- Rick Reilly, Columnist, ESPN.com
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Tragically, there is still no Labor Day Telethon for OAS (Overtrained Athlete Syndrome), the heartbreaking condition that caused Houston Texans linebacker Brian Cushing to test positive for HCG, earning him a four-game suspension. Cushing, a former USC All-American, says he worked out so hard and for so long that when he stopped it caused a "testosterone imbalance" at the exact same time he was being tested.
Unfortunately, science won't be able to begin trying to find a cure for OAS anytime soon, as their Pyrex beakers are already overflowing with experiments concerning:
DEAD TWIN SYNDROME
Pro cyclist Tyler Hamilton said there was someone else's blood in his system because he had a twin who died in his mother's womb.
EVIL MASSEUSE SYNDROME
Sprinter Justin Gatlin said a vindictive masseuse rubbed steroid cream into his legs.
EVIL ROOMMATE SYNDROME
Dieter Baumann, the 1992 Olympic 5,000 meter champion, alleged that somebody got hold of his toothpaste and injected it with a performance-enhancing drug.
EVIL WIFE SYNDROME
Baseball's Glenallen Hill said he never used the shipment of steroids that showed up at his house. Why did he order them? "Marital stress," Hill said.
It's true. Nothing brings peace to a household like Deca-Durabolin.
EVIL TRAINER SYNDROME
Barry Bonds insisted his trainer told him the 'roids he was taking was flaxseed oil. (To punish the trainer, Bonds has let him rot in jail for years. Also suffering from ETS, baseball's Juan Gonzalez, who insisted the duffel bag full of syringes and steroids he was carrying at the Toronto airport was actually his trainer's.)
LABEL BLINDNESS SYNDROME
British shot-putter Paul Edwards blamed his positive test on accidentally drinking a full bottle of shampoo. Also suffering from LBS, Argentine tennis player Mariano Puerta, who said he accidentally swallowed a banned drug used by his wife to help with her menstrual pain.
TOO MUCH WHISKEY SYNDROME
Cyclist Floyd Landis said he tested positive from drinking too much whiskey.
TOO MUCH SEX SYNDROME
Italian soccer player Marco Borriello blamed a positive test on orally ingesting an ointment his girlfriend was using to treat a sexual infection. His soccer career was harmed, but his dating prospects increased dramatically.
TOO MUCH WHISKEY AND SEX SYNDROME
Olympic sprinter Dennis Mitchell said he flunked a test because he had sex with his wife four times the night before along with drinking five bottles of beer. He did not mention how many bottles of shampoo he drank.
MALE BIOLOGICAL CLOCK SYNDROME
Manny Ramirez of the Chicago White Sox said he tested positive because his doctor mistakenly gave him a woman's fertility drug. God, don't let it be twins.
Cyclist Ivan Basso said that while he intended to cheat in a "moment of weakness," he changed his mind and never actually did so. But he insisted his mere intent justified his two-year suspension. Basso thus becomes the first athlete to think a PED into his bloodstream.
FEAR OF NEEDLES SYNDROME
Former New York Yankee David Justice said he didn't see how he could've taken steroids because he's deathly afraid of needles. "I ain’t using no needles. Everybody who knows me knows that."
UNSOLVED MYSTERY SYNDROME
Texas Ranger Rafael Palmeiro angrily told Congress he never took PEDs. Then, when he tested positive, insisted he must have taken them by accident. Also suffering from UMS, Boston's David Ortiz, who said, "Today I was informed by a reporter that I was on the 2003 list of MLB players to test positive for performance-enhancing substances. This happened right before our game, and the news blindsided me. I said I had no comment because I wanted to get to the bottom of this . . . Based on the way I have lived my life, I am surprised to learn I tested positive." Have they checked the toothpaste?
We have come across only one creative way to admit you took steroids, issued by former California Angel Chuck Finley, after his ex-wife, model Tawny Kitaen, accused him of smoking weed, drinking too much and 'roiding up during their marriage. Finley said, "I can't believe she left out the cross-dressing."