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Jan 27

Qatar- HMC to introduce regenerative therapy to treat foot and ankle illnesses – MENAFN.COM

(MENAFN - Gulf Times) The Foot and Ankle sub-specialty at Hamad General Hospital (HGH), part of Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), will soon introduce the latest medical procedure, BMAC, to treat various illnesses related to foot and ankle.'Bone marrow aspirate concentrate (BMAC) is a regenerative therapy procedure that uses stem cells from a patient's bone marrow to initiate healing for a number of orthopaedic conditions, such as tendinopathy, osteoarthritis and cartilage injuries, said Dr Mohamed Maged Mekhaimar, senior consultant and orthopaedic surgeon at HGH.'This will help treating patients with tendon inflation. It can also be used to treat inflammation on the bottom of the foot as well as for traumatic conditions of the ankle. These services will soon be available at Hamad General Hospital, explained Dr Mekhaimar.Foot and ankle services were started at HGH in 2012. 'Now, there is a great demand for these services in the country as more and more people are approaching us for various issues. The centre provides treatment for several problems such as flat foot problems, among other issues. We also provide treatment for diabetic foot people, he continued.The centre currently performs about five surgeries per day and takes care for all different injuries, including sport injuries.According to the official, the centre also makes use of PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) machine by which blood is taken from people and then separated. 'Using the PRP machine, we can inject the blood particles to the joints. This facility is available in HGH and the Bone and Joint Center, part of HMC, he noted.'Our clinics are at the Bone and Joint Center. All our patients come through the Bone and Joint Center. We are also in the process of introducing the weight-bearing CT scan machine. With this, we can scan the foot and ankle of the patient while he or she is standing on it. This can give better impression of the condition of the patients, he highlighted.'Some deformity can be better measured through this CT scan machine. It will also be used for treating the knee joint as it is one of the most advanced treatment options available now, he added.


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Qatar- HMC to introduce regenerative therapy to treat foot and ankle illnesses - MENAFN.COM

Jan 27

9 Performance Enhancing Drugs Outlawed By CrossFit And What They Are –

CrossFit athletes who are registered in sanctioned competition are subject to drug testing at any time for whatever reason, and recently, weve seen many competitors who were banned from participation due to violating the organizations strict drug policy.

This is devastating for the athlete no doubt but the rules are perfectly clear for what is and isnt allowed. So today, we discuss 9 performance-enhancing compounds banned by CrossFit.

Here are the banned substance classes taken fromCrossFit Inc.

Lets talk about the actual substances now

Starting out the list is human growth hormone (HGH) which is a protein produced by the pituitary gland naturally to spur growth, improve aspects of development, and support many other health functions (e.g. improving body composition, regulating body fluids, muscle, and bone growth, in addition to sugar and fat metabolism).

But its also used for Turners, and Prader-Willi syndrome which affects development.

And although synthetic HGH is commonly used for improving growth and development in children this powerful substance is often synonymous with performance and aesthetic-enhancement in combination with anabolic steroids. Its also used for anti-aging however this is not approved by the FDA.

But its quite apparent HGH can do a lot for improving your overall physical fitness since its used for building lean mass, losing fat, improving VO2 max, and maximizing power output. And its even used by many for the potential anti-aging effects which its not approved by the FDA for.

Common side effects include pain in the joints, muscles, and nerves, edema (swelling of body tissue), high cholesterol and other undesirable side effects.

Anavar is a popular anabolic steroid typically given to patients who are at an unhealthy weight due to medical reasons. And its also used for osteoporosis and bone-related issues. But its a strong muscle-building compound (although on the weaker side compared to others) too which is what bodybuilders and gym-goers use it for.

Back in 2018, CrossFit athlete Megan Benzik failed a random drug test of which she tested positive for Vyvanse (prescribed) and Anavar (not prescribed) resulting in her suspension from competition. She knowingly took the Anavar and was aware that her decision to take both drugs was a risk but took full responsibility for her decision.

View this post on Instagram

On May 17th, 2018 I was one of the athletes selected to be randomly drug tested before competing at the South Regional. CrossFit contacted me yesterday telling me what I tested positive for. . . . Of all the metabolites found, I consciously made the decision to take 2 of themvyvanse, which was prescribed to me by a doctor, and anavar, which was not prescribed. The other metabolites found must have come from the anavar being contaminated, which is the risk I took with buying something like anavar. I take full responsibility for my decision to be on both of these drugs. Even though I was prescribed vyvanse, I knew it was not something I should have been taking while competing and I made the not so smart choice to do it anyways. . . . I have done a lot of reflecting and I have come to realize that the Why behind all of this really doesnt matter. It will honestly just lead to pointless justifications. Bottom line is that I knew I shouldnt have been doing it and I chose to do it anyways. I fully accept any consequences that come my way. . . . I would like it to be known that NO ONE knew I was taking any of these drugs. With that being said, I apologize if I let anyone down who went out of their way to support me. . . . The beauty of truth; whether its good or bad, it is liberating.- Paul Coelho Thank you CrossFit.

A post shared by Megan Benzik (@megbenz210) on Jun 22, 2018 at 7:43pm PDT

Rad140 is a selective androgen receptor modulator (SARM) still under research although promising for muscle wasting and potentially breast cancer treatment. SARMS are similar to anabolic steroids but these compounds are more selective in their binding activity to androgen receptors.

