12.29.10

Palmeiro’s Steroid Denial : That’s His (Needle) Story & He’s Sticking To It

Posted in Baseball at 4:22 pm by

Rafael Palmeiro’s 2005 suspension for use of performance enhancing drugs was thought by many to be a serious blow to his Hall Of Fame chances, and a subsequent explanation (ie. ratting on Miguel Tejada) wasn’t thought to have done Raffy much good in the court of public opinion. Still, Palmeiro doggedly continues his attempts at reputation repair, telling SI.com’s Mel Antonen, “I was telling the truth then, and I am telling the truth now,”

“I don’t know what else I can say. I have never taken steroids,” Palmeiro, 46, said in a phone interview. “For people who think I took steroids intentionally, I’m never going to convince them. But I hope the voters judge my career fairly and don’t look at one mistake.”

Palmeiro described the 2005 season as a “nightmare,” and said that he doesn’t know if he’ll ever get over the pain. He said that while Tejada gave him the vitamin B-12, Palmeiro’s wife, Lynne, injected him with the liquid vitamin.

“And, we did it only once. Miguel Tejada had nothing to do with it, and I’m sorry people said that I was blaming him,” Palmeiro said. “It was my mistake. I should have known what I was putting into my body. I am accountable, and I have paid the price. But, it wasn’t steroids. Vitamin B-12 gives you energy. It doesn’t enhance your performance.”

Three days before Major League Baseball announced his suspension, Palmeiro found comfort in making a call to President George W. Bush at the White House. (Bush, a former owner of the Texas Rangers, had called Palmeiro to congratulate him on his 3,000th hit.)

“I had a number for him, and it was a very difficult call to make because he had been so supportive of me,” Palmeiro told SI.com. “I didn’t want him to read about it in the newspaper or hear it on television.

“He’s always given me good advice, and that day he told me that he was behind me. He told me to just tell the truth and let the chips fall where they may. He told me to tell the truth and stick with it.”

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