MLB to investigate Colon procedure

Game 34 Spillover Thread
Cano's CT scan comes back negative

Earlier tonight, Mike reported on the stem cell procedure Bartolo Colon underwent to restore his throwing arm. Now it seems that MLB is questioning the surgery and the doctor who conducted it. Joseph R. Purita, Colon’s surgeon, has used HGH in the past, and MLB wants to make sure he didn’t employ the banned substance in Colon’s surgery.

Serge Kovaleski of The Times reported:

Purita said he flew to the Dominican Republic and performed the procedures for free, doing it at the behest of a medical technology company based in Massachusetts that he has done business with for several years. Purita, who has used human growth hormone in such treatments, said in an interview that that he had not done so in Colon’s case. The use of human growth hormone is banned by baseball. “This is not hocus-pocus,” Purita said in an interview here. “This is the future of sports medicine, in particular. Here it is that I got a guy back playing baseball and throwing pitches at 95 miles an hour.”

Purita said that he has treated at least two dozen professional athletes over the years, mostly baseball and football players, and that he has never given any of them H.G.H. “I just won’t give it to these guys,” Purita said. “I don’t need the stigma and that kind of reputation.”

For the last few years, baseball and other sports, while fighting to limit the use of performance-enhancing drugs, have been faced with a new and murky challenge: players getting sophisticated blood treatments, often from doctors whose practices involve the regular use of H.G.H.

Brian Cashman, the Yankees’ general manager, said Wednesday that he had not known of Colon’s medical treatment when the club signed him. Cashman said Colon’s agent, aware that The New York Times was working on an article about the procedure and Purita’s role, had notified him recently of the procedure. Cashman said he had, in response, informed Major League Baseball. “The Yankees did notify us and we are looking into it,” said Pat Courtney, a spokesman for Major League Baseball.

Major League Baseball has said it has no reason to suspect Colon or his surgeon of any wrong-doing, but they are investigating as a matter of due diligence. I would expect nothing to come of this, and I’m not sure they can do much anyway. Colon was out of organized baseball when he underwent the procedure last year. As long as he complies with the MLB drug policy now, there is no foul here.

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Game 34 Spillover Thread
Cano's CT scan comes back negative
  • V

    But if he drove while drunk, that’d be A-OK.

    • Plank

      There are already punishments for driving drunk. You and I have the same penalties as every baseball player. Why isn’t that enough? And what does that have to do with this article?

      • Esteban

        Then why extra penalties for steroids or HGH? If they’re illegal, then the players get the same penalties if they get caught with them.

        • Plank

          Again, I don’t see what this has to do with anything, but I don’t think there should be penalties for taking HGH or steroids.

          • Plank

            Should there be an extra penalty for drowning puppies?

          • Esteban

            Ok I’m with you on that then, but I think that considering the prevalence of MLB players and coaches involved in DUIs, I think a fine or suspension is a good option to try to try to dissuade players from drinking and driving. I mean, I’m sure there are lots of jobs that would penalize you for being involved in DUIs.

            • Mister Delaware

              Not to mention its probably a good idea to err on the side of penalizing here. MLB is going to look awful for all their inaction after the next Josh Hancock or, worse, a drunk MLB player surviving a crash that kills someone else.

              • Mister Delaware

                (And this is universal. If the US Justice Dept or executives at Chase Bank or employees in any other highly visible position were consistently getting DUIs, the controlling entity should feel compelled to act.)

                • Plank

                  Do baseball players have a higher prevalence of DUI’s than the larger population of men in their 20s and 30s? I highly doubt it.

                  • Mister Delaware

                    I have no idea how those percentages would look but I do know, unlike a plumber or whoever, athletes are public figures who, fair or unfair, represent their sport at all times. Which is why Rocker was suspended and why the next guy to go off on a racist/sexist/bigoted tangent will also be suspended. And as much as I can’t stand all that shit, DUIs are far more lethal.

                    Really, what’s the downside of suspensions for DUIs / refusing breathalyzers? Persecuting an employee for the negative publicity their admitted illegal act brings to the league? I can’t generate much sympathy there.

                  • Mister Delaware

                    (I have no idea how old you are, but if you had a kid in grade school and several teachers picked up highly publicized DUIs, would you want the district to just sit back and ignore it?)

                    • Plank

                      Using fear of children’s safety is the reason many inappropriate and dangerous laws are passed. Teachers at your kid’s school have nothing to do with the appropriate punishment for MLB players who perform or fail to perform certain actions.

