SI Vault
Edited by Steve Wulf
June 01, 1987
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June 01, 1987


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Law enforcement officials in San Diego said last week they had broken up a ring that controlled 70% of the U.S. black market in anabolic steroids. In a federal indictment arising out of a two-year investigation by the FBI, the Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Customs Service, 34 people were charged with smuggling and distributing steroids. Two of those indicted are sports figures: David Jenkins, who ran on Great Britain's silver medal-winning 4 X 400-meter relay team in the 1972 Olympics, and Pat Jacobs, an associate strength coach for the University of Miami athletic department. Jenkins, who was expected to plead not guilty, is the alleged mastermind of the operation. Jacobs, arrested on Thursday, was unavailable for comment. He was, according to assistant U.S. attorney Phil Halpern, "like the number 20 defendant."

The fact that Jacobs, who was actually the number 19 defendant, worked with the No. 2 football team in the country should raise new concern about athletes' use of anabolic steroids. Miami athletic director Sam Jankovich maintained, "This athletic department is committed to no drug abuse within its program." However, a member of last year's football team told SI that he and "a lot" of his teammates used steroids. Miami conducted drug tests last year, but the player said that teammates tried to mask steroid use by methods both questionable and surefire. "The guys would put motor oil on their hands, then piss on the motor oil." he said. "Or they'd take in bottles with someone else's urine."

Whatever the efficacy of Miami's testing program, it is clear that the NCAA's testing program, implemented before last season's bowl games, is not enough. In an interview last week with SI, University of Michigan weight and conditioning coach Mike Gittle-son disputed the NCAA's contention that its program had resulted in a decline in steroid use. "The NCAA should be testing for steroids right now," Gittleson said. "This is the time when kids are really involved in weight training. If anything, bowl-game testing is a boost for steroid use, because the kids who use them can set their cycle accordingly.

"It irritates me that the NCAA says there is a decrease in steroids just because so few kids tested positive before the bowls. That's not the case. Steroids are a bigger problem than ever."


While former Brave Bob Horner is making an impact in Japan, four players and a coach from the Tokyo Giants' farm system are interning this season with the Miami Marlins of the Class A Florida State League. At week's end, pitcher Masahito Watanabe was 1-0 with a 3.57 ERA in 23 innings, relief pitcher Hideharu Matsuo was 3-0 with a 1.48 ERA, first baseman Shuji Inagaki was hitting .275. and outfielder Mamoru Sugiura was at .277.

Watanabe seems to be adjusting to American life quite well. Whenever he sees an attractive woman in the stands, he says, "Oooooh, looking sweet!" Asked what other English phrases he has picked up. Watanabe replied, "Muy bien."

Speaking of Japanese baseball, a sacred record will be broken on June 7 when, barring any unforeseen circumstances, Hiroshima Carp third baseman Sachio Kinugasa will play in his 2,131st consecutive game, surpassing Lou Gehrig's incredible streak. Kinugasa, who keeps a videotape of the 1942 Gehrig movie biography. Pride of the Yankees, at home, has played through a multitude of injuries, and he remains a feared slugger and an excellent fielder at age 40. Although Kinugasa can't match the Iron Horse as a hitter—his lifetime batting average is only .271—he does bear the remarkably similar nickname of Tetsu Jin, or Iron Man.


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