SAN DIEGO--The Chargers’ Shawne Merriman, who blamed tainted supplements for a positive steroid test earlier this year, is secretly hoping the current supplements are tainted as well, so he can get an edge when his team takes the field against the Patriots next Sunday.
“You have to be careful taking supplements because they can contain ingredients that are outlawed by the league,” Merriman said. “That’s how I got screwed earlier this year. Totally honest mistake. But now that we’re in the playoffs I’m going to need a little bit of an extra edge, so it wouldn’t be terrible if the supplements I’m taking are spiked with something. Everybody hear that? I said it WOULDN’T BE TERRIBLE IF MY TRAINER SLIPPED A TAINTED SUPPLEMENT INTO MY LOCKER, which I will be leaving open, just in case he need to access it for some reason.”
Merriman says ingesting tainted supplements at this point in the season is a calculated risk, but one that he’s willing to take to help his team reach the Super Bowl.
“Of course there’s chance I could get caught but I’m not worried about that at this point,” said Merriman. “This is the playoffs. You do whatever you can to advance to the next game, and those ‘tainted supplements’ really gave me a boost earlier this year. I highly recommend them to anyone. If possible, take them without knowing about it. That’s very important. Cheaters have no place in this league.”
Merriman’s trainer, Don Burrell, prescribes only over-the-counter, league approved substances for Merriman, but acknowledges that even so called “legal” supplements can sometimes be tainted with steroids.
“Hey, if I give Shawne something that happens to be juiced, it’s not my fault,” said Burrell, who promised to be more vigilant after Merriman’s suspension. “I do the best I can to ensure that Shawne is in compliance with the NFL’s substance abuse policy, but it’s not like I’m psychic. I don’t have X-Ray vision where I can see inside the molecular structure of a bottle of Ripped Fuel. For all I know there could be crack in there. So when – I mean, if – Shawne gets busted again, you’ll know whose fault it is: not mine. I’m a trainer. I have bigger things to worry about then what’s going into my client’s body.”
Following Merriman’s announcement that he hoped his supplements were tainted, Burrell was seen carrying two large boxes into the Chargers locker room and leaving them in front of Merriman’s locker. One was labeled “tainted,” and the other was labeled “untainted.”
Teammates were immediately suspicious, but stopped short of accusing Merriman or his trainer of cheating.
“Well that was weird,” said tight end Antonio Gates. “Don just came strolling in, whistling, carrying a couple of cardboard boxes and left them at Antonio's locker. No big deal, right? Except when he left, I went over and checked them out and one of them was labeled ‘tainted’ and had a skull and cross bones on it. There was also a note on his locker that said ‘Shawne, the box with the skull and cross bones on it is steroids. Lights out, bitches!’ Then Shawne came in and saw the boxes and was like ‘Yes! My steroids are here!’ That being said, I’m not jumping to any conclusions.”
Merriman paid for his first positive steroid test with a four game suspension, and some speculate that it cost him the Defensive Player of the Year award. Rather than complain, however, Merriman has vowed to use the award snub as motivation in Sunday’s game.
“Hey, if they didn’t want to give me the award, that’s their prerogative,” Merriman said. “I just use those kinds of things for extra motivation. I mean, just imagine not giving me the award because I tested positive for steroids. What is this, Major League Baseball? What, are federal investigators going to subpoena me? Give me a break. It’s the NFL. I could ingest steroids at the 50-yard line as part of my post-sack celebration and nobody would give a shit. Actually that’s not a bad idea. The whole ‘Lights Out’ thing is starting to get a little gay, anyway.”
Merriman Hoping Supplements He’s Taking Are Tainted
|January 9 , 2007 Volume 2 Issue 76|