If evidence surfaced that Warren Spahn winner Gio Gonzalez has taken banned substances, what would the Jim Thorpe committee do with the award given annually to the top left-hander in Major League Baseball?
“Talking to some of our board members nothing has changed,” said Jim Thorpe executive director Eddie Griffin. “We can't really comment. It's status quo.”
Gonzalez, Alex Rodriguez, Melky Cabrera, Nelson Cruz and at least four other players with ties to the University of Miami have been cited in documents from an anti-aging clinic under investigation by Major League Baseball for possibly providing players with performance-enhancing drugs.
The documents include billing and medical records that several players received PEDs from clinic director Anthony Bosch. The medical records were published last week by the Miami New Times, which said it obtained the documents from a former employee of the clinic, Biogenesis.
Gonzalez, the Washington Nationals pitcher who accepted the