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Bodybuilders Run For Their Lives After Doping Officials Show Up

We'll start off with one of the funniest sports stories I've come across in a long time. The Belgian bodybuilding championships were canceled after doping officials showed up and every competitor decided to flee the area. That's right ... they all packed up their things and ran away as soon as the officials appeared. "I have never seen anything like it and hope never to see anything like it again," doping official Hans Cooman said Monday. There were 20 bodybuilders in the competition. I know bodybuilding and steroids goes hand-in-hand, but this is still hilarious. Too bad there wasn't a television crew there because I would have loved to seen it.

** Former Raiders and Buccaneers coach Jon Gruden will be replacing Tony Kornheiser on ESPN's Monday Night Football next season. Kornheiser said in a statement that it was his idea to leave the show because of his fear of flying, but the timing is a little too perfect. ESPN probably wanted new blood in the booth and decided to make the change. As any football fan knows, since ESPN took over MNF, it hasn't been the same. Will this do anything to spark rating - absolutely not. But we all know ESPN loves hiring ex-coaches and athletes.

** Major League Baseball is pushing the start times of its postseason games to 7:57 p.m., a half-hour earlier than usual. Finally, an idea that makes sense.

** Finally, the NFL owners meetings are underway and a vote could be made to expand the regular season from 16 games to 17 or 18 in the near future. I know everything is about money, but this would be a horrible idea. The NFL has been based off 16 games in my time as a fan, and I want it to stay that way. Reducing preseason games from four to two will do nothing to prevent injuries; I think they actually would increase because of the two extra regular season games. Hopefully the owners turn this idea down.

Did The Red Sox Organization Teach Players How To Take Steroids? A Former Player Says Yes

Here is some more interesting news about the connection recently suspended Dodgers outfielder Manny Ramirez and the Boston Red Sox have with steroid abuse. Former Red Sox infielder Lou Merloni, currently an analyst on Comcast's "The Baseball Show," said this on air Saturday.

"I'm in spring training, and I got an 8:30-9:00 meeting in the morning and I walk into that office, and this happened while I was with the Boston Red Sox before this last regime. I'm sitting in the meeting and there's a doctor up there and he's talking about steroids, and everyone was like 'Here we go, we're gonna sit here and get the whole thing - they're bad for you.' No. He spins it and says 'You know what, if you take steroids and sit on the couch all winter long, you can actually get stronger than someone who works out clean; if you're going to take steroids, one cycle won't hurt you, abusing steroids will.' He sat there for one hour and told us how to properly use steroids while I'm with the Boston Red Sox, sitting there with the rest of the organization, and after this I said 'What the heck was that?' And everybody on the team was like 'What was that?' And the response we got was 'Well, we know guys are taking it, so we want to make sure they're taking it the right way.' Where did that come from? That didn't come from the Players Association."

Dan Duquette, general manager at the time for the Red Sox, denied Merloni's account to Boston.com. Merloni was part of the Red Sox organization from 1996 to 2002.

Manny Ramirez Has Been Suspended For 50 Games After Testing Positive

In absolutely shocking news, former Red Sox star and current Dodgers slugger Manny Ramirez has been suspended for 50 games for violating Major League Baseball's drug policy. Ramirez' agent, Scott Boras, says that he did not test positive for a steroid. The suspension will keep Ramirez off the field until at least July 3 and will cost him about one-third of his $25 million salary. Ramirez is batting .348 with six home runs and 20 RBI for the league-leading Dodgers this season.

"Recently I saw a physician for a personal health issue. He gave me a medication, not a steroid, which he thought was OK to give me," Ramirez said in a statement. "Unfortunately, the medication was banned under our drug policy. Under the policy that mistake is now my responsibility. I have been advised not to say anything more for now. I do want to say one other thing; I've taken and passed about 15 drug tests over the past five seasons. I want to apologize to [Dodgers owner Frank] McCourt, Mrs. McCourt, [manager Joe] Torre, my teammates, the Dodger organization, and to the Dodger fans. LA is a special place to me and I know everybody is disappointed. So am I. I'm sorry about this whole situation."

Ramirez will not appeal the suspension.

Now, the bigger news here is that the Red Sox' world championships have taken a huge hit and questions will surround their sudden rise to the top of the baseball world. Red Sox fans are quick to point out Alex Rodriguez and Jason Giambi and Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte, but those names were brought out by the corrupt Mitchell Report and corrupt leaks that targeting just the Yankees and Mets and their employees. This news is the first to hit the heart of the Red Sox organization, something I knew would happen if everything was on equal ground - which it wasn't in the past. The Red Sox and their fans can talk around this all they want, but their recent "dynasty" is now tainted.

[UPDATE: Straight from ESPN.com ... Two sources told ESPN's T.J. Quinn and Mark Fainaru-Wada that the drug used by Ramirez is HCG - human chorionic gonadotropin. HCG is a women's fertility drug typically used by steroid users to restart their body's natural testosterone production as they come off a steroid cycle. It is similar to Clomid, the drug Bonds, Giambi and others used as clients of BALCO. A source with intimate knowledge of steroids told ESPN that a male athlete usually uses HCG after a cycle of steroids because steroids often shut down the testosterone-making ability of the testicles. HCG restores their capacity to make testosterone. The source said that some males may use HCG in lieu of steroids also. HCG by itself can provide a substantial boost in the body's own testosterone, and this may provide some performance-enhancement benefits.]