The League

Sally Jenkins
Sports Columnist

Sally Jenkins

A sports columnist for The Washington Post, Sally Jenkins is the author of five books, including the bestseller It's Not About the Bike: My Journey Back to Life with cyclist Lance Armstrong.

Little Reason to Believe

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Another neat redemption narrative has been ruined by chemical analysis: Manny Ramírez tested positive for a banned substance. Cue the expression of surprise, his protestation that it was an innocent mistake, his play for sympathy, and his bid to regain his reputation. And anyone who believes him, and Alex Rodriguez too, sees the face of Jesus in a potato chip.

At this point, responsibility dictates the following statement: It's possible that Ramírez is an unwitting victim of circumstance and is not lying when he says he saw a physician for a "personal health issue" and received a prescription for a substance he didn't realize was banned. And as much of my heart is in that statement as Ramírez's is in his.

Just last month, Jose Canseco voiced the suspicion that Ramírez would turn out to be one of the names on Major League Baseball's ever-lengthening list of steroid users. Just this week, Selena Roberts, in a new book, "A-Rod: The Many Lives of Alex Rodriguez," offered the accusation that Rodriguez used performance enhancers for far longer than two-year period he admits to. No one much cared to listen to either of them. It was more fun to watch Ramírez's hair fly around the bases and marvel at the 36-year-old's performance with the Dodgers, hitting .348 with six homers and 20 RBI.

Canseco offered no hard evidence, but he has yet to be wrong about such things -- every single name he's offered up in public has come up trumps. Roberts's previous accusations against Rodriguez have also proved true; it was her story in Sports Illustrated that forced A-Rod's admission that he used steroids from 2001 to '03 after his indignant denials.

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By Sally Jenkins  |  May 8, 2009; 2:09 AM ET  | Category:  Steroids Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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