Franklin fails drug test, suspended

DMZ · August 2, 2005 at 10:20 am · Filed Under Mariners 

ESPN, elsewhere.

As hashed out in the comments, it appears that players suspended under the drug policy don’t count against the roster limit… so the M’s won’t be a man down, if they decide to keep Franklin around. Which they may not. On the other hand, being a starter down may change their plans for shaking up the roster further.

“We are very disappointed to learn this news,” Mariners spokesman Tim Hevly said. “But at the direction of Major League Baseball, and, following its rules, we are not able to comment further.”

Franklin’s also expected to talk later this afternoon. Pick one or more:

  • Must have been tainted supplements
  • Or a strange combination of unbanned supplements
  • Never knowingly took a banned substance
  • Blames lack of run support

The Mariners have had more players suspended for drug violations than any other team, by my count.


268 Responses to “Franklin fails drug test, suspended”

  1. dw on August 2nd, 2005 8:47 pm

    the Monitor has an interesting piece on possible unwitting use… with a really odd comment that I wanted amplified “The circumstances are so baffling that even Jose Canseco, the man who accused Palmeiro of taking steroids in the first place, suggested that the Oriole is the victim of a conspiracy.” he did? when? where? I want to read that

    Here tis:

    I would excerpt it, but you need to read the whole thing.

  2. Oly Rainiers fan on August 2nd, 2005 9:45 pm

    28 separate substances are on the banned substances list. As stated above, a player would have to a) read the labeling and b) be 100% confident that the labeling is accurate, and c) be using something that has detailed labeling in the first place.

    Here’s the list, and where you can read up on the terms of the testing policy (thanks to SABR’s Business of Baseball comittee listserv)

    The list of banned substances are outlined in the 2002-2006 Basic Agreement under the heading JOINT DRUG PREVENTION AND TREATMENT PROGRAM (search for pages 168-195 with Adobe Acrobat from the link provided below).

    The list of steroids is provided on page 171, and is as follows:

    1. Boldenone
    2. Chlorotestosterone (4-chlorotestosterone)
    3. Clostebol
    4. Dehydrochlormethyltestosterone
    5. Dihydrotestosterone (4-dihydrotestosterone)
    6. Drostanolone
    7. Ethylestrenol
    8. Fluxymesterone
    9. Formebulone (formebolone)
    10. Mesterolone
    11. Methandienone
    12. Methandranone
    13. Methandriol
    14. Methandrostenolone
    15. Methenolone
    16. Methyltestosterone
    17. Mibolerone
    18. Nandrolone
    19. Norethandrolone
    20. Oxandrolone
    21. Oxymesterone
    22. Oxymethelone
    23. Stanolone
    24. Stanozolol
    25. Testolactone
    26. Testosterone
    27. Trenbolone

    Other substances tested for include Ethanol (Alcohol), Cocaine Metabolites, Opiates/Metabolites, Phencyclidine (PCP), Cannabinoids.

    The group of substances listed as “Schedule I” substances that are tested for are outlined on pages 189-194 of the Basic Agreement and listed as Addendum C. This is a large listing that has DEA numbers attached to each in the list.

    To view the Basic Agreement you will need Adobe Acrobat. It can be view here:

  3. DMZ on August 2nd, 2005 9:58 pm

    An important thing to note is unless I read this wrong, a “test” is actually two tests, taken 5-7 days apart. So the chances of a false positive are hugely reduced.

  4. Steve Thornton on August 2nd, 2005 10:30 pm

    252: Ethanol? When are these tests administered, right after games? I mean, it’s not a clubhouse BEER that Franklin’s guilty of, right?

    Did you see the article in the paper about the huge steroids bust in Italy, 200,000 doses, meant for US troops in Iraq, who are apparently gobbling the stuff like M&Ms?

    I wonder if there will be a Tyler-Hamilton-style semi-believable legal biochemical defense involving “ghost twins” and multiple blood types and stuff? For all the certainty that’s being tossed around, I’m still a tiny bit skeptical that we know as much as we think we know.

    On the other hand, I have kind of a European viewpoint: “of course, they all dope”. I think the lab boys at BALCO and elsewhere are streets ahead of the medical profession, and have cover-up skills that will defeat even the most advanced testing, now and in the future.

    In the rank speculation department, I wonder how many Hall of Famers were dopers? Not just greenies; that’s half of them. I’ll betcha there’s a truckload of steroid users in there to, going back to the early 70s.

