SI Vault
Edited by Craig Neff
March 20, 1989
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March 20, 1989


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Last week brought a m�lange of drug news from several sports:

?The discovery of cocaine in postrace urine samples taken from six thoroughbreds in California (SCORECARD, Feb. 27) may not have been, as the horses' trainers have alleged, a mere foul-up by the testing lab used by the state racing board. An independent laboratory working for the California chapter of the Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association says that it has run preliminary screening tests on 1,024 urine samples taken from thoroughbreds after races at California tracks and that 109 have turned up evidence of at least one of 21 illegal drugs, including cocaine. Positive samples must be retested for confirmation, but according to the lab. International Diagnostic Systems, of St. Joseph, Mich., cocaine was found "frequently in combination" with other drugs, including synthetic narcotics.

?A New York Post investigation found indications that drug use is prevalent among stable hands at two New York tracks, Aqueduct and Belmont. One security guard at Aqueduct told the paper that he had seen stable hands having crack parties, and a Post reporter found empty crack vials outside the stable hands' dorms at the track. "The use of drugs on the back-stretch is so widespread we can't monitor it," a New York State Racing and Wagering Board official said.

?In Toronto, at the Canadian federal inquiry into drug use in amateur sports, sprinter Ben Johnson's coach, Charlie Francis, continued his testimony (SI, March 13) by charging that Canadian Track and Field Association officials have known of steroid use among Canadian athletes since the early 1980s, about the time he says he began giving steroids to Johnson. Under cross-examination, Francis admitted he hadn't closely monitored the health effects of steroids on the athletes to whom he gave the drugs.

?Jacques Sabatier, whose 17-year-old son, Cyril, was stripped of the French junior cycling title last year after a drug test indicated he was on steroids, threatened to stage a hunger strike until Cyril is exonerated. French cycling officials maintain that there is no reason to doubt the test results.

As if all that weren't enough for one week, Luis Freitas, the 1987 Mr. Universe, was arrested in Columbus, Ohio, on charges of conspiracy and trafficking in steroids. Freitas, a Brazilian, was in Columbus to attend the Arnold Schwarzenegger Classic bodybuilding competition. In an ad in the latest issue of Muscle & Fitness magazine, Freitas claims he attained his build "with nothing artificial added."

There's reportedly a new bumper sticker in San Diego that reads STEVE GARVEY IS NOT MY PADRE.


After Bucknell reserve forward Greg Leggett got poked in the left eye during the first half of his team's East Coast Conference basketball tournament semifinal against Hofstra at Towson (Md.) State, he wasn't expected to return to the game. But at halftime, with the Bisons trailing 38-34, Leggett's uncle—Dr. Tom Burkholder, an ophthalmologist—came out of the stands, examined his nephew's eye and diagnosed two corneal abrasions. Burkholder said that if Leggett didn't mind the discomfort—and could see without his left contact lens, which had been lost during the poking incident—he could safely take the court in the second half.

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