Minnesota Twins pitcher Ervin Santana who signed a four-year, $55 million contract with the team in the offseason tested positive for using the drug Stanozolol and in compliance with Major League Baseball’s Drug Policy was suspended for 80 games. Eight days later, New York Mets relief pitcher Jenrry Mejia also tested positive for the drug and was also suspended for 80 games.
Although Twitter was having fun with the name of the drug, it is no laughing matter and is regularly is still regularly used by athletes.
Here else is what you need to know about the drug (all related drug information in this article comes from drugs.com):
1. The Drug Has Multiple Uses & is Taken Daily
Stanozolol is used in the treatment of hereditary angioedema, which causes episodes of swelling of the face, extremities, genitals, bowel wall, and throat. Stanozolol may decrease the frequency and severity of these attacks. It also has multiple benefits as well:
The drug is usually taken daily as directed by a doctor and can usually be consumed with food and water.
2. Stanozolol Has Noticeable Side Effects
A list of Stanozolol side effects include:
— an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing
— closing of the throat
— swelling of the lips, tongue, or face or hives)
— swelling of the arms or legs (especially ankles)
— frequent or persistent erections, or breast tenderness or enlargement (male patients)
— voice changes (hoarseness, deepening),
— hair loss, facial hair growth, clitoral enlargement
— menstrual irregularities in female patients
— new or worsening acne
— difficulty sleeping insomnia)
— changes in sexual desire.
Like any drug, an appointment should be made with a doctor before to discuss potential health complications.
3. Santana Claims He Took the Drug in his Home Country
In a statement, Santana admitted to unknowingly using the drug back in his native country of the Dominican Republic:
I serve as a role model for many kids in my home country who dream of playing at the highest level. I would never put baseball, my family, or my country in a position where its integrity is jeopardized. I preach hard work, and don’t believe in short cuts. I am very disappointed that I tested positive for a performance enhancing drug. I am frustrated that I can’t pinpoint how the substance in question entered my body.
I would never knowingly take anything illegal to enhance my performance. What I can guarantee is I never knowingly took anything illegal to enhance my performance. That’s just not me, never has ben and never will.
Moving forward, I need to be more careful on what I consume in my home country, I will be more vigilant of medications I take so that I don’t commit another mistake. Having said that, I believe it is best to move forward and accept the punishment that has been negotiated by MLB and MLBPA for my positive PED test.
He also apologized:
My deepest apologies to my family, fans, colleagues, teammates and my current employer the Minnesota Twins. All I can do now is continue to work hard, and when the suspension is up, come back to doing what I love.
4. Rafael Palmeiro Was Suspended for Stanozolol Use in 2005
In August 2005, Rafael Palmeiro was suspended for using the drug, an incident that damaged his reputation so much, he has not fully recovered from it since even after almost 10 years.
In fact, this year alone there were three players — including Atlanta Braves pitcher Arodys Vizcaino and all in the last few weeks — who were suspended for using the drug that was used years ago when MLB’s drug policy was more lenient and forgetful.
5. The Drug Is Particularly Attractive to Athletes
Stanozolol may also be a muscle-building anabolic steroid, and is particularly attractive to athletes. Doctors have maintained that for athletes to use the drug is crazy.
Despite the drug building muscle, and thus, resistance to injury, it is easy to detect, especially with how frequently professional sports leagues have implemented drug-testing policies in the last 10 years. Specifically in MLB.
Some, though, are not supportive of the harsh suspensions for drug use: