If there's one guy you'd think would keep a low profile during baseball's latest PED scandal, it might be Victor Conte. Yeah… not so much.
You might remember Conte from such previous work as being president and CEO of BALCO, a San Francisco area "sports nutrition" center that distributed steroids to Olympic runner Marion Jones, NFL linebacker Bill Romanowski and MLB's current all-time home run leader, Barry Bonds.
So if one guy might have any idea of who's juicing and who's not, Conte might be something of an authority on the subject, right? Are we therefore to believe his contention that half of current active major leaguers are taking PEDs? That's what Conte told Jim Rome on his Showtime program set to air Wednesday night.
"Well, if I define that as the entire calendar year, including the offseason," said Conte, "I believe it's about 50 percent.
"Listen, performance-enhancing drugs work," he continued. "I know that."
That number seems high, considering the drug-testing program that MLB currently has in place. Players such as Mike Trout speaking out against PED use, along with the players' union opting not to fight the suspensions recently issued to 12 players, seems to indicate that a sizable portion of major leaguers are tired of being associated with illegal performance-enhancers. But if you subscribe to Conte's view, maybe the anti-PED crowd makes up the other 50 percent of current players.
By the way, someone so prominently associated with steroids isn't the sort of person Alex Rodriguez should be meeting with, right? Oh, A-Rod! He might not come through in the postseason (2009 excepted), but he never lets us down on this stuff.
According to Conte, Romanowski facilitated a meeting between him and Rodriguez in May 2012. Rodriguez said he wanted "legal performance enhancement," and Conte stated that he had "no interest in anything from the dark side."