RAD140 helps to improve lean muscle mass while being very potent in this regard. In fact, it is considered the strongest SARM available and therefore its a banned substance.

2017 CrossFit Games podium finisher (3rd place in 2017) Ricky Garard from Australia was the first case of a top elite competitor testing positive for PEDs which were Testolone and Endurobol (also another banned substance on our list). He lost $76,000 in winnings and is not allowed to compete until 2021.

Heres what he wrote on Instagram after learning of his failed drug

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As you can appreciate my world has come crashing down, it is heart breaking & it's hard to comprehend that I am in this position. . On the pursuit of becoming all I could be as a CrossFit athlete, I looked into ways that could improve my performance legally & within the rules, with no intention whatsoever to be a cheat. . I was taking this same supplement at The CrossFit Games as I did at The Pacific Regionals where I was drug tested?? Therefore, I didn't feel the need what so ever to change anything. I thought I was competing within the rules with no unfair advantage over others. . But, after further investigation & specific testing it has been revealed that the supplement & my limited research has failed me & I have received a positive test with a 4 year suspension. To be clear this supplement was taken in tablet form with nothing ever injected. . Everyone in life makes mistakes, it's how you learn from them that separates the great from the mediocre. These actions don't define me, this sport doesn't define me. It's the lessons & growth of my character that truly matters to me. . In time, I know this may be the best thing that ever happened to me. I wanted the title, I wanted to win & I was willing to do everything in my power to achieve that goal. Not for one second should you take away the hard work, sacrifice, dedication & achievements from my efforts. . At 23 years old I have a lot of years left in my life, I have endured the process, I have & I will become something because of it. . In the end, I am apart of their sport business , The CrossFit Games. They have there own rules, guidelines & policies to abide by. I have unintentionally fucked up, their evidence has proven me guilty. I will do my time & continue to own my actions day by day for the rest of my life. . I really hope The CrossFit Games continues to tighten up their testing procedures, enforce the same level of strictness to all other competitors like they have to me & they continue to strive towards a legitimate drug free sport. *POST CONTINUED*

A post shared by Ricky Garard (@rickygarard) on Oct 4, 2017 at 1:28am PDT

LIGANDROL LGD4033 is another very potent SARM. Its used for muscle and strength-building purposes which it does very effectively. And many elite athletes have been banned due to taking this compound to get a performance advantage.

Also known as Cardarine, this drug was shown in 2007 to cause rapid growth of cancer in several organs during animal testing of which it was abandoned, although it was first introduced in the 90s as a potential drug candidate for metabolic and cardiovascular diseases.

However, in 2007 it was shown to dramatically improve physical performance in rats of which it was then sold on the black market for athletes and ultimately placed on the prohibited list in 2009 by TheWorld Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). There were also many concerns that athletes participating in the 2008 Beijing Olympics would be using this substance and a test was developed then offered to the International Olympic Committee.

Overall, there are many warnings against its use due to safety concerns.

Another SARM compound, Ostarine is milder in nature although it still does bind to the androgen receptors and its used to build muscle tissue. Ostarine is banned at all timesunder theS1 Anabolic Agent category of the WADA Prohibited List.

However, more and more athletes have been testing positive for this substance resulting in suspensions.

Different from many of the substances on our list, Anastrozole is considered a nonsteroidal aromatase inhibitor and its often used in the treatment of early breast cancer with surgery or radiation for women who have experienced menopause. But its also used to treat breast cancer in women whose condition worsened after taking tamoxifen (Nolvadex) because it prevents estrogen from fueling growth of the cancer cells.

But because its effective for lowering estrogen, this then maximizes testosterone which is highly responsible for improving body composition.

There are many side effects which can result from taking Anastrozole as its rather potent.

A central nervous system stimulant, Adderall (brand name) is a combination of dextroamphetamine and amphetamine often prescribed for ADHD and narcolepsy. But it can really improve focus, concentration and much more which is why athletes may be tempted to use it for the cognitive-enhancing effects.

But theres also the potential for developing nervousness, sleep issues, dizziness, dry mouth, and other undesirable side effects.

Erythropoietin is naturally produced by the kidney to make red blood cells. Exogenous agents are used for kidney disease and anemia and the red blood cells increase hemoglobin in the blood which helps to transport oxygen throughout the body.

But the synthetic form Epoetin is typically used for improving endurancewhich would give a competitor a big advantage.

Read CrossFits drug-testing program here.

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Jan 24

11 Ways to Boost Human Growth Hormone (HGH) Naturally

Human growth hormone (HGH) is an important hormone produced by your pituitary gland.

Also known as growth hormone (GH), it plays a key role in growth, body composition, cell repair, and metabolism (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6).

HGH also boosts muscle growth, strength, and exercise performance, while helping you recover from injury and disease (4, 7, 8).

Low HGH levels may decrease your quality of life, increase your risk of disease, and make you gain fat (9).

Optimal levels are especially important during weight loss, injury recovery, and athletic training (10, 11, 12, 13).

Interestingly, your diet and lifestyle choices can significantly affect your HGH levels (6, 14).

Here are 11 evidence-based ways to increase human growth hormone (HGH) levels naturally.

The amount of belly fat you carry is directly related to your HGH production (3).

