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Byrd Prescribed HGH

The last thing the Indians needed was an off-the-field controversy the day of their most important game in 10 years, but they have it.

Lance Williams and Mark Fainaru-Wada, sports writers for the San Francisco Chronicle, and the authors of Game of Shadows, a steroids expose, published this in Sunday's Chronicle:

Paul Byrd, the veteran pitcher who has helped the Cleveland Indians reach deep into the postseason, bought nearly $25,000 of human growth hormone and syringes from a Florida anti-aging clinic that was targeted by law enforcement officials for distributing performance-enhancing drugs, business records show.

Sounds very bad, correct? Byrd bought HGH, which is banned by MLB, from a clinic that's being investigated by law enforcement. No test exists that can detect whether a player has been injecting the hormone, mainly because the human body manufactures HGH naturally.

A couple hours after the story broke, Paul Byrd gave his side of the story in an interview with Ken Rosenthal:

In an exclusive interview with, Byrd did not dispute a San Francisco Chronicle report stating that he received nearly $25,000 worth of HGH and syringes from a Florida anti-aging clinic that was targeted by law enforcement for illegally distributing performance-enhancing drugs.

Byrd said that three different doctors diagnosed him as suffering from adult growth-hormone deficiency. In spring training, he said, he was diagnosed with a tumor on his pituitary gland at the base of his brain, a condition that may have contributed to his deficiency, doctors told him.

If what Byrd is saying checks out, that the hormones were prescribed to treat a diagnosed pituitary disorder, and MLB and the Indians knew about this, the only controversy is that he received legally prescribed drugs from a clinic that is under investigation for distributing drugs for performance-enhancing.

Whatever the outcome, this story is horrible timing for a team about to play for their playoff lives.