Sportsman's Daily

 

Baseball’s Drug Testers Determined to Prevent Leaks

Testers Posed as Nondescript, Eager-to-Please Men’s Room Attendants to Protect Integrity of Program

attendant

MLB drug tester stationed in Florida Marlins locker room. "Care for a Tick Tack? A comb? Is there anything else I can do for you? Thank you for your kindness."

NEW YORK, NY (Sportsman’s Daily Wire Service) — “You’re standing there, taking care of business, when suddenly, out of nowhere, a Dixie cup appears between your legs," said an unnamed Pittsburgh Pirate whose experience was shared by dozens of other players around the league. "You’re like – wha? It all happens so fast…you zip up, a non-descript gentleman hands you a towel, gives you a splash of cologne and offers you a breath mint. You have no idea what just hit you or what just happened, but your breath feels minty fresh and you smell like a million bucks.”

While Major League Baseball anxiously awaits the results of an internal investigation into steroid use, league-sanctioned drug testers went to extreme lengths in their determination to extract and collect untainted urine – urine on which the eagerly awaited results hinge. Testers are supposed to arrive at ballparks unannounced for random urine collection and testing; the element of surprise assures the integrity of the program and its results. However, since the testing company must call team officials the night before a game to arrange for stadium access and parking passes, players are often tipped off in advance, giving them more than enough time to “game” their samples and avoid detection.

But beginning shortly after the 2007 All-Star break, baseball’s drug testers decided they’d had enough of being had.

“The system was broken, the players and the front office were essentially in cahoots, as it’s in neither of their interest to have a player caught cheating," said Douglas Michaelson, a league sanctioned drug tester. "We needed to find a way of unobtrusively gaining access to locker rooms and maintaining a steady, below the radar presence to do our work. About two weeks after the All-Star break, we established the first concession in the Indians clubhouse. Art Booker got Eric Wedge’s ok and in no time Art was a big hit with the players, handing out warm towels and gum, offering dabs of Aqua Velva and hair gel as they walked to the sink to wash their hands. After a couple of weeks, he blended into the woodwork, completely unnoticed, a trusted men’s room attendant in whose presence the guys felt entirely comfortable as they moved their bowels and, most importantly, emptied their kidneys.”

Soon, the drug testers in the guise of men’s room attendants infiltrated every MLB locker room, using their cover, proximity and expertise to collect urine samples from unsuspecting, often willing players, as many came to appreciate the attention and assortment of pleasing amenities

“The last thing you want is for the players to feel uncomfortable. We keep the faucets running, pipe in some calming Enya or Eno, and make it a point to learn a player’s favorite cologne or whether he preferred Juicy Fruit or Double Mint. All while maintaining the perfectly servile posture of the men’s room attendant: slightly bowed at the waist, eyes slightly downcast, and a slavish hand gesture that invites a small token for services rendered.”

While players around the league were said to enjoy the cringing subservience and, in particular, the opportunity to sample a near endless range of men's fragrances, Michael Weiner, general counsel for Major League Baseball’s Players Association denounced the drug testers for “violating our player’s most basic right: the ability to relieve oneself in privacy and in peace, without fear of being watched, recorded, jostled or in any way handled. Jostled is bad enough, but handled is stepping well over the line.”

“This is not about inserting ourselves into the bathroom routines of baseball players, it’s about ensuring the integrity of the urine samples we collect and analyze,” huffed Michaelson. “Ultimately it’s about the integrity of the game itself. Would we rather be examining urine samples in a more dignified lab environment? Of course. None of us went to school expecting to wind up bent over, grinning like idiots and attending to the needs of ballplayers relieving themselves in a men’s room. But we’re professionals and will do what it takes. Towel? Comb? Gel? Care for a mint? Thank you for your kindness.”

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