New info on Merriman

St. PJ

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Remember when the news came out ESPN's Chris Mortenson was quick to say Merriman failed his urine anaylisis for "steroids", Merriman test positive for steroids was the breaking news ticker, and "it is definately steroids" was what came out of anyone's mouth who reported this? If I were Shawn Merriman, I would lawyer up. He got trashed, no matter if he is completely innocent, he got trashed. His rep will forever be stained much the same way a man with false rape or molestation charges is forever stained.

I do not think ESPN is vindicative. I do believe the NFL needs to start firing people who are leaking these results that are supposed to be "confidential". And to not link the whole truth is the worst of it. Merriman's test showed that his body showed TRACES of a chemical that METABOLIZES LIKE nanodrol. Lets explore that. There have been many players in the NFL who have tested positive for steroids. Take QB Jim Miller for example. He took over the counter (OTC) health supplements, which metabolized in his body as a trace of a steroid. He tested after working out, before he got in the cold tub, and tested positive. 4 hours later he showed as clean.

These OTC supplements ARE NOT REGULATED BY THE FDA. The list of ingredients, therefore, is not accurate. The NFL has no "go to guy" to ask about whether a new supplement is safe. There is no list either. The fact is, you or I could take the same OTC supplement right now. There are no ingredients on the label banned by the NFL. Some of the herbal ingredients will metabolize differently in body than in yours. I may show a large level of estrogen, you may show a small level of a substance that chemically is similar to an anabolic steroid. Does this mean you took steroids? Does this mean that atheletes should not take supplements? Protein shakes? Vitamens?

My purpose in writing this is not to defend Merriman. It is, however, to help you as the fan make an informed opinion. The media, in every facet, on every issue and subject, the greater majority of the time lacks objectivity and goes with the story that either makes the best headline, whether or not the info is accurate, or coincides with the propaganda of conditioning the public to think a certain way. It is just sad what crappy reporting does to people's reputations.

For the record, no appeal has ever been won by someone who fails a urine anaylisis in the NFL. I doubt it will change in Merriman's case. The NFL has taken a zero tolerance stance and will not budge, no matter what circumstances transpired, or even if the person can be proven to be innocent. This shows that at least the NFL picks no favorites in who to test or how to punish. That is all good, but in the future, the FDA should get involved in regulating these OTC supplements. Thats a multi-billion dollar industry. On the other side, the NFL should have a list of approved supplements, and also someone in place to approve/disapprove new supplements as they arise.

I believe Merriman is innocent in that he took a supplement with no ingredients that were banned by the NFL. This supplement metabolized in his body, leaving a chemical signature of a trace of a substance "LIKE" a steroid. I think it is a shame he will lose the appeal, a shame this happens often, and a shame that there are many who rush to judgement. I am against steroids and their abuse. There are good medical uses that are prescribed, but I do not believe in the advantage they give and the integrity they rob the game of. On the subject of supplements, I differ in opinion. They are legal, have no harm on your body, and benefit your total health. How many of your children drink protein shakes or take supplements?

One last thing. The substance abuse policy for most substances gives a 4 game suspension on the second violation. For steroids, you get the suspension on your first violation. There has been confusion, and many people believe since he is getting a 4 game suspension this is his second time. The fact about bodies metabolizing supplements differently and supplements leaving different signature traces is not well known to the media, but players are aware of it. I have seen former players like Chris Carter lash out against Merriman, claiming that someone with a body his size should not be as athletic as it is, therefore, this proves he is on the juice since you never saw someone 270lbs run a 40 in 4.4 ever. To this I say that todays linebackers, RB's, and some QB's are the size of yesterday's offensive lineman. Average height, weight, and sizes are growing larger not only in the NFL, but in America in general over the past 30 years. Genetics are improving becuase the gene pool is more diverse. I criticize Carter for being so quick to bash Merriman. I generally dislike yahoo NFL "anaylists" anyway.
 
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It's also stupid for a guy making millions of dollars a year to take a substance which creates an unknown effect in his system. I call BS.

Spend a few bucks, consult with a doctor, and take steps to ensure that the stuff won't taint your pee. If it does, find something else to take.

Better yet, let the NFL provide the doctor and pay him a set fee. The league should also develop a "clean letter", one provided by its own doctor(s), one which acknowledges that a player is taking an un-banned substance, one which could produce questionable test results. There can be baseline testing done for future comparative purposes.

