MLS said.
No, not boldenone! I’m surprised they don’t have three heads by now. Andro, as you may remember, was what Mark McGwire was taking to distract us from all the steroids (allegedly).
The suspensions are actually quite damaging to the Red Bulls, who are clinging the eighth and final playoff spot in the league. Conway, the team’s starting goalkeeper, has played every minute this season, while Parke has started 23 of 24 games on the back line.
The docked pay is also a fairly big deal to both guys, neither of whom are in line to have their taxes raised by Barack Obama. Conway makes $115,000, while Parke earns just under $59,000.
While it may seem a little silly to get suspended for taking an over-the-counter substance, both should’ve been more diligent in figuring out what they were ingesting. The “I didn’t know it was banned” argument may have flown two years ago, but nobody’s buying it now:
“MLS has one of the strictest drug policies in professional sports,” MLS Commissioner Don Garber said, “and holds its athletes both responsible and accountable for what they put into their bodies.”
Until GNC buys a team, that is. Then it’ll be powder-pounding time for everyone.