Those with higher levels of belly fat will likely have impaired HGH production and an increased risk of disease.

One study observed that those with three times the amount of belly fat as the control group had less than half their amount of HGH (15).

Another study monitored the 24-hour release of HGH and found a large decline in those with more abdominal fat.

Interestingly, research suggests that excess body fat affects HGH levels more in men. However, lowering body fat is still key for both genders (15, 16).

Whats more, a study found that people with obesity had lower levels of HGH and IGF-1 a growth-related protein. After losing a significant amount of weight, their levels returned to normal (17).

Belly fat is the most dangerous type of stored fat and linked to many diseases. Losing belly fat will help optimize your HGH levels and other aspects of your health.

Studies show that fasting leads to a major increase in HGH levels.

One study found that 3 days into a fast, HGH levels increased by over 300%. After 1 week of fasting, they had increased by a massive 1,250% (18).

Other studies have found similar effects, with double or triple HGH levels after just 23 days of fasting (19, 20, 21).

However, continuous fasting is not sustainable in the long term. Intermittent fasting is a more popular dietary approach that limits eating to brief time periods.

Multiple methods of intermittent fasting are available. One common approach is a daily 8-hour eating window with a 16-hour fast. Another involves eating only 500600 calories 2 days per week (22, 23).

Intermittent fasting can help optimize HGH levels in two main ways. First, it can help you drop body fat, which directly affects HGH production (24, 25, 26, 27).

Second, it'll keep your insulin levels low for most of the day, as insulin is released when you eat. Research suggests that insulin spikes can disrupt your natural growth hormone production (28, 29).

One study observed large differences in HGH levels on the fasting day compared with the eating day (30).

Shorter 1216-hour fasts likely help as well, though more research is needed to compare their effects with full-day fasts.

When taken alone, arginine may boost HGH.

Though most people tend to use amino acids like arginine alongside exercise, several studies show little or no increase in HGH levels (31, 32, 33).

However, studies have observed that taking arginine on its own without any exercise significantly increases levels of this hormone (32, 33).

Other non-exercise studies also support the use of arginine to boost HGH.

One study examined the effects of taking either 45 or 114 mg of arginine per pound (100 or 250 mg per kg) of body weight, or around 610 or 1520 grams per day, respectively.

It found no effect for the lower dose, but participants taking the higher dose experienced around a 60% increase in HGH levels during sleep (34).

An increase in insulin is associated with lower HGH levels.

Refined carbs and sugar raise insulin levels the most, so reducing your intake may help optimize growth hormone levels (24, 25).

One study found that healthy people had 34 times higher HGH levels than those with diabetes, as well as impaired carb tolerance and insulin function (35).

Along with directly affecting insulin levels, excess sugar intake is a key factor in weight gain and obesity, which also affect HGH levels.

That said, the occasional sweet treat will not impact your HGH levels in the long term.

Aim to achieve a balanced diet, as what you eat has a profound effect on your health, hormones, and body composition.

Your body naturally releases significant amounts of HGH, especially at night (36, 37).

Given that most meals cause a rise in insulin levels, some experts suggest avoiding food before bedtime (25).

In particular, a high-carb or high-protein meal may spike your insulin and potentially block some of the HGH released at night (38).

Keep in mind that insufficient research exists on this theory.

Nevertheless, insulin levels normally decrease 23 hours after eating, so you may wish to avoid carb- or protein-based meals 23 hours before bedtime.

Gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) is a non-protein amino acid that functions as a neurotransmitter, sending signals around your brain.

As a well-known calming agent for your brain and central nervous system, it's often used to aid sleep. Interestingly, it may also help increase your HGH levels (39).

One study found that taking a GABA supplement led to a 400% increase in HGH at rest and a 200% increase following exercise (40).

GABA may also increase HGH levels by improving your sleep, since your nighttime growth hormone release is linked to sleep quality and depth (41, 42).

However, most of these increases were short-lived and GABA's long-term benefits for growth hormone levels remain unclear (39, 40).

Exercise is one of the most effective ways to significantly raise your HGH levels.

The increase depends on the type of exercise, intensity, food intake around the workout, and your bodys own traits (43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49).

High-intensity exercise increases HGH the most, but all forms of exercise are beneficial (43, 44).

You can perform repeated sprints, interval training, weight training, or circuit training to spike your HGH levels and maximize fat loss (46, 50, 51).

As with supplements, exercise mainly causes short-term spikes in HGH levels.

Nevertheless, over the long term, exercise may optimize your hormone function and decrease body fat, both of which will benefit your HGH levels.

Some sports supplements can optimize performance and temporarily boost your HGH levels.

In one study, taking 4.8 grams of beta-alanine before a workout increased the number of repetitions performed by 22% (52).

It also doubled peak power and boosted HGH levels compared with the non-supplement group (52).

Another study demonstrated that a sugary sports drink increased HGH levels toward the end of a workout. However, if youre trying to lose fat, the drinks extra calories will negate any benefit from the short-term HGH spike (53).

Studies have shown that protein shakes both with and without carbs can boost HGH levels around workouts (48).

However, if a casein or whey protein supplement is taken immediately before strength exercise, it may have the opposite effect.

