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Archive for Saturday, February 19, 2005

Robinson: Steroids create cloud over baseball

February 19, 2005

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— Hall of Fame slugger and Washington Nationals manager Frank Robinson said he believed steroids had created a "cloud over baseball" and that new penalties against steroid use weren't strong enough.

In his most extensive comments to date on the topic, baseball's No. 5 all-time home run hitter said Friday many fans were willing to ignore steroid use because they enjoyed the "home runs, the RBIs, the big explosion offensively" of the last few years.

"But I'll tell you one thing," Robinson said. "The players that play this game do care, and the players that have played this game care. I'll tell you that.

"It's a cloud over baseball right now about steroids," Robinson said before a Nationals spring-training workout. "My take on that is that it doesn't belong in the game."

Robinson has been reluctant to comment on the steroid issue, and he refused to cite individuals -- "I don't know if Barry Bonds is on steroids. Do you?" -- but he clearly is concerned about the blanket suspicion cast over all players, especially those who have bulked their bodies and improved by more natural means.

"It's like when they had testing, back when I was playing, for certain drugs," Robinson said. "A lot of players took it as an invasion of privacy to be tested. I said I have nothing to hide. I've love to be tested. I wish we all would be tested, because that would clear up the ones that are innocent. When you throw a blanket over everybody, that's mud on me, and I'm clean."

Under new standards announced in January, players who test positive for steroids for the first time will be suspended for 10 days.

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