NEW YORK -- Indians pitcher Paul Byrd met with baseball officials Monday to discuss his use of human growth hormone. It's uncertain whether Byrd will face any discipline from the Commissioner's office or when a potential punishment might be handed down. Among those at the meeting were Rob Manfred, baseball's executive vice president for labor relations, and Michael Weiner, general counsel for the players' association.
Before Game 7 of the American League Championship Series in Boston, Byrd acknowledged taking HGH after the San Francisco Chronicle reported he spent nearly $25,000 on the banned drug and syringes from 2002-05. His name was included last week in the Mitchell Report on performance-enhancing drugs in baseball. The 37-year-old right-hander claims he took HGH for a medical condition and did so only under a doctor's supervision. Byrd said baseball officials knew he had been taking the drug, which he said he often stored in clubhouse refrigerators. MLB officials did not confirm they knew Byrd was taking HGH. The Chronicle reported Byrd purchased HGH while pitching for the Royals, Braves and Angels.
Last month, the Indians picked up Byrd's $7.5 million option for 2008. He went 15-8 with a 4.59 ERA in 31 starts this season, his most wins since 2002 with the Royals. He also was 2-0 with a 3.60 ERA in two playoff starts.This month, baseball suspended outfielders Jose Guillen and Jay Gibbons for the first 15 days of the 2008 season after their names were linked in media reports to receiving human growth hormone. The players' association filed a grievance to overturn Guillen's suspension. Gibbons chose not to fight his penalty. Rick Ankiel, Troy Glaus, Gary Matthews Jr. and Scott Schoeneweis also were linked to performance-enhancing drugs but -- before the Mitchell Report was released -- baseball decided there was "insufficient evidence" to determine they committed a doping violation. They were accused of receiving the substances before 2005. HGH was banned by baseball in 2005. The Chronicle reported that Byrd made his final purchase of HGH a week before the ban began.