Curt Schilling said last week that the Boston Red Sox attempted to give him PEDs to help him recover from a shoulder injury in 2008, and while the club denied the claims, another pitcher has stepped forward to say the ballclub gave him a questionable and increasingly controversial drug to speed up his recovery.
Former Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon says he was giving injections of the drug Toradol, which is an anti-inflammatory drug with serious side effects. Fellow pitcher Clay Buchholtz acknowledged that he was given the drug las season and that it may have contributed to the esophagitis that sidelined him for 20 games and put him in intensive care. Buchholtz not only missed those 20 games for the Red Sox but he lost “three or four pints of blood” while in the hospital.
Papelbon says that once he arrived in Philadelphia and asked for a shot of the drug, red flags were raised. Papelbon says when he asked for a shot, the Phillies told him that they don’t use that drug in their clubhouse and that he had to stop using the drug if he wished to continue pitching in Philadelphia.
“They told me, ‘We don’t do that here.’ That kind of surprised me,” Papelbon said Saturday. “I haven’t had a single Toradol shot since.”
He made sure to note that he’s not blowing the whistle on the Red Sox, and that they’re not the only team in professional sports that use the drug. Papelbon said he knows the drug is used by players in the NFL, NBA and NHL and that its used in more clubhouses in Major League Baseball than just the on located on Boston.
According to a New York Times report, Toradol entered the world of baseball about a decade ago and has only soared in popularity among players. Cy Young winner R.A. Dickey stated that he used the drug “about a dozen times” in 2011 to help him recover faster from a torn planter fascia in his right foot.
“It made me feel better. You had to get it about 30 minutes before a game, and it made me feel pretty damn good,” Papelbon said of the drugs immediate effects. “It only lasted about four hours maximum. But I never saw anyone else get injected — that’s the God’s honest truth.”
The drug isn’t illegal, so it’s usage is not banned by Major League Baseball. However, it is being monitored and with the crackdown on PEDs coming in the near future for baseball, Toradol and drugs like it might soon find themselves on a list of banned substances in baseball.