One study found that drinking a beverage containing 25 grams (0.9 ounces) of casein or whey protein 30 minutes before strength exercise reduced levels of human growth hormone and testosterone, compared with a non-caloric placebo (49).

The majority of HGH is released in pulses when you sleep. These pulses are based on your body's internal clock or circadian rhythm.

The largest pulses occur before midnight, with some smaller pulses in the early morning (36, 37).

Studies have shown that poor sleep can reduce the amount of HGH your body produces (42).

In fact, getting an adequate amount of deep sleep is one of the best strategies to enhance your long-term HGH production (37, 42).

Here are a few simple strategies to help optimize your sleep:

Melatonin is a hormone that plays an important role in sleep and blood pressure regulation (54).

Melatonin supplements have become a popular sleep aid that can increase the quality and duration of your sleep (55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61).

While good sleep alone may benefit HGH levels, further research has shown that a melatonin supplement can directly enhance HGH production (58, 62, 63, 64).

Melatonin is also fairly safe and non-toxic. However, it may alter your brain chemistry in some ways, so you may want to check with your healthcare provider before using it (65).

To maximize its effects, take 15 mg about 30 minutes before bed. Start with a lower dose to assess your tolerance, then increase if needed.

Several other supplements may enhance human growth hormone production, including:

While these supplements may increase your HGH levels, studies indicate that their effects are only temporary.

As with other key hormones, such as testosterone and estrogen, having healthy levels of growth hormone is important.

HGH helps your body with metabolism, cell repair, and other vital functions.

By following the tips above, you can increase your HGH levels fairly easily.

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11 Ways to Boost Human Growth Hormone (HGH) Naturally

Jan 24

Lets Clear One Thing Up About the Yankees in the Astros Debate – Empire Sports Media

The New York Yankees are pretty embroiled in the Astros scandal. But some altered information is beginning to surface painting the boys in the Bronx in a less than favorable light. A light that makes them look like beneficiaries of the investigation into the Astros.

In an August series between the Sox and Yanks, the Yankees accused the Red Sox of electronically stealing signs. It was discovered that the Red Sox DID steal signs, and relayed them back to the dugout using Apple smartwatches. The Red Sox, in turn, accused the Yankees of stealing signs via a feed from the YES broadcasts. MLB investigated both claims and fined both teams. The Red Sox were found to have been guilty of using electronics to steal and relay signs to the Boston dugout. The Yankees were fined for improper use of dugout phones, not for stealing signs electronically. Later that year, the commissioner issued the ruling on electronic sign-stealing that is part of the basis for the Astros punishment.

In an article from Andy Martino, the Yankees WERE found to have committed the same crimes the Red Sox and Astros are being punished for today. But, and this is important (if albeit semantics-based) but, the Yankees were found to have committed these crimes back BEFORE the commissioner took the stance he took in 2017 on electronic sign stealing. The Yankees inevitably stopped the sign stealing, which helped clear the Yankees of further punishment.

The Yankees, while found to have been guilty of past electronic sign stealing, werent in violation of MLB rules and regulations, as this rule came into effect AFTER the Yankees were done with their practice. The Red Sox and Astros are being punished for electronically stealing signs AFTER it was deemed a punishable offense by the commissioners office.

Is it a loophole like how Beltran wasnt punished by baseball? Not really. Look atThe Purge. For one night, you can do whatever you want without legal repercussions. If it wasnt a punishable offense, why should the Yankees be punished for doing something that was legal to do?

Lets stop acting like David Brosius, who committed slander accusing Mike Trout of taking HGH. Get your facts straight, and be informed before jumping to wild conclusions.

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Lets Clear One Thing Up About the Yankees in the Astros Debate - Empire Sports Media

Jan 24

Red Sox News: Roger Clemens again fails Hall of Fame test – BoSox Injection

The eighth time was not the charm for former Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Roger Clemens. As announced by the Baseball Hall of Fame on Tuesday, Clemens again fell short of being voted into the Hall in his eighth year on the BBWAA ballot. He was named on 242 ballots (61 percent), when 298 votes of the 397 submitted were needed to reach the 75-percent mark required for Hall admission.

Two former players made it past the Halls 75-percent barrier, led by former New York Yankee shortstop Derek Jeter (99.7 percent). Jeter was joined by outfielder Larry Walker (76.6 percent), the long-time underappreciated five-tool player whose career stops included Montreal, Colorado and St. Louis.

Clemens now has two years of eligibility remaining on the BBWAA ballot. If there is any consolation and encouragement to be offered the Rocket other than the fact his 61 percent was an improvement, as slight as it was, over last years 59.5 percent its that as recently as 2018, Walker was at a measly 34.1 percent before jumping to a respectable 54.6 percent in 2019 and then 76.6 this time. There might be hope for Clemens, after all.

In his final year of BBWAA eligibility, Walker cleared the 75-percent threshold by merely six votes, with 304. Another former Red Sox pitcher, Curt Schilling, was third in this years Hall voting, his 278 votes (70 percent) leaving him only 20 shy of Cooperstown induction. The 2020 Hall ceremony is scheduled for July 26, when Jeter and Walker will be joined by catcher Ted Simmons and former players association head Marvin Miller, both of whom were chosen by the Modern Era Committee.