  5. mln on August 2nd, 2005 11:17 pm

    In terms of Franklin’s test, he test positive for steroids in May, but then was tested a 3 weeks later and came up NEGATIVE. After that, I believe, he had a couple of more tests and again was tested negative.

    So, at least in Franklin’s case, there must be some validity to his position.

  6. Rusty on August 2nd, 2005 11:26 pm

    Nice job on moderating the various threads today. Now that Steroids are out of everyone’s system (the topic, not the substance), we can take a huge cathartic sigh and move onto discussing the playing on the field and managing behind the scenes.

  7. Bela Txadux on August 3rd, 2005 12:43 am

    Considering the various Mariners who have been suspended for using performance enhancers:

    If you review the situations of the players from various baseball organizations who have tested positive, been suspended, or admitted independently to use, they fall into one or more of three groups. First, established guys, even stars, who have come down with a chronic injury condition which they fear, often legitimately, jeopardizes their further career. Second, established guys who just don’t have the physical talent for the power output (HRs and Ks), who are frozen out of the big money contracts therefore, and fear that their starting spots on the roster are in jeopardy, often after having been abruptly traded, even more than once, because their former team ‘wanted to go in another direction,’ Third, marginal guys fighting anyway they can to get and hang onto a borderline roster spot. Any guy who has two or all three of these factors is just under great pressure to use. Think about it. Almost everyone strongly suspected or known to be a juicer fits this matrix. At one time, there were a handful of odd jobs who used just because they liked how they felt or looked, but they’re a tiny fraction of the number. Most guys juicing have a ‘reason,’ typically ‘reasons.’

    Jamal Strong, for instance, had multiple surgeries on his knee which threatened his one major tool—speed—and was stuck in AAA while other guys were passing him. Franklin was and is a marginal guy clawing with all twenty digits to hold onto a roster spot, plus he’s never had the power numbers (Ks). If the Ms had had a more aggressive GM in the last offseason, Frankie would have been gone after his ’04 performance.

    . . . I’m sorry to hear about Frankie, but again, he’s a guy under maximum pressure. It’s easy to understand his situation, if his decision is no less of an issue therefore.

  8. Bela Txadux on August 3rd, 2005 1:03 am

    Say there, Russ, #214, thanks for the concise summary on the usage patterns and predictable effects of the use of PED in a sport where this is well understood, cycling. Your description is ‘case study’ close to everything I’ve ever seen on this issue.

    One could make equivalent summaries for, say, swimming, sprinting, or long-distance running, where the history of abuse is a generation old with extensive documentation as well.

    Clever cheaters get significant physiological enhancement out of well-timed application within well-structured training programs. The smartest ones use tailored cocktails, short cycles, masking agents, highly demanding workouts, and get personal direction from specialists who know how to manage such regimes. This is, in effect, what Canseco said in the Spring, but all of this is common knowledge, too. Clumsy cheats get a vial and a needle of stuff they don’t really understand, overload, and tend to get caught or injured.

    . . . But clever cheats hang around for many pay periods.

  9. DMZ on August 3rd, 2005 1:12 am

    So, at least in Franklin’s case, there must be some validity to his position.

    That doesn’t follow. Assuming that the 3-week case is correct, Franklin could have been caught with drug x in his system with a short after-use detection period, stopped before (or depending on the flush time) immediately after the first collection (which meant he tested positive twice in about a week), and then on a follow-up tested negative because the drug was no longer detectable.

    But realistically, we don’t have all the details for certain.

  10. mln on August 3rd, 2005 1:59 am

    Regading my last post, I meant to say there *may* (not must) be some validity to his position.

    For what it’s worth, Franklin’s camp said that they consulted medical people who said that steroids would not be diluted from a person’s system after 3 weeks, and that he has been tested 6 or 7 times negative before this, and that his supplements were also tested negative.

    I’m not say if Franklin is in the right or wrong, but it’s good to hear the other side of the story given the steroid frenzy on this issue.

  11. DMZ on August 3rd, 2005 2:21 am

    Franklin’s camp said that they consulted medical people who said that steroids would not be diluted from a person’s system after 3 week

    That may true in a limited sense, but if they flush out of your system at all, ever (and they must), then it’s possible to be at or just above the detection limit in test 1, and below in test 2. If it’s a drug that cycles to non-detection in three months (for example), for instance, it has to go down by some proportion in any increment of time you choose.

