Andy Pettitte Never Used a Substance Banned by Major League Baseball

Harold FriendChief Writer IMarch 17, 2012

NEW YORK - OCTOBER 18:  Starting pitcher Andy Pettitte #46 of the New York Yankees against the Texas Rangers in Game Three of the ALCS during the 2010 MLB Playoffs at Yankee Stadium on October 18, 2010 in New York, New York.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

How many times have we been told that Andy Pettitte used Human Growth Hormone? 

How many times have we been told that when Andy Pettitte used Human Growth Hormone it was not on baseball's list of banned substances?  That's what I thought. The media are famous for telling part of the story.

"In 2002 I was injured. I had heard that human growth hormone could promote faster healing for my elbow," Pettitte said. The year was 2002.  HGH wasn't banned until 2005.

Pettitte's use of a complex amino acid chain, produced by the pituitary gland and not a steroid, might but probably will not affect his chances of being elected to the Hall of Fame.

Get this straight. Pettitte did not cheat. He did not use a banned substance. He used it only to help heal an injury.

The powers that run our society require that an individual that has the temerity to violate any of their rules, whether those rules are legal or moral, must show remorse.

"If I have let down people that care about me, I am sorry.... I have tried to do things the right way my entire life, and, again, ask that you put those two days in the proper context," Pettitte told reporters.

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When Pettitte was with the Houston Astros in 2006, he had elbow problems. The day after he left a game in third inning caused by tendinitis, Pettitte received a cortisone injection to help alleviate the effects of the inflammation.

Cortisone is a steroid hormone produced by the adrenal glands. It is a routine treatment received by players that suffer joint inflammation.

Side effects include the chance of infection, a spike in blood sugar if one has diabetes and a potential allergic reaction to betadine, which is used to sterilize the skin.

In some cases, a player might receive multiple injections or higher doses of the condoned steroid. Under such conditions, potential side effects include thinning of the skin, easy bruising, weight gain, puffiness of the face,  acne (steroid acne), elevation of blood pressure, cataract formation and thinning of the bones (osteoporosis).

Not to worry. It's been approved.

Pettitte has always been a team player. He explained why he used HGH.

"I felt an obligation to get back to my team as soon as possible. For this reason, and only this reason, for two days I tried human growth hormone. Though it was not against baseball rules, I was not comfortable with what I was doing, so I stopped."

Pettitte has more class and is a lot more perceptive than those that would denigrate him.