Whether Clemens can cobble together at least another 14 percent of votes in 2021 or 2022 remains a sticky proposition. While his Hall vote totals continue to creep up, widespread belief among voters that Clemens juiced to give his career a second wind continues to drag down his chances of reaching Cooperstown.

Like it has long been with forever(?)-MLB-banned Pete Rose with his 2,165 runs, career .303 batting average, 10 top-10 MVP finishes (including the 1973 NL MVP) and all-time best 4,256 hits, I look at Clemens and wonder, still, how in the world do you keep 354 career victories and .658 career winning percentage, seven Cy Young Awards, and 4,672 strikeouts (third best all-time) out of the Hall?

This is how: most Hall voters believe that Clemens is a cheater, via his alleged PED use, even though a growing number of voters are relenting and voting for Clemens. They know he was already Hall-worthy before his career had advanced to the point of rumored alleged pharmaceutical boosting. Ditto former slugging superstar Barry Bonds, who finished one vote behind Clemens this time, good for 60.7 percent.

While 61 worked for Roger Maris, it doesnt cut the mustard for either Clemens or Bonds (he gets rounded up to 61 percent, OK?).

Although I covered MLB for several years in my previous life as a sportswriter including parts of two Texas Rangers seasons while working for The National I didnt stick around covering baseball long enough to warrant joining the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA).

If I had joined the association and eventually become a Hall voter, I would have voted in Clemens and Bonds third or fourth time around, delaying it just enough to make a point about sportsmanship and ethics, but not so long as to be stubborn and self-righteous about it. Both had locked up enshrinement at Cooperstown within their first eight to 10 years in the majors, well before their hat sizes appeared to start expanding.

Id have been iffy on Rafael Palmeiro and no-go on Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa; McGwire mostly because I didnt think he was that good an all-around player, at least not sustained (sort of like Maris himself some 35-40 years earlier) and Sosa because his before/after was so dramatic (you know what I mean), even if not quite a PeeWee Herman-turned-Bane freak show.

But while I was never a Hall voter, I had several years earlier worked with a news reporter (and, coincidentally, a big Red Sox fan, even in Texas) to dig out a newspaper series about steroid use among local athletes. Our focus was on high school football players (remember, this was Texas, where everything grows big Clemens home state, no less) and local bodybuilders, male and female.

One premise I took away from the investigative series came from interviewing physicians and others familiar with steroid use among athletes (the phrase PEDs didnt exist then). Its not the juice itself that gives you the big muscles and the easy-on-the-eyes cut/definition its the relentlessly intense workouts made possible by injections of the endurance-enhancing juice that works the wonders.

Until June 2003, it never really dawned on me that Clemens a PITCHER!! might be a juicer, even with his remarkable resurrection starting in his mid-30s after he had departed the Red Sox. A decade or so earlier, in the early 1990s, there had been rumblings and rumors that players including some of the Rangers, whom I was covering at the time were juicing, but it was more joke than journalism, and it was more a muscle thing linked to sluggers and slugging wannabes, NOT so much pitchers.

That June 2003 epiphany for me, regarding Clemens, came as I was lying on my bed long since departed from the sportswriters ranks my head propped up on a stack of pillows, reading a Sports Illustrated cover story on Clemens. It was titled Its All About the Power, written by the now-renowned and always respected Tom Verducci. That 2003 SI issue was dated June 2 the same day that my mom and older sister share a birthday; easy for me to remember.

What struck me about the story, like a 50-pound dumbbell dropped on my foot, was Verduccis detailed description of a 40-year-old mans brutal workout regimen; it was nothing like anything I had heard of, especially a baseball pitcher only six years younger than me.

Heres part of what Verducci reported:

Sherpas are slackers compared with Clemens between starts, when he grinds through what he calls his Navy SEALs workouts. (The easiest day I have, he says, is the day I pitch.) . . . Over the next hour, with his pitching hand still swollen and bandaged, Clemens zips through a series of exercises that includes 130 abdominal crunches, runs totaling 1 1/2 miles at a 6:40 pace, several sets of jumps with a four-pound jump rope, several football-style agility drills, ball-pickup drills and basketball-style line drills.

From the field Clemens briskly walks four blocks to a gym where he spends another hour doing rack-rattling lower-body weight training, such as squats and leg curls, and more cardio work on some combination of the treadmill, stationary bike and elliptical trainer. . . . Im gonna break this thing! Clemens says, straining atop the stationary bike. Hes already broken one bike, and there is a glint in his eye as this one begins to emit the mechanical warning gasps of surrender. Hear it? You hear it? he says. Im gonna break it!

That day, nearly 17 years ago, it dawned on me that Clemens must be juicing I need to say allegedly here, because I dont know for certain. It fit to a T what doctors had told me relative to what I described above about the premise I took away from the newspaper series in 1986 (another 17 years earlier).

For the fun of it, I copied Verduccis story this past Monday and pasted it into a Word file. This was so I could do a word search to make absolutely sure there was no definitive mention in the 2003 story linking Roger to roids. One by one I went through my list: steroid, anabolic, PED, performance (for spelled-out version of PED), HGH, hormone (for spelled-out version of HGH), juice, drug. Nothing. I again read the story start to finish. Nada. I just became the Rockets 4,673rd strikeout victim.

