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…. Incredible but true

At a time when baseball’s credibility is under constant attack, we now learn that Dr. Elliot Pellman, MLB’s chief medical officer, has “O’Leary’ed” his resume.

Dr. Elliot J. Pellman, the medical adviser for Major League Baseball whose recent testimony to Congress praised baseball’s steroids policy and challenged its critics, has exaggerated his educational and professional credentials.

Dr. Pellman, who is also team doctor for the Jets and the Islanders and a former president of the National Football League Physicians Society, has said repeatedly in biographical statements that he has a medical degree from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

But Dr. Pellman attended medical school in Guadalajara, Mexico, and he received a medical degree from the New York State Education Department after a one-year residency at SUNY Stony Brook, state records show. He does not hold an M.D. from Stony Brook, according to Dan Rosett, a university hospital spokesman.

In papers sent to Harvard University for a seminar and to the House Committee on Government Reform, which held the hearings on steroids in baseball two weeks ago, Dr. Pellman identified himself as an associate clinical professor at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

But he is an assistant clinical professor, a lower-ranking and honorary position that is held by thousands of doctors, a medical college official said. Dr. Pellman does not teach at Albert Einstein.r. Elliot J. Pellman, the medical adviser for Major League Baseball whose recent testimony to Congress praised baseball’s steroids policy and challenged its critics, has exaggerated his educational and professional credentials.

Dr. Pellman, who is also team doctor for the Jets and the Islanders and a former president of the National Football League Physicians Society, has said repeatedly in biographical statements that he has a medical degree from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

But Dr. Pellman attended medical school in Guadalajara, Mexico, and he received a medical degree from the New York State Education Department after a one-year residency at SUNY Stony Brook, state records show. He does not hold an M.D. from Stony Brook, according to Dan Rosett, a university hospital spokesman.

In papers sent to Harvard University for a seminar and to the House Committee on Government Reform, which held the hearings on steroids in baseball two weeks ago, Dr. Pellman identified himself as an associate clinical professor at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

But he is an assistant clinical professor, a lower-ranking and honorary position that is held by thousands of doctors, a medical college official said. Dr. Pellman does not teach at Albert Einstein.

…. When informed of the errors in Dr. Pellman’s biography, Representative Henry A. Waxman, Democrat of California, who is the ranking minority member on the House committee, said in a statement yesterday: “Major League Baseball told us Dr. Pellman was their foremost expert, but he was unable to answer even basic questions about the league’s steroid policy at the hearing. This new information raises further questions about his credibility and the credibility of baseball’s steroid policy.”

Robert White, a spokesman for Representative Tom Davis, Republican of Virginia, who is the chairman of the House committee, said he was “stunned” that baseball would send “a doctor with a questionable résumé.”

Is this amazing, or what? Combined with the fact that the testing agreement baseball turned over to Congress was an incomplete, non-ratified, thrown together at the last minute piece of crap, Selig and Manfred find themselves once again stuttering and sputtering in front of a microphone.

From an organizational standpoint, I have to say that I find this laughable. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: How can you have a used car salesman running a multi-billion dollar, multi-national organization? And this does fall in Selig’s lap, Selig’s and Manfred’s. No matter how they spin this now, they have been undressed and undone, again, in public; something an organization under fire cannot allow to happen. Of course Pellman says these are trivial matters, details so insignificant as to be under his radar. But they are not. His credentials are tremendously important. Baseball paraded him in front of the cameras and microphones, saying, look, we have a doctor who is in charge of these things. He knows what’s going on, he’s a doctor. His being a doctor gave weight to everything he said, more weight than say, if baseball had hired me to say their testing program was legitimate.

His credentials are part of the foundation of baseball’s efforts to not only clean up the sport, but more importantly, their efforts to appear to be in control of the situation. They are obviously not in control of anything. Maybe Cannella is right. Maybe it is time for a new sheriff in town. Maybe it is time for baseball to join the 21st Century and remake itself, come up with a whole new way of doing business. Because they way they’re doing business right now borders on absurd. Once again, with the game on the line, Selig has failed to put the bat on the ball.

In related news, it appears that the previously untouchable NFL testing program has some unresolved issues, as three Carolina Panthers have been outed for getting prescriptions for steroids from a doctor under investigation by the DEA.

…. NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said the NFL does not believe the most recent problem is widespread, and anti-doping experts said that generally when a sport has a testing program, violators tend to congregate in pockets. When the BALCO scandal broke in 2003, only four players, all Oakland Raiders, tested positive for the designer “stealth” steroid THG when the NFL checked samples that had previously tested negative.

Drug testing has never been a matter of getting a “yes” or “no” result from a urine or blood sample. Most tests determine how much of a given substance is in an athlete’s body, and either it meets a threshold or it doesn’t.

The body produces testosterone naturally, so the standard method for testing an athlete has been to compare the amount of testosterone in the body to the amount of the hormone epitestosterone. The average person’s body will produce them in equal amounts. For years, if someone’s testosterone level was six times higher than his epitestosterone level, that athlete was considered in violation of international anti-doping standards.

With new technology, however, the World Anti-Doping Agency decided to change the standard to a 4-1 ratio from 6-1, which went into effect in January. An athlete who shows testosterone at a 4-1 or greater ratio is automatically required to undergo more testing. Sophisticated – and expensive – equipment is used to see whether the excess testosterone in that athlete’s body was produced naturally, as may happen with adrenal or testicular cancer, or was added illegally. By adding the extra tests, testers can make sure that people with medical or genetic conditions aren’t punished as cheaters, said Olivier Rabin, WADA’s science director.

Boy oh boy, steroids steroids steroids. Is this the story of the decade or what? All this time, PED use has been going on, and nothing. We heard absolutely nothing, for decades. Oh, sure, we know that NBA players like to get high, and every once in a while, we’d read about someone like Bill Romanowski getting busted with a huge bag of pills at an airport. Now, it’s every day, every newspaper, every sportswriter has to let us know how bad it is, how much he or she supports Big Brother’s efforts to save our children. My oh my.


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All commentary is the opinion of John J Perricone unless otherwise noted.
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