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Drug Testing News

Padres Dispute Gwynn's Amphetamines Claim



04/22/03

CHICAGO - If amphetamine use was "rampant" on the San Diego Padres as Tony Gwynn claims, manager Bruce Bochy and general manager Kevin Towers never saw any evidence of it.

"If we knew there was a problem, we would have taken care of it," Towers said Tuesday before the Padres played the Chicago Cubs. "It's not something Bruce or I or the organization turned our head on."

In an article published in Tuesday's editions of The New York Times, Gwynn said amphetamines are an even bigger problem than steroids. The former All-Star estimated that 50 percent of position players use amphetamines, and said use is growing.

"Guys feel like they need an edge," Gwynn said. "It didn't seem like there was a lot of it earlier in my career, but I know that coming down to the end of my career, it was rampant on my club."

Asked if he knew of any of his players who'd used amphetamines, Bochy flatly said, "No." And if Gwynn knew of any, Bochy and Towers both said they wished he'd come to them.

"No way would we ever condone it, and no, I was not aware of it," Bochy said. "We'd like to think we do everything possible to educate and stay drug-free within this organization."

Under the new collective bargaining agreement, all players on 40-man rosters are given two announced tests for illegal steroids as part of a survey. If more than 5 percent test positive for steroids, "program" testing starts the following year and continues until less than 2.5 percent test positive in two consecutive years combined.

But other illegal drugs, such as amphetamines, are not covered under the drug testing policy.

"I've always felt we've been very pro-active in implementing drug testing at the minor league level," Towers said. "The tough thing is at the major league level, ... we're not able to test for other drugs.

"If we ever saw a player openly taking amphetamines, we'd certainly take care of the problem," Towers added. "In my seven years here, I've never seen that happen."