Verducci, a fabulous writer and reporter, apparently never made the connection: aging athlete (a guy in his 40s!!), bigger than hes ever been, grinding through a workout that would put a 25-year-old Arnold Schwarzenegger to shame . . . and you mean to say hes not getting any help?

Something in Clemens past isnt giving him any help in his HOF chances, either. And we all know what that is. Is it truth or misplaced assumption? Fair or unfair?

Final word: Its time to move on. Roger Clemens belongs in the Hall of Fame (and so does Pete Rose).

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Red Sox News: Roger Clemens again fails Hall of Fame test - BoSox Injection

Jan 17

MLB rumors: Son of Yankees great makes wild PED claim about Angels slugger and N.J. native Mike Trout –

Could MLB have yet ANOTHER scandal in the works? If so, this one would be a whopper.

NBC Sports Northwest reports David Brosius, son of former New York Yankees third baseman Scott Brosius, is accusing Los Angeles Angels center fielder Mike Trout of taking human growth hormone, which is an illegal performance-enhancing drug in baseball.

The report cites now-deleted comments by David Brosius on Instagram, which came in the wake of the illegal sign-stealing saga ripping through MLB.

If you want to read something better, Mike Trout takes HGH for a thyroid condition, Brosius wrote on Instagram. Its a loophole he found and the MLB doesnt make it public because they dont want fans knowing their best player is on HGH. But people within know...

However, Brosius walked back his accusation on Friday with a follow-up post on Instagram.

Id like to clear the air about a comment made earlier this week about Mike Trout potentially using HGH. The statement in question was taken from a conversation where I was explaining how there are certain situations in which actions that would usually be against the rules and considered cheating, are deemed okay for medical or other reasons, thus not cheating. The example I used of Mike Trout does not stem from information from my Dad or sources within the MLB and has no evidence behind it. I had no intention of this becoming an accusation against Mike Trout or causing the uproar it did. Mike Trout has been the face of MLB for good reason, as he is an amazing player and even better example for baseball players like myself. I would like to sincerely apologize to him and his family for the unfair statement I made and the negative fallout it has had on them. No criticism or skepticism should be pointed at him, it should all be at me. I had a lapse in judgment when posting the comment and have learned my lesson on how powerful and dangerous social media can be.

Trout, a native of Millville, N.J., is universally regarded as the best player in baseball. He has never faced any PED accusations and has no failed drug tests to his record. The 28-year-old Trout won the 2019 American League MVP Award after hitting a career-best 45 home runs. It was Trouts third MVP award. Hes also finished second in MVP voting four times.

Trout is an eight-time All-Star whos on his way to having a no-doubt, slam-dunk Hall of Fame career. Last winter, he signed a mammoth 12-year, $430 million contract with the Angels.

As for Scott Brosius, Yankees fans will remember him as a leader on the clubs which won three straight World Series titles from 1998-2000. Brosius was World Series MVP in 1998, when he hit .471 with 2 home runs in a four-game sweep of the San Diego Padres.

Scotts son David is a left-hand pitcher who spent one season at Oregon State before transferring to Linfield College in Oregon.

Mike Rosenstein may be reached at Follow him on Twitter @rosenstein73. Find on Facebook.

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MLB rumors: Son of Yankees great makes wild PED claim about Angels slugger and N.J. native Mike Trout -

Jan 17

The Rundown: CubsCon 2020 Opens Tonight, Fallout Continues in Wake of Astros Scandal, Trout Accused of Using HGH – Cubs Insider

I used to book bands at SXSW in Austin, TX every March, and it was right around this time of year that I would start finalizing deals with the venues on Sixth Street while making sure my bands got the slots that afforded them the most industry attention. Id kick off my annual mid-January ritual with a nod to the quote I have had hanging in my office for a number of years:

Scattered among these things are reminders that sound once existed: a metronome, a drumming pad, a guitar pick, a trumpet mouthpiece, a music stand, a tuning fork, a block of rosinThe older instruments bear the marks of those who have already played them, the scuffs and bites and dents that are the mysterious scars of sound. In their midst the house hangs, tenuous and enveloping, a sounding board waiting to be struck. Geoffrey OBrien

That imagery certainly applies to the 2020 version of the Chicago Cubs.

Usually when Cubs Convention kicks off, its a reminder that the hot stove has basically ended and the team is ready to get the new season started. After all, pitchers and catchers report in 25 days, one would think most of the heavy lifting on roster construction would be done by now. That said, the Cubs may be launching into 2020 by simply pulling up the tarps and dusting off the artifacts they put into storage last October.

Will doing nothing be enough? David Ross certainly thinks so.

Its an exciting time to be [the] Cubs manager because theres a lot of talent, Ross said yesterday. Theres no ceiling for this team. I really think this team can win the World Series. Thats the way Im looking at things.

If anything, Cubs players should be champing at the bit after two disappointing seasons, at least when compared to their magnificent run from 2015-17. Theyll have a lot to prove, not just to the fans or the front office that remains married by hook or by crook to its core, but also to themselves.

We want to win, Anthony Rizzo added. I think winning will take care of every single question that has popped up the last couple years, because we havent won. Its on us to get the culture back, get the winning mentality back. Not making the playoffs last year was not fun. Its not easy to win, but we have the right people to do it.