    This may be a technically correct answer, like “you can’t just drink a lot of water”.

  12. Ralph Malph on August 3rd, 2005 11:04 am

    It’s silly to say that a negative 3 weeks after a positive establishes his innocence. Everybody who quits will go from positive to negative at some point in time.

    If he used over the winter as part of his workout program (at a time when he wasn’t being tested) and then quit before spring training thinking that he’d be clean by the time of the first test, but a detectable amount was still in his system in May, it’s not at all surprising that a later test was negative.

    I’m not saying I know enough to say that this is what happened, I’m just saying the later negative proves nothing.

  13. Ralph Malph on August 3rd, 2005 11:05 am

    To add to that statement, it’s my understanding that the previous negatives were during the season last year — not in the offseason.

  14. roger tang on August 3rd, 2005 11:06 am

    Well, at the very least, we should be talking from a position of knowledge on this. Saying “it coulda been a mistake” or “they’re all cheaters, and they know how to beat the test” isn’t useful unless you know the testing set up and methodology and so forth (for example, if the MLB labs are subsequently shown to be handling evidence sloppily, then it’s a different matter than if they’ve been careful about it)

  15. Karen on August 3rd, 2005 1:31 pm

    “A position of knowledge”…

    I have seen only a couple of posters in this topic (Russ and Anthony, for instance) who purport to have the knowledge/experience to answer questions about PEDs, Palmiero’s and Franklin’s alibis, MLB’s testing process, or have reported on any Googled medical reports or papers written on the subjects.

    The rest of you seem to have made up your minds based on what’s been reported in the media by (typically not-very-medically-knowledgeable) sports reporters and columnists, or based on some second-hand opinions by “experts”, like that professor of sports science at Penn State who, by his statements, was ready to prejudge Palmiero.

    Me? I don’t have enough information, so I’m not prejudiced against either Palmiero or Franklin (or any of those unfortunate minor leaguers, either). Unlike the Pete Rose case, or Jason “Balco” Giambi or Barry “Clear” Bonds, where there IS enough sworn testimony to form an accurate opinion….

  16. Ralph Malph on August 3rd, 2005 2:13 pm

    Unlike the Pete Rose case, or Jason “Balco” Giambi or Barry “Clear” Bonds, where there IS enough sworn testimony to form an accurate opinion….

    Yes, there’s sworn testimony on Giambi and Bonds, but it’s (1) not subject to cross-examination, and (2) in secret in front of a grand jury and only portions of it have been leaked to the press, and (3) none of us has any idea whether the leaked testimony was reported accurately in those press accounts.

    We have all formed opinions. Whether any of them are accurate or not none of us knows.

  17. Karen on August 3rd, 2005 2:51 pm

    OK, suppose I accept that.

    What do you think, folks, of the “person in Major League Baseball with direct knowledge of baseball’s drug-testing program” who leaked the name of the PED Palmiero is supposed to have tested position for (stanozolol)?

    The New York Times doesn’t have the same reputation it used to for integrity in news reporting, but I suppose that goes hand in hand with MLB’s own not-so-shining reputation.

    There’s some kind of confidentiality protection with this MLB drug testing policy, right? …That’s supposed to muzzle EVERYONE except the player himself with regards to definitive information about the test results, etc.?

    I think that “person in Major League Baseball with direct knowledge of baseball’s drug-testing program” who didn’t want to be identified when he/she leaked the stanozolol information to the New York Times should be drawn and quartered, figuratively speaking.

    Send that schmuck up to Fairbanks to run the scoreboard for the Alaska Summer League…

  18. Ralph Malph on August 3rd, 2005 3:40 pm

    …has Karl Rove gone to work for MLB’s drug testing program? I have real problems with reporters who freely promise confidentiality to sources, allowing those sources to manipulate press coverage to carry out their own agendas.

    I was under the impression reputable reporters wouldn’t go with a confidential source unless they could obtain independent confirmation. At least that’s what Woodward and Bernstein did in All the President’s Men.

    I’m not blaming the press here, I totally agree with you Karen about this MLB source. There has to be a pretty short list of people at MLB who know about this, and if Bud didn’t make the leak he damn well ought to find out who did and do something about it.

    Not to say that I believe Rafael Palmeiro, I don’t, but I hate these kind of leaks.