First Professional Athlete in North America Suspended for HGH

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Minor league first baseman Mike Jacobs

Minor league first baseman Mike Jacobs
Source: Getty Images (accessed Aug. 18, 2011)

Minor league first baseman Mike Jacobs became the first professional athlete in North America to be suspended for using human growth hormone (HGH). As a result of his positive blood test, Jacobs received a 50-game suspension and was released from the Colorado Rockies’ Triple-A affiliate.

Blood testing of minor league players began in July 2010 but is not currently used by major league teams. According to Rob Manfred, MLB Executive Vice President of Labor and Relations, blood testing may be used in the major leages under a new labor agreement. He told ESPN, “We’ve made a proposal on blood testing for HGH and we’ll see how it turns out.”

Jacobs released the following statement in response to his suspension: “A few weeks ago, in an attempt to overcome knee and back problems, I made the terrible decision to take HGH. I immediately stopped a couple of days later after being tested. Taking it was one of the worst decisions I could have ever made, one for which I take full responsibility. I apologize to my family, friends, the Colorado Rockies organization, Major League Baseball and to the fans. Now, as required by the minor league drug program, I will serve a 50-game suspension. After my suspension is completed, I hope to have the opportunity to continue my career in the game that I love so much.”

Jacobs had previously played for major league teams including the New York Mets, Florida Marlins, and Kansas City Royals.

Sources:

Ian Saleh, “Colorado Rockies’ Mike Jacobs Tests Positive for HGH, Suspended for 50 Games,” www.washingtonpost.com, Aug. 18, 2011

Jayson Stark, “Mike Jacobs Suspended for HGH,” www.espn.go.com, Aug. 18, 2011

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