Monday, November 14, 2005

Palmeiro Dodges the Perjury Bullet

The House Government Reform Committee decided not to make a criminal referral to the Department of Justice regarding possible perjury by former Baltimore Oriole Rafael Palmeiro for his statement in March 2005 that he never took steroids and subsequent positive test for stanozolol, a powerful steroid.  The Committee's report (here) describes Palmeiro's statement regarding how the steroids might have entered his system:

During his interview with Committee staff, Mr. Palmeiro stated that his best guess as to what caused his positive steroid test was his use of liquid B-12. The Committee obtained no evidence indicating that B-12 has ever been inadvertently contaminated with stanozolol. The vial of B-12 provided to Mr. Palmeiro by Mr. Tejada was discarded by Mrs. Palmeiro. However, two bottles of B-12 were provided to the Players Association by Mr. Tejada. Neither sample was contaminated with stanozolol. During the Committee staff’s interview of Player A, he stated he had a remaining vial of B-12 provided to him by Mr. Tejada in May of 2005. Player A gave to the Committee the remainder of the vial of B-12. This bottle was tested, and also contained no stanozolol.

During the 2005 season, Mr. Tejada and Player A both injected B-12 purchased by Mr. Tejada and neither tested positive for steroids under MLB’s testing program. Based on this information, the interviews with Miguel Tejada and Player A, and the analysis run on the vial of B-12 provided to Player A by Mr. Tejada, the Committee is unable to determine whether the B-12 provided to Mr. Palmeiro by Mr. Tejada contained stanozolol.

Despite the clear problems with this excuse, the Committee concluded, quite properly, that the higher threshold for perjury could not be met, despite such a seemingly preposterous "explanation" from Palmeiro.  Of course, showing that birds of a feather truly flock together, Jose Canseco, who accused Palmeiro in a book of taking Stanozolol, refused to provide the Committee with any specific information about Palmeiro's use that would support a perjury charge.  No doubt such information would have required Canseco to wrack his brain, and would be unlikely to generate additional book sales.  A sad chapter is closed, at least until Palmeiro comes up for election to the Hall of Fame five years from the end of his playing career, which may well have already happened. (ph)

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