The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Sports Talk-Internet raid points fingers at sports figures

By John Garces/sports editor

The sports world has once again been rocked by a drug scandal.

As a result of a raid on an Internet pharmacy, several athletes, among them Cowboys quarterback coach Wade Wilson, have been suspended.

Wilson, in his second stint with the Cowboys, was handed a five-game suspension for admitting he purchased the popular muscle enhancer, human growth hormone.

The coach claims he used the banned substance to help combat the onslaught of his diabetes while he was the quarterback coach of the Chicago Bears in 2005.

The raid, executed on Signature Pharmacy out of Orlando, Fla., also implicates athletes from other sports.

Included are 14 professional wrestlers, New England Patriots safety Rodney Harrison (currently serving a four-game suspension) and former Rangers outfielder Gary Matthews Jr., now with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

The pharmacy acted as a means of distribution for the athletes involved, helping deliver them various performance-enhancing drugs, such as HGH and several types of anabolic steroids. The most popular of which are nandrolone and stanozolol.

In most cases, it is believed, the athletes in question ordered their shipment of drugs via the Internet, to help themselves recover from serious injuries.

From all accounts, that is the case with Harrison. The aging secondary star has battled career-threatening injuries twice in recent seasons.

The side effects of these drugs, though, often outweigh the temporary performance boost athletes in every sport often get from them.

It’s hard to scorn completely those who wish to speed up their recovery time from an injury as these drugs are not illegal in the U.S. However, they are banned by all four major professional leagues.

The real scorn should go to those who are taking them for the sole purpose of becoming better players.
Matthews is a good example.

The son of a major leaguer, he was long thought of as a marginal player until he had a career year in 2006 with the Rangers, which enabled him to snag a $50 million contract with the Angels prior to this season.

Sadly, the scandal is even casting a pall over one of the biggest comeback stories in recent sports history.

Within the last two weeks, it has come to light that Rick Ankiel, the St. Louis Cardinals slugging outfielder, had purchased eight shipments of HGH during 2004.

Ankiel, the feel-good story of the baseball season, had battled back to the majors following a historic bout of wildness as a young, fire-balling pitcher in the 2000 post season.

And Ankiel has proved to be instrumental in the defending World Series champs’ drive toward the playoffs.

With the probe digging deeper and deeper into the records of the raided facility, expect more names to be uncovered.

When the dust settles, I have to wonder if anybody will be left to play the games we love.

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