BREAKING: Free agent OF Marlon Byrd suspended 50 games after testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance.— MLB (@MLB) June 25, 2012
Yeah, okay, but the real question here is, will the DFW media turn on him now?
Craig Calcaterra also points this out:
Marlon Byrd being suspended for PEDs. Has worked with Victor Conte for several years, claiming total cleanliness. This is interesting.— Craig Calcaterra (@craigcalcaterra) June 25, 2012
And here's an ESPNChicago.com article from March 2011 where Byrd talks about feeling pressure from Bud Selig for working with Conte, and says that, no, that's never going to happen, so the haters can keep on hatin':
Chicago Cubs center fielder Marlon Byrd admitted Sunday that he does feel some pressure from Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig about working with Victor Conte, and Byrd believes some are waiting for him to test positive for performance enhancing drugs.
Conte, whose Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative triggered a federal investigation of steroids use and distribution among athletes, advises Byrd on strength training supplements. Selig recently asked Byrd and his agent to consider severing ties with Conte.
"[The pressure from MLB] does bother me sometimes," Byrd said. "But I think there should be pressure on everybody.
"I'm always going to watch what I take. I'm not going to say I have a bull's-eye on my back, but I think a lot of people are waiting for me to get my first positive test and miss 50 games. They'd like that just so they can say, 'We told you so.' I know that won't happen. I know I'm clean. I know the supplements I take are clean. I'm going to make sure of that."
So, yeah. Former Ranger great, avowed 'clean' player, and now a floundering vet popped with a positive PED test. This will be worth watching, even if you're like me and have had the PED talk tuned out for a few years now and are of the belief that Clemens/McGwire/Bonds/et. al. should be inducted. It's also worth noting that Mike Olt was drafted with a compensatory supplemental first-round pick in the 2010 draft that the Rangers acquired when Byrd bolted for the Cubs in free agency, so, in addition to Byrd being a valuable piece for the Rangers during that 2007-09 window, he has continued to pay dividends.
Fake Update: Here's a bit more detail on what triggered the positive test, courtesy of ESPN's T.J. Quinn:
Marlon Byrd suspended 50 games. Tested + for tamoxifen, an estrogen blocker, not a PED. Dopers use it to mitigate steroid side-effects.— T.J. Quinn (@TJQuinnESPN) June 25, 2012