“I Am Completely Innocent”

Any report that I ingested a performance-enhancing drug is wrong. Or at least a little wrong. Come on, let me try and defend myself.

Yes, I failed a test, but then I passed a test, so that means I was innocent all along. Right? Like a college that only counts your most recent SAT score. Sure, I got a 600 two weeks ago, but this time I got a 2350, so, hey, that first one must have been a mistake. I used the wrong kind of pencil. You wanted my urine, and I gave you some vomit mixed with orange juice, or whatever it is that I did that ended up testing positive for synthetic testosterone. Maybe there was synthetic testosterone on the toilet seat and it somehow fell into the cup. Maybe I got mixed up between the sample cup you gave me, and that sample cup of synthetic testosterone I was carrying around for a friend. Some guy in the airport gave me a cup of his urine and told me to hold it for him. The security folks only asked about strangers packing my bags, not about strangers giving me their urine, so I didn’t think to mention it. I am completely innocent. Wait, I’m not sure I know what innocent means.

Notice my lawyer didn’t say I didn’t have this stuff in my body. He just said I didn’t ingest it. The problem is simple, really. I sat on a bag of synthetic testosterone — you know, those bags of testosterone people leave on park benches all the time — and it got absorbed in my body, rectally. It’s a real thing. Happens with all sorts of drugs. Ever hear of “anal meth”? There are 61,000 hits when I search for it on Google. Don’t worry that 60,999 of them are about a college course called Analytical Methods that has an unfortunate abbreviation and the 61,000th is this post. Trust me. You can absorb drugs by accidentally sitting on bags of them on benches in the park.

Not buying it? You don’t have to. I have an even better explanation. Not guilty by reason of insanity. I’m clearly insane if I think I can get away with taking a banned substance when they test us every three hours. So by definition, I can’t be held responsible. Oh, that’s just a criminal law defense, not a justification that will help me avoid a suspension by major league baseball? And being insane will probably affect my endorsement deals? You mean I won’t be able to plaster my face on billboards for synthetic testosterone anymore? Then never mind.

Let me try one more. Saw a news story about fecal transplants. Okay, by “news story” I mean it was on the Colbert Report. But it’s a real thing. If you don’t have the right bacteria in your digestive tract, they can give you someone else’s feces and it helps your body grow what you need. They usually give it by mouth, which is awfully disgusting, but, hey, is there an un-disgusting way to get someone else’s feces put inside of you? So let’s say I got this fecal transplant, and the guy whose feces I was given had taken some synthetic testosterone. Then it shows up in my test. And I’m screwed, right? Through no fault of my own. So let’s go with that one.

See, I’m innocent. Completely.

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Jeremy Blachman is the author of Anonymous Lawyer, a satirical novel that should make people who didn't go to law school feel good about their life choices. Read more at McSweeney's or elsewhere. He likes e-mail.

8 Responses to ““I Am Completely Innocent””

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  1. Exonerated says:

    I’m already giddy with anticipation for the “Joe West Ejects Erroneous Steroid Test” which will surely be forthcoming upon the successful appeal.

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  2. The Rajah says:

    MLB is undefeated in doping cases for a reason: They can’t afford to lose. They want to be seen as credible and if they lose a case, their anti-doping system will not be seen as such. Bud Selig is trying his best to overcome the turning-a-blind-eye reputation that MLB took in the late 90’s. If they look serious about fighting PEDS, eventually they will get that reputation.

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    • glassSheets says:

      I never understood “turing-a-blind-eye” …

      MLB is also undefeated because they have no burden of proof once one test comes up positive. Not saying Braun is innocent because I don’t know the particulars, but I have a hard time believing any test has zero false positives in the 9 or 10 years it has been used on every baseball player multiple times throughout the year. 10 years X 30 teams X 40 players X 3 times a year = 36,000 with no false positives. That’s a remarkable test.

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      • vivalajeter says:

        glass, that’s why they tested his urine twice. It was positive both times. What are the odds that the urine received two false positives?

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        • glassSheets says:

          I would like to point to me saying “Not saying he’s innocent” and “I don’t know the particulars”. Just saying that 36,000 (or whatever it is) with zero false positives is a remarkable test.

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          • JJ says:

            I highly doubt this is a case of false positives. Yes, the original epiT to T ratio (which was tested twice) could have been a false positive. However, the labs then do a series of secondary tests to examine whether the T was endogenous or exogenous (i.e. not produced by the body). Have the original ratio test AND the replication AND the synthetic test all be false positives is not likely.

            Also, the re-test taken 2-weeks after the first test means nothing since androgen levels normalize within 2-4 weeks.

            Braun had synthetic T in his body. I don’t care how it got there, he has to be suspended or MLB risks a serious credibility hit.

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          • B N says:

            It’s basically down to:

            1. Somebody tampered with/improperly handled the sample
            2. He was juicing.

            The test for synthetic testosterone failing is about as likely as being killed by a meteor. It’ll happen to a few people in recorded history, but so few I wouldn’t worry about it…

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          • glassSheets says:

            What is the false negative rate on this test then? If the false positive rate is circa 0, is the false negative rate also 0? I’ve never heard of the steroid test being considered that good. I also don’t buy MLB saving credibility on the cracking down on steroid front by setting the standard so high for a failed test that the false positive rate is 0. Either there are still way more people juicing than MLB claims or some will be tagged who are clean. Unless, of course, the steroid test is substantially more awesome than I give it credit for.

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