The last thing the Indians needed was an off-the-field controversy the day of their most important game in 10 years, but they have it.
Lance Williams and Mark Fainaru-Wada, sports writers for the San Francisco Chronicle, and the authors of Game of Shadows, a steroids expose, published this in Sunday's Chronicle:
Sounds very bad, correct? Byrd bought HGH, which is banned by MLB, from a clinic that's being investigated by law enforcement. No test exists that can detect whether a player has been injecting the hormone, mainly because the human body manufactures HGH naturally.
A couple hours after the story broke, Paul Byrd gave his side of the story in an interview with Ken Rosenthal:
Byrd said that three different doctors diagnosed him as suffering from adult growth-hormone deficiency. In spring training, he said, he was diagnosed with a tumor on his pituitary gland at the base of his brain, a condition that may have contributed to his deficiency, doctors told him.
If what Byrd is saying checks out, that the hormones were prescribed to treat a diagnosed pituitary disorder, and MLB and the Indians knew about this, the only controversy is that he received legally prescribed drugs from a clinic that is under investigation for distributing drugs for performance-enhancing.
Whatever the outcome, this story is horrible timing for a team about to play for their playoff lives.