                    • Plank
                    • Mister Delaware

                      Except in DUI cases, there is a legit fear of the safety of children. This isn’t idiot-logic “having a gay teacher will give them a case of the gays” or something. Children aren’t impervious to car crashes and athletes / teachers are both role models so DUIs can have both direct and indirect effects on children (and everyone else). Teachers by choice, athletes by virtue of their occupation with the tradeoff of getting paid very well in exchange for the public’s enjoyment watching them employ their very non-essential skills.

                      This isn’t “suspend Sean Avery so players learn not to speak their mind in public”, this is “suspend Derek Lowe so maybe the next guy who would otherwise be cavalier about drinking and driving thinks twice since he won’t be getting off with a simple fine”.

                    • Plank

                      You could use that logic for anything. You can ban cars, movies, or the internet for the safety of the children.

      • MannyGeee

        Counterpoint, there is such a thing as penalizing an employee for their actions outside of what the laws state. I have worked in companys with strict personal conduct rules:

        including but not limited to drugs and brushes with the law, and going as far as termination without notice for gambling (including participation in FANTASY LEAGUES, Super Bowl Squares and brackets!)

        shitty, but it is what it is. MLB has made their stance clear on their controlled substance policy, it is well within their right to do so for “Public Conduct” rules as well.

        • Matt :: Sec110

          wow, I never heard anyone call it “super bowl squares”…usually “super bowl boxes” haha…good stuff.

      • Brian in NH

        We do not have the same punishment as baseball players. First of all, they are often famous athletes, and get off more often with treatment and community service. We just go to jail. Secondly, more and more employers are starting to fire people who get DUIs, and these baseball players don’t lose their jobs or even get suspended.

  • Thomas Cassidy

    Why the fuck are the investigating? Last I checked it doesn’t say you can’t do this in MLB. I hate Selig and the morons that run this league.

  • Will F.

    It sounds pretty legit to me. Stem cells are not steroids Selig.

  • pat

    I’m assuming the Colon procedure is to remove the stick from Selig’s ass.

  • Plank

    Your ideas intrigue me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

  • Skip

    The original article you cited said that the doctors cleared it with the MLB office BEFORE doing the tests. Non-issue if that’s true.

  • Nikes

    I wonder what the company in Mass is.

    • Mister Delaware

      Steroids, Inc.

  • awy

    it’s the 21st century and people are still stigmatizing technology. if you want to preserve vitalism in the sport then go worship a naked statue of zeus or something more authentic to _human power_

    un_f_believable

  • Gonzo

    Remember that Randy Johnson used to have knee injections regularly for lubrication. Bud never had a problem with that.

    • Gonzo

      I know Bud says it’s all about HGH. Just saying.

  • mike c

    stem cells? cash should be scheduling an appointment for hughes with the doc

  • Thomas Cassidy

    Why the fuck are they investigating? Last I checked it doesn’t say you can’t do this in MLB. I hate Selig and the morons that run this league.

    • mbonzo

      They’re investigating because of its incredible results. Bartolo Colon looks like he’s 10 years younger. I’m sure they’ll check and make sure hgh or anything similar wasn’t used but at that same time, this is the first player to under go the surgery and the results have been dramatic. Tommy John was probably investigated too when he came back from elbow surgery. Colon is probably an outlier in the real effects of the procedure, but this could change the whole scope of the game.

      I’m sure Cashman is scheduling Jeter for 4 years of stem cells right now.

      • mbonzo

        Oh and in the small chance that this procedure ever becomes the new Tommy John surgery, I hereby dub it the Bartolo Colon-oscopy.

        • Plank

          Bartolo Colonic

  • Kevin M.

    OMG Colon has a procedure done (while NOT part of MLB) to get healthy!!!! And he did it in the Dominican Republic. Get me the FBI and Secret Service on the phone stat! Let’s send a full investagitive team down there right away.

    What a frieking joke MLB has become. Why are baseball players not allowed to use new technologies to try and heal their bodies? This whole moral superiority complex MLB has about PED’s is totally out of control.

  • Wil Nieves Number 1 Fan

    Stem cells in baseball??? Let’s just hope Luke Scott doesn’t usurp Selig as commish.

  • Michael Scott

    MLB probes Colon!

  • CountZero
  • whataguy

    wow, an older guy performing well – this is horrible!