The mood during tonights opening ceremony should be ravenous to say the least, but for different reasons than years past. Questions from fans about the lack of player movement for a second consecutive season will certainly demand transparency from key members of the organization. It should be a weekend thats revelatory and engaging. Than again, maybe Im being too optimistic.

As for me, Im looking forward to meeting my peers at Lizzie McNeills tonight. Though I dont know many of the other Cubs bloggers personally, I certainly enjoy their work.

While at SXSW, all of the talent providers like myself used to hang out at Gueros Taco Bar or Threadgills, where we would talk about the ups and downs of the music business. Occasionally wed run into performers that included Beck, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, or Stefan Lessard of the Dave Matthews Band, and talk shop. One year I hung out with Ryan Gosling and I didnt know who he was until I came home and showed the girls my pictures from the trip. Ill tell you about that sometime, its actually an hilarious story.

Im hoping a similar vibe exists tonight, even for an awkward introvert like myself.

Cubs News & Notes

Friday Stove

Alyssa Nakken, a former softball star at Sacramento State, will join the Giants coaching staff as the first female full-time assistant in Major League Baseball history.

The fallout from the Astros sign stealing scandal has resulted in the firing of Mets manager Carlos Beltrn, who was originally hired about two weeks before Ken Rosenthal broke the original story.

New Yorks managerial opening could be filled by Eduardo Perez, who was a finalist before Beltrnwas hired.

The Red Sox had every intention of sticking with lexCora despite an ongoing investigation into the teams alleged rules infractions, but eventually decided it had no choice but to let him go.

Dodgers outfielder Cody Bellinger said that the Astros cheating scandal has completely ruined baseball.

First baseman Ryan Zimmerman is expected to re-sign with the Nationals any day now.

On Deck

Baseball social media was a hot mess yesterday. Recapping:

Apropos of Nothing

In 2015 I booked 217 bands at SXSW. It nearly killed me and I operated at a loss of about $4200 for the week, yet I still miss it a great deal. If youve ever seen the movie This is 40, I was Paul Rudds character, greasing on credit cards to survive, building enormous debt, and burning through what little savings I had. Id do it all over again if I could, which is the kind of crazy that makes legends of some and hot disasters of most others.

Extra Innings

I already miss this guy. Best of luck in Baltimore, Taylor Davis.

They Said It

Friday Walk Up Song

Lucky Now by Ryan Adams Baseball is almost here, and love or hate the way this offseason has played out, you cant help but feel excited. The days are getting longer, the sun a little warmer, and hope springs eternal.

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The Rundown: CubsCon 2020 Opens Tonight, Fallout Continues in Wake of Astros Scandal, Trout Accused of Using HGH - Cubs Insider

Jan 17

MLB sign-stealing saga has now seen buzzer allegations, players weighing in, and more – The Comeback

The MLB sign-stealing saga that started with the Houston Astros and has now led to the Boston Red Sox and New York Mets parting ways with managers Alex Cora and Carlos Beltran (over actions taken while with the Astros, but MLB is also looking into accusations the Red Sox stole signs) took some further twists Thursday. On the media side, ESPN analyst and Mets adviser Jessica Mendoza took a lot of flak for her criticisms (across ESPN properties) of former Astros pitcher Mike Fiers whistleblowing on this saga, and on the team side, the Mets announced they were parting ways with Beltran. But on the players side, things really heated up when it came to accusations of the Astros going beyond the infamous trash can and also using buzzers under batters jerseys to tip pitches to them. Those accusations really took flight when Jimmy Jomboy OBrien passed along a tweet supposedly from Beltrans niece and said it lined up with what hed heard elsewhere:

The Beltran family has disputed that the @S0_blessed1 account is anyone related to them (they havent yet weighed in on the other questionable seemingly-Beltran-linked account), and Gary Sheffield Jr., son of prominent former MLB player Gary Sheffield, stated that its another player:

Meanwhile, David Brosius, son of U.S. national baseball team manager Scott Brosius, weighed in on this further on Reddit with allegations that his dad knew of the Astros cheating in 2017 (and, also, that Los Angeles Angels star Mike Trout takes HGH):

And a whole lot of current players weighed in on the cheating allegations as well:

And some specifically discussed Jose Altuves home run to win the decisive Game Six of the 2019 American League Championship Series (hes seen after that above), after which he told Foxs Ken Rosenthal that he didnt want teammates to tear off his jersey because he was too shy, also claiming that the last time his jersey was torn off, I got in trouble with my wife:

So, this is all a fun pile of stuff for MLB to deal with. But hey, at least they and their players have made it into the national conversation. Even, if like the last time they made major national headlines, its not exactly the way they wanted.

[The Cincinnati Enquirer]

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MLB sign-stealing saga has now seen buzzer allegations, players weighing in, and more - The Comeback

Jan 17

Richard Sherman thinks the NFL hit him with drug tests because he played so well – For The Win

The NFL had a gift waiting for Richard Sherman following the San Francisco 49ers dominant win over the Minnesota Vikings in the divisional round of the NFL playoffs on Saturday.

Sherman shared on social media that the NFL hit him with two drug tests: one for performance-enhancing drugs and one for HGH. Hahahaha ball out and get the double dip. PED and HGH tests. hahaha gotta love it , Sherman wrote in the tweet Saturday night.