There's a fine line which must be walked here, no doubt. The league cannot justly hold a player accountable for taking a substance not listed on the league's banned substances list. Players, on the other hand, should take every precaution possible to ensure that their paychecks aren't hindered by positives - either false or otherwise - in test results .
 

xpuma20x

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So are you saying that even if he did test positive, that he should sue people because they reported this information? They aren't stating anything false, he's the one that took the substance, so he's the one causing himself to lose face. Even if for some reason his appeal goes through and its shown that he wasn't on "steroids" then it still doesn't matter, because he tested "positive" on the first test and that is what they are reporting. They aren't saying he's smoking crack in some back alley somewhere. They stated that he tested positive for a banned substance.
 
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St. PJ

St. PJ

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It's also stupid for a guy making millions of dollars a year to take a substance which creates an unknown effect in his system. I call BS....QOUTE]


Maybe so, but this guy is pretty young. Were you always as cautious and responsible and wise at that young of an age? If you ask the team trainer and he says it looks fine does this account for anything? Maybe Merriman himself was unaware this could happen, otherwise he would have been more careful. At least now he and others can learn from this. No one took notice when it happened to Jim Miller. Hindsight is 20/20, but on the issue of testing it, some substances react differently in different bodies, as well as react differently in your own body. If I use it today, I might show high levels of vitamen e, tommorow high levels of estrogen, ect, ect. Most of the supplement is out of your system in 4 hours upon metabolization. In other words, it might make you fail a test or not, but in 4 hours, would show no traces. Steroids (real steroids) test differently. They stay in your system a lot longer. At least 3-5 days, some even months depending on how heavy usage is.
 

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On Sirius NFL they were talking about this and pretty much the consensus was if you are going to take anything make sure the Team Trainers and Physicians approve it. They said even take another step and contact the NFL Office and ask them is it OK for me to take this OTC supplement.
No players do this and when they pop positive this is all you hear about.
Furthermore, Shawn had questionable behavior while in college with a couple incidents that could be considered "Roid Rage" and he did bulk up a lot between college and the pros. They said a number but dont quote me, but it was like 25 to 30 lbs in a 4 month period.
 
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What I don't like about the whole situation is that he gets to play 2 more games because he is appealing. I understand that he can do that because that's the rule but everyone is saying that he won't win his appeal. The rule is the rule. It doesn't matter how the substance got into his body, it got there. I just think that since the NFL knows players will appeal they ought to have the appeal hearing as soon as possible and not take 2 or 3 weeks.
 

mt15

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For someone "not defending Merriman" I think you may have a future!!

j/k pjgaryjr.

But don't believe everything you read in this case. Especially statements put out by the Merriman camp. He evidently couldn't spend a couple of bucks to have what he took tested before he got caught, but he sure can spend the bucks now on "spin." As well he should, his entire career is certainly at stake here.

One other point, he stated in writing on his web site before the test, that he didn't take ANY supplements. So now, when it's convenient, he suddenly took supplements? Not only that, but tainted supplements containing illegal substances?

Are we so eager for heroes in sports, that we go WAY out on a limb to believe they can do no wrong?

Also, there were two samples given, and both tested positive.
 
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St. PJ

St. PJ

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So are you saying that even if he did test positive, that he should sue people because they reported this information? They aren't stating anything false, he's the one that took the substance, so he's the one causing himself to lose face. Even if for some reason his appeal goes through and its shown that he wasn't on "steroids" then it still doesn't matter, because he tested "positive" on the first test and that is what they are reporting. They aren't saying he's smoking crack in some back alley somewhere. They stated that he tested positive for a banned substance.
ESPN's Chris Mortenson reported "Merriman tested positive for STEROIDS... not one of those supplement deals". Now that the actual report has been released, I will reiterate once again what it said. It said Merriman's urine showed TRACES OF A CHEMICAL SUBSTANCE THAT HAS A SIGNATURE SIMILAR TO NANODROL. Now, as reported by NFL Sirius Radio, there have been numerous supplements that are having the same result. Test have shown that supplements, once metabolized, show different chemical signatures each time. Failing a urine anaylisis for ACTUAL steroids is both sceintifically, ethically, and JOURNALISTICALLY something entirely different. How can you not distiguish the difference?

