MLB.com carries a story about Red Sox minor league player Merloni's recollection of a seminar on spring training while he was with Boston.
Former Red Sox utility man Lou Merloni said Saturday on Comcast's "The Baseball Show" that he remembered a Spring Training meeting in which a doctor explained to players how to use steroids intelligently and without abuse, according to multiple reports.
Merloni's exact quotes, according to The Boston Globe, were: "I'm in Spring Training, and I got an 8:30-9:00 meeting in the morning. I walk into that office, and this happened while I was with the Boston Red Sox before this last regime, I'm sitting in the meeting. There's a doctor up there and he's talking about steroids, and everyone was like, 'Here we go, we're going to sit here and get the whole thing -- they're bad for you.'
"No. He spins it and says, 'You know what? If you take steroids and sit on the couch all winter long, you can actually get stronger than someone who works out clean. If you're going to take steroids, one cycle won't hurt you; abusing steroids it will.'
"He sat there for one hour and told us how to properly use steroids while I'm with the Boston Red Sox, sitting there with the rest of the organization, and after this I said, 'What the heck was that?' And everybody on the team was like, 'What was that?' And the response we got was, 'Well, we know guys are taking it, so we want to make sure they're taking it the right way.' ... Where did that come from? That didn't come from the Players Association."
The Red Sox angrily denied the allegation:
Boston's general manager during Merloni's Red Sox tenure, Dan Duquette, responded angrily to Merloni's claims, according to The Globe.
"It's ridiculous -- it's totally unfounded," Duquette said. "Who was the doctor? Tell me who the doctor is. If there was such a doctor, he wasn't in the employ of the Red Sox. We brought in doctors to educate the players on the Major League drug policy at the time at the recommendation of Major League Baseball. This is so ridiculous, I hate to even respond to it."
In fact, there were occasions when physicians presented steroids in a favorable light, in particular Dr. Robert Millman, of Cornell. Here is what John Rocker said about a presentation:
Rocker said a doctor hired by the Players' Association pulled aside himself, A-Rod, Ivan Rodriguez and Rafael Palmeiro following a spring training lecture and candidly told them how to use steroids.
"Look guys, if you take one kind of steroid, you don't triple stack them and take them 10 months out of the year like Lyle Alzado did," the doctor told him, Rocker said yesterday during an interview on the Buck and Kincade Show on WCNN-680 The Fan in Atlanta. "If you do it responsibly, it's not going to hurt you."
Here is the account from the Mitchell Report"
During baseball’s winter meetings in Nashville in December 1998, baseball executives and team physicians heard a presentation from Dr. Millman and Dr. Solomon on baseball’s drug policy. One attendee, Dr. William Wilder, was then the team doctor for the Cleveland Indians. In a memorandum to then Indians general manager John Hart that he wrote after the meeting, Dr. Wilder reported that the presentation focused on the benefits that could be obtained from testosterone. He was disturbed by the presentation, observing in the memorandum that whether or not testosterone increased muscle strength and endurance “begs the question of whether it should be used in athletics.” He believed there was “no reason that some preliminary literature can’t be sent out to the players concerning the known and unknown data about performance enhancing substances,” and recalled that Houston Astros’ team physician Bill Bryan presented a good overview of these issues with respect to supplements at meetings the previous year. Dr. Wilder reiterated these observations and views in our interview with him.