Monday, January 14, 2013

That nasal spray is some bad-news stuff

It's all right to get a head cold, maybe even the flu, if you're a professional ball-player.

Just make sure you contact the right people before doing something to unclog that stuffy nose.

The Associated Press reported on Monday that Tampa Bay catcher David Wendt and free-agent catcher Bryan Henry were suspended 50 games for positive tests under baseball's minor-league drug program.

The commissioner’s office said Monday that each tested positive for Methylhexaneamine, a banned dietary supplement originally developed as a nasal decongestant.


Maybe Wendt and Henry were doing something underhanded by taking Methylhexaneamine. I have no idea what it would be.

Can you get a competitive advantage by unclogging your stuffy nose? Or is that the competitive advantage right there - getting that full night's sleep with the head cold that other players are denied because they spend the evening gasping for air and hacking from the post-nasal drip that could have been cured with a little shot of nasal spray.

I'm no pharmacist. I'm not chemist. I'm not the guy who made up the rules or the dude who drew up the list of banned substances. Maybe Wendt and Henry were trying to get ahead in the game. After all, one is a minor-leaguer and the other doesn't even have a team right now. Maybe they were snorting the bejeesus out of nasal decongestant to gain a competitive advantage.

Just curious here, but how much of that stuff do you have to suck back before you gain an advantage? And how does it help? You could snort a five gallon bucket of nasal decongestant and still not be any better at hitting a curve ball or catching a lazy fly ball, but by golly, you'll be able to breathe fresh air with the best of 'em.

This isn't HGH, Andro or Testosterone. C'mon, it's nasal spray for crying out out. Some stuff with two crippling side effects - pronouncing it and spelling it.

Again, maybe Wendt and Henry are guilty as sin. Maybe they were onto something in using this Methylhexaneamine stuff.

If not, then they learned a valuable and costly lesson - if you're a professional ballplayer and don't have a hand grenade with which to unplug your nose during that week with the flu, you'd better call someone in the know before you shoot something up your nose in search of a good night's rest.

- John Kampf


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