See the latest player to test positive for PEDs

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See the latest player to test positive for PEDs

From Comcast SportsNet
NEW YORK (AP) -- Outfielder Marlon Byrd was suspended 50 games by Major League Baseball on Monday after testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance. Major League Baseball said the 34-year-old Byrd tested positive for Tamoxifen, which can reduce side effects of steroid use and increase testosterone. It is often used to treat breast cancer patients. "I made an inexcusable mistake," Byrd said in a statement released by the players' association. "Several years ago, I had surgery for a condition that was private and unrelated to baseball. Last winter, I suffered a recurrence of that condition and I was provided with a medication that resulted in my positive test. Although that medication is on the banned list, I absolutely did not use it for performance enhancement reasons." Byrd is currently a free agent, and will be placed on the restricted list for the duration of his suspension, which began immediately. He started the season with the Cubs and was dealt to the Red Sox on April 21. He was designated for assignment by Boston on June 9 and released four days later. "I am mortified by my carelessness and I apologize to everyone who loves this game as I do," Byrd said. "I will serve my suspension, continue to work hard and hope that I am given an opportunity to help a Club win later this season." In 2009, Byrd said he was using supplements provided by SNAC System, a company founded by Victor Conte, who also was the founder of the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative. BALCO was at the center of a wide-ranging scandal involving performance-enhancing drugs that enveloped several top-level athletes, including Marion Jones, Tim Montgomery and Barry Bonds. Conte pleaded guilty to steroid distribution in July 2005 and served four months in jail. Byrd said the supplements were all OK to use under MLB rules. He had never before been suspended for failing an PED test. "Any nutritional supplements I ever provided to Marlon Byrd were legal products that contained no banned substances," Conte wrote on Twitter. "I provided Marlon Byrd with nutritional and training advice which had nothing whatsoever to do with any type of prohibited substances." In an email to The Associated Press, Conte said he still supports Byrd. "Marlon Byrd is a terrific person and did not use a drug to cheat," Conte said in his email. "Look at his numbers this season, the worst of his career. Traded and then cut. I was not aware of his medical condition. Marlon is my friend and I will always have his back." Byrd hit .210 in 47 games with the two teams, though he hit .270 with a homer and seven RBIs in 34 games with Boston. The Red Sox picked him up when they had a shortage in the outfield after a rash of injuries. "He played here and he played well," Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said. "I had no indication or I don't think anyone did." The 34-year-old Byrd has played for five teams in 11 major league seasons and is a career .278 hitter. Byrd finished fourth in the National League Rookie of the Year voting in 2003 with the Phillies and was a National League All-Star with the Cubs in 2010.

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Think the Caps' Stanley Cup window has closed? T.J. Oshie doesn't

Think the Caps' Stanley Cup window has closed? T.J. Oshie doesn't

There were three things T.J. Oshie was looking for when it came to his next contract, he told reporters on a conference call Friday. He wanted security, he wanted a family friendly destination and he wanted to go "somewhere that has a realistic chance at winning a Stanley Cup."

Security? Check. He got security both in term with eight years and money with $46 million.

Family friendly? Check. Oshie's wife and family love Washington and his daughter Lyla seems to be very happy to see them stay put in Washington.

A chance to win a Cup? Well, depending on who you ask, this one is debatable.

RELATED: Re-signing Oshie was 'the highest priority' for Caps

The Capitals have reached the end of the two-year championship window that was self-imposed by general manager Brian MacLellan. With several free agents expected to be leaving Washington as well as the sudden departure of Nate Schmidt thanks to the expansion draft, Washington will not likely boast a team as good or as deep as last year.

But Oshie doesn't think that means the Caps have missed their chance.

"I have no doubt in my mind that we'll be able to win a cup here in the next couple of years," Oshie said.

Washington may well ice a very good team next season, but there are a lot of questions they have to answer first. How do they replace Nate Schmidt? How much money will they have left after they re-sign their restricted free agents? Are the younger players and prospects ready for an increased role? 

We do not have the answer to those questions yet and neither does Oshie. That made digging into what the team's plans are for this offseason part of the negotiation process.

"I think that was one of the questions was with the free agents that we have, who was going to be able to come back?" Oshie said. "Who were they going to be able to fit in? I think everyone understands that, just from a salary cap this year, we're not going to be able to keep everyone back so it's going to be a little bit of a different look, but I think for the most part the nucleus is still there."

When evaluating Washington's roster, Oshie ultimately reached the same conclusion as MacLellan after the season: The Caps' core group is still good enough to make a championship run.

"I've been a part of the history now for the last couple of years," Oshie said. "I understand that we've fallen short, but I don't think anyone can deny that when you look at our roster, if we play together how we should and how we can, there's no reason we wouldn't be in those top couple teams that have a chance to win a Stanley Cup."

MORE CAPITALS: Caps made 'a couple of good' offers but to keep Schmidt

Check out the latest episode of the Captials Faceoff Podcast!

Like what you hear? Be sure to subscribe on Apple podcastsAudioboom and Google Play and give us a good review! Maybe we'll even read it on the air. For the latest Caps coverage be sure to follow @CSNCapitals@TarikCSN and @JJReganCSN on Twitter.

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Pressure on Gruden, Galette confident

Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Pressure on Gruden, Galette confident

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, June 24, 33 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp in Richmond on July 27.

Timeline

The Redskins last played a game 174 days ago; they will open the 2017 season against the Eagles in FedEx Field in 78 days.

Days until:

—Franchise tag contract deadline (7/17) 23
—Preseason opener @ Ravens (8/10) 47
—Roster cut to 53 (9/2) 70

The Redskins week that was

Pressure Points: Focus is on Jay Gruden like never before—So you lost two coordinators and your top two wide receivers? Well, the Redskins gave him a two-year contract extension because they think he can deal with problems like those. Gruden will be cut zero slack.

Post-minicamp 53-man roster projection, offense—Sure, there will be plenty of lip service about everyone having a chance of making the 53-man roster. But this cake is very nearly baked. But the real competition in training camp will be for the 10 practice squad spots. I picked 25 offensive players to make it and I’m confident that 23, maybe 22 of the picks will be right. There seems to be more questions on defense (roster projection here) but even on that side of the ball, few jobs are truly up for grabs.

Redskins in a no-lose situation with confident Galette—We haven’t seen Junior Galette practicing in the spring before. Two years ago, he wasn’t with the team yet and last year he was held out so he could rehab his torn Achilles. That means we don’t have much comparison to make but he did look good. Next step is to do it with the pads on.

Snyder 'THRILLED' with ruling that should protect Redskins name—The legal part of the fight to get the Redskins to change their name is over after the recent Supreme Court ruling. They will not lose their trademark protection, which would effectively force them to change the team. However, it seems likely that the political and social battle will go on.

Is a Redskins-Cousins deal not only possible but probable?—One analyst thinks that the Redskins have too much to lose to not get a deal done by July 17. I think he’s right but I’m not sure if I’ll go along with his odds. 

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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