The tests followed a game when he managed an interception while shutting down a number of different Vikings receivers. After the game, Sherman made it known that the thought he was still the best cornerback in football. In this game, he played like one of the NFLs best.

When a few fans responded to Shermans tweet, he shared a few more thoughts on the drug tests. He explained he didnt like giving blood mostly because I dont know where its going.

Sherman and the 49ers will advance to the NFC championship, which will take place in San Francisco. Theyll play either the Green Bay Packers or the Seattle Seahawks, who play on Sunday.Itll be yet another chance for Sherman to put together a performance worthy of an NFLs drug test.

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Richard Sherman thinks the NFL hit him with drug tests because he played so well - For The Win

Jan 17

Rockies radio voice Jerry Schemmel laid off and a bonkers day in MLB – Purple Row

Thursday was probably the craziest day in the baseball newscycle the offseason has ever seen. It was all very hard to keep up with and, trust me, well get there. But first, there is some Rockies-specific news to cover first.

In a day that was, and this is a scientific term, bonkers across baseball, the most consequential news for the Rockies was that one of the voices many of us associate with Rockies baseball will not be returning next year. Jerry Schemmel was let go from his position at KOA radio thanks to iHeartMedia going through some massive job cuts. Patrick Saunders has quotes from Schemmel, manager Bud Black, and Trevor Story which all amount to the same thing: losing Jerry is a big blow.

Schemmel's partner Jack Corrigan did confirm that KOA will be sticking with a two-man booth for the upcoming year, which puts KOA on a tight timeline with spring training around the corner.

Personally, I want to thank Jerry for the time he gave me during my trips into the press box at Coors Field but even more for being a familiar voice of comfort for me over the last 10 years of listening to the Rockies, evenand perhaps especiallywhen the baseball wasnt much of a comfort. Good luck and God bless on the rest of your endeavours.

One of the bright sides of the newscycle getting dominated by more consequential manners in the league is that we got a break from the never-ending Nolan Arenado trade rumors. Well, kinda, since this article got posted on Wednesday. Well have more on the article next week, but it gives us a decent starting point for what an Arenado trade would entail and, while Mike Petriello-as-Jeff-Bridich pulled the trigger on one of these deals, Im personally inclined to say Im a little underwhelmed by each of the proposals but Ill let you be the judge.

Now, onto the wider MLB news. I hope youve had your coffee because this gets a little crazy, so well start with the simplest and perhaps most historic news from Thursday.

New Giants manager Gabe Kapler is rounding out his coaching staff for next year and Alyssa Nakken will be joining it. After the Yankees named Rachel Balkovec a minor league hitting coach a few months ago, the Giants become the first team to hire a woman to serve on the coaching staff at the major league level. MLB rules restrict the dugout to seven uniformed coaches and, considering she will be one of 13 and her role hasnt been fully detailed at this juncture, Nakken probably wont be one of them. Still, it truly is a historic day that got lost in all the bluster that followed.

After the Red Sox unceremoniously parted ways with World Series winning manager Alex Cora on Wednesday, the writing was on the wall for Beltran. MLBs report on the Astros Sign Stealing Scandal (I hope theres a better acronym out there than that) unveiled Cora and Beltran as two of the leaders of the scheme, though penalties didnt fall on them directly. Still, with Cora implicated in another cheating scandal with the 2018 Red Sox whose investigation was still ongoing, it seemed like Cora leaving the team was the smart thing to do.

The Mets-Beltran situation was a little trickier, because he wasnt involved in anything attached to the Mets like Cora did. Still, it seemed like an odd choice to keep him around with all the controversy swirling so they parted ways. For those keeping score at home, thats three managers and one general manager who have lost their jobs due to this scandal.

Things only escalated from there. Shortly after the Beltran news came through, a user on Twitter spoke up. This user had the Beltran-to-the-Mets and Beltran-from-the-Mets news before anyone else, so it seems to be at least somewhat legit. The user, claiming to be Carlos Beltrans niece, accused the Astros of further malfeasances including the use of a buzzer inside the jersey to relay stolen signs (this person also pointed fingers at some prominent Yankees so this twisty tale seems to not be going away anytime soon).

The evidence is pretty damning if you only look to Altuves walk off home run in the 2019 ALCS. As hes coming to the plate, he motions to players not to tear of his jersey. Then, during the celebration, hes seen going into the dugout to change. Afterwards, he gave this explanation to Ken Rosenthal.

Uh, huh. Yep, Shy and stuff. I believe it.

The day turned into some Zapruder-level video investigation but MLB came out and said their investigation into the Astros included the 2019 season and they found no evidence of wrongdoing outside of what was named in the report. But this seems hardly a comfort when behind the scenes people across the baseball were fuming about these punishments because there seemed to be way more happening than MLB was letting on.

Oh, and none of this includes Jessica Mendoza, an analyst on ESPNs Sunday Night Baseball and a consultant to the Mets, going on the radio this morning and lamenting the actions of Mike Fiers, the former-Astro who effectively blew the lid off the trash can. Or the son of a former-MLB player and coach getting on Instagram and implying that more than just the Astros are doing some shady sign-stealing and, oh by the way, Mike Trout is on HGH. Sometimes, a meme is all you need.

So, how was your Thursday?

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Rockies radio voice Jerry Schemmel laid off and a bonkers day in MLB - Purple Row

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