Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Wednesday 3 August 2005

Second Palmeiro Bombshell: Tests Positive For Cialis

Star Slugger Lucrative ED Endorsement Deal With Viagra In Jeopardy

The first cleat dropped on Monday, when prospective Hall of Fame slugger Rafael Palmeiro became the first "major star" to test positive for an illegal performance-enhancing substance, or steroids, and, subsequently, was suspended for 10-Games.

Yesterday, the second cleat fell. Palmeiro's steroid test also showed positive for Cialis, the erectile dysfunction (ED) medication.

Palmeiro has a lucrative endorsement agreement, being a spokesperson for the rival ED drug, Viagra.

A spokesperson for Pfizer, the pharmaceutical company that manufactures Viagra, said the company would have no immediate comment, pending their review of the test results. A source told The Garlic late last night that the company, as a precaution, has suspended all television and print advertising involving Palmeiro.

The 40-year-old Baltimore Orioles first baseman apologized for the violation, and insisted that he was unaware he took any illegal substances.

''I have never intentionally used steroids," Palmeiro said in a statement issued after an arbitration panel rejected his grievance. ''Never. Ever. Period."

Palmeiro also denied using Cialis, and hinted that this adds proof that the results of his steroid test may be in error. Palmeiro insisted that he only uses Viagra.

"If someone gave me Cialis, I think I would know it. I'd be on for 36-hours and, man, at my age, I'd remember that"

Viagra, in contrast, works for up to 4.5-5 hours.

Palmeiro, earlier this year, was one of a handful of baseball's stars that testified before Congress in a hearing about steroid abuse and also insisted at that time that he never used the banned substance.

Congressman Stephen Lynch (D-MA) said this latest news was "troubling".

Lynch said the violation also ''calls into question the truthfulness of Mr. Palmeiro's testimony before Congress."

Also testifying at that hearing was Jose Canseco, an admitted steroid user and author of the book, "Juiced: Wild Times, Rampant 'Roids, Smash Hits, and How Baseball Got Big". Canseco claims that he injected numerous players - including Mark McGwire, Juan Gonzalez, Ivan Rodriguez, and Palmeiro - with steroids early in their careers. All have denied the charges.

''I think this demonstrates that Jose Canseco, like I thought, may have been the most honest guy at the table," said Charles Yesalis, a leading steroid researcher at Penn State who testified before the committee the same day.

With his career winding down, it would be an inopportune time to lose such an endorsement deal.

A spokesperson for Eli Lilly, the producer of Cialis, indicated the company was watching the situation "closely".

"We'd love to get a high-profile Viagra user to switch over to Cialis. Especially a professional baseball player. We'll show him that we can put some good wood in the bat - better than anything he ever got with Viagra".











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