If your child starts having problems at school, like bad grades and emotional problems, and the shool shrink counsels your child and "finds" that you molested her in the summer of 3rd grade, when in fact you were away on business in Germany, is this the same as saying "well the shrink found this to be true, so it must be"? Dateline did a study on this and found such cases unsubstantiated, and also that some shrinks actually lead the child to confessing such things when no truth can be contributed to it. This is off the subject, but in the same way has the same result.
 

mt15

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ThibodauxSaint - I agree with you. I think the Chargers are manipulating the system to put off Merriman's suspension until they get a couple of their defensive guys back from injuries. There is no way he wins this appeal.
 
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St. PJ

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For someone "not defending Merriman" I think you may have a future!!

j/k pjgaryjr.

But don't believe everything you read in this case. Especially statements put out by the Merriman camp. He evidently couldn't spend a couple of bucks to have what he took tested before he got caught, but he sure can spend the bucks now on "spin." As well he should, his entire career is certainly at stake here.

One other point, he stated in writing on his web site before the test, that he didn't take ANY supplements. So now, when it's convenient, he suddenly took supplements? Not only that, but tainted supplements containing illegal substances?

Are we so eager for heroes in sports, that we go WAY out on a limb to believe they can do no wrong?

Also, there were two samples given, and both tested positive.
Now this is a very good counterpoint. You have done research, which is something the journalist have failed to do when initially reporting this. That is my whole point.
 

BiloxiSaint1

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Give me a break...

My purpose in writing this is not to defend Merriman. It is, however, to help you as the fan make an informed opinion.
[Sarcasm On] Thanks for the information, "Doctor Pjgaryjr." Thanks for informing me, the Fan. I'm now convinced Merriman is not a cheater. [Sarcasm Off]

I believe Merriman is innocent in that he took a supplement with no ingredients that were banned by the NFL. This supplement metabolized in his body, leaving a chemical signature of a trace of a substance "LIKE" a steroid.
"Doctor Pjgarjjr", Merriman is not claiming it metabolized in his body as a substance "like" a steroid, but that it was a "tainted" batch that included a banned illegal substance.

Merriman's lawyer said, "I know that people get tired of hearing it, but it is a fact and it is not going to go away until the Congress of the United States deals with it. Supplements are not regulated and it is a dirty fact of this industry that many of them are tainted with prohibited substances and men like Shawne get hooked up and get penalized for taking something that they didn't know was present in the supplement." He probably shouldn't have used the words "hooked up"!

... a shame that there are many who rush to judgement.
It's not a "shame", but common sense.

http://www.nfl.com/draft/profiles/2005/merriman_shawne

http://www.nfl.com/players/playerpage/416752

I am against steroids and their abuse.
Doesn't sound like it, notwithstanding your desire to inform us fans.

On the subject of supplements, I differ in opinion. They are legal, have no harm on your body, and benefit your total health. How many of your children drink protein shakes or take supplements?
The FDA should ban all supplements and make them illegal unless they go through the same approval and regulatory process as other OTC drugs. Your statement that supplements "have no harm on your body, and benefit your total health" is not supported by the facts, and it shows your bais toward supplements.

You also stated, "These OTC supplements ARE NOT REGULATED BY THE FDA. The list of ingredients, therefore, is not accurate."
I wouldn't put something that, but your own admission, is unregulated and can contain substances not on the label into my child's body. But that's just me.

The substance abuse policy for most substances gives a 4 game suspension on the second violation. For steroids, you get the suspension on your first violation.
The NFL should make it a 6 game suspension for first time positive test. It DIRECTLY IMPACTS the integrity of the game. It gives an advantage on the field. I have zero tolerance for these guys.

Genetics are improving becuase the gene pool is more diverse.
The gene pool is more diverse over the last 30 years? Size is increasing in the NFL over the past 30 years because of much earlier training and nutrition. Your comment about genetics is a joke. You need to get a refund from the college where you took your genetics course. BTW a less diverse gene pool = quicker changes in genetics. See Darwin's "Theory of Evolution".
 

BiloxiSaint1

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Now this is a very good counterpoint. You have done research, which is something the journalist have failed to do when initially reporting this. That is my whole point.
The point of mt15's post is that you bought Merriman's sorry defense "hook, line, and sinker". Now you claim your post was about good journalism technique. The journalist just aren't buying Merriman's "waterfront property in Arizona" defense.
 
