The worst part about baseball's willful ignorance about performance enhancing drugs for so long is that it gave rise to an acceptance that writers, commentators and others could throw out speculation about who was using without raising an eyebrow. We'll never know for sure what went on in the dark old days so generate enough smoke and no one's going to bother looking for an actual fire.
Baseball has no one to blame for that than themselves, but that doesn't mean we still can't call out the most reckless of the finger pointers. An article Thursday by the "I-Team" of the Daily News qualifies for that by using Jose Reyes's thyroid issue as rationale for all but accusing Reyes of using human growth hormone.
Dr. Lewis Maharam, past president of the American College of Sports Medicine, says his interest in whether performance-enhancing drugs affect thyroid levels was piqued by the Reyes case.
Theoretically, Maharam said, an athlete could receive an injection of HGH right before a blood test, which might raise the T3 levels. Chronic use might lower the levels, he said, adding that he has no knowledge of the Reyes diagnosis. "The reason we are all concerned is that the people who used performance-enhancing drugs are always ahead of the testers," Maharam said. "That is why everybody is suspicious when these things come up."
Here's a few other causes of thyroid problems. Exposure to radiation, overconsumption of soy, too much or too little iodine in one's diet and eating too much broccoli, kohlrabi, cabbage and cauliflower. There are other possible causes as well and these kinds of problems are so widespread that one has to jump past dozens of other conclusions to find your way to HGH as the reason for Reyes's troubles.
If a newspaper wants to investigate linkage between HGH and thyroid problems, go right ahead. Actually investigate it, though. The News quotes a few people involved with sports medicine and/or doping musing about potential liks, mentions "at least one study" and delves into innuendo without ever saying that there's absolutely no evidence of Reyes doing anything at all.
Look, Reyes and the other players who met with Dr. Anthony Galea look bad in light of the fact that he is accused of peddling HGH. No one, including Galea who would have reason to try and trade up to get himself out of hot water, has implicated any of the players of using HGH and that's all that anyone knows for certain about anything at this point.
Maybe Reyes has taken HGH, maybe he hasn't but the Daily News doesn't know either way or they would actually print something that rises above speculation. They're just taking a shot at a guy who is down because he's a convenient target.