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The thing about steroids now is that there are so many out there and a lot of them are naturally produced by the human body, plus there are so many hormones and steroids put into the cattle, chicken, and turkey we eat; so testing for steroids will never be as acurate as testing for illegal drugs. The interesting thing about Merriman is that he tested positive for nandrolone. Just a few things to note about nandrolone:

Nandrolone is an anabolic steroid that has recently caused a great deal of controversy after a number of big name athletes have been banned from competition after failing tests for this drug. These include Linford Christie, Mark Richardson and Dougie Walker (all well known British sprinters), Merlene Ottey (the Jamaican former 200 m world champion), and Dieter Baumann (the German 500 m runner). After protesting their innocence, all were subsequently cleared by their national athletics organisations, although the International Amateur Athletics Federation fueled the controversy further by overturning the reinstatement of Christie and Walker. As well as athletes, French soccer star Christophe Dugarry tested positive for nandrolone after a match last year, and following a Wimbledon quarter final in 1998 Czech tennis player Petr Korda also failed a test. But the fact that so many sportsmen have tested positive for the same substance in such a short space of time has led to speculation that the testing procedure may be flawed, or inaccurate.

The drug known as nandrolone (also known commercially as Deca-Durabolin) has the IUPAC name 17b-hydroxy-19-nor-4-andro-sten-3-one, and is an anabolic steroid (a muscle-building chemical) which occurs naturally in the human body, but only in tiny quantities. It is very similar in structure to the male hormone testosterone, and has many of the same effects in terms of increasing muscle mass, without some of the more unwanted side-effects such as increased body hair or aggressive behaviour. As such, it is being actively examined in clinical tests as a possible treatment for wasting diseases, and to strengthen and increase body tissue and musculature in HIV infected men. In this form it is usually injected in its decanoate form, after first being dissolved in a suitable edible oil.

However, what is detected in the drug tests is the metabolism product of this molecule, called 19-norandrosterone, which is excreted from the body in urine, making it easy to obtain samples. A limit of 2 ng per ml of urine (set by the International Olympic Committee) is the maximum concentration thought possible to occur in human body by 'natural means', and if this is exceeded the drug test is considered positive. Since some samples given by athletes have shown levels up to 100 times higher than this, the conclusion is that the athletes must have been taking extra quantities of the drug to enhance their performance.

A much more likely theory has recently emerged from the results of a preliminary investigation at Aberdeen University. The findings are that dietary supplements themselves are harmless and produce no increased levels of nandrolone. Exercise alone, too, doesn't cause any problems. But a combination of both dietary supplements (none of which contain a banned substance) and exercise, can result in a positive nandrolone test. The reason for this is still unclear, but one theory is that there is a link between heavy training, the dehydration that goes with it, and their effects upon the components of high protein diets. Until more work is done, however, the 'nandrolone mystery' goes on...

For a much more detailed review of the issues involved in drug taking and testing in sports, see the excellent article in Chemistry in Britain (vol.36, September 2000) written by Rob Kingston.
 
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St. PJ

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Thanks El Kapitan, for summing it up citing reliable, bonafide research. Is it really hard for others to see that I am not defending Merriman? I really do not like or dislike the guy. I am neutral as to wether or not he took anything wrong knowingly or unknowingly. I have never taken any supplements or steroids in my lifetime. Ive gained 30 pound of mass in a matter of months with the combination of a high protien diet and working out every day when I played football. When I left LSU for the Marine Corps, I went from 225 to 176 in 3 months. That was just from not eating very well, being up 19 hrs every day, and running everywhere with only my body to use as weights when doing any exercise. I know people who juice, have juiced, and many others who strictly take legal supplements, follow a strict diet, and work hard to build their body. I have never heard one story of long term damage health supplements and vitamens have on your body like steroids do. The point was about how quick ESPN and such were to cite that Merriman definately failed for steroids. I was angry when I found out very realistically that there could be alternative possibilities, and we as a society as well as the media were quick to throw this guy under the bus before hearing of all this. Even if this is proven without a doubt to not be his fault, his reputation will still be tainted and people who have already made up their minds on the subject will continue to disagree with anything that is not already in their heads. Why are we so conditioned and mentally lazy so as to close the book and believe the first thing we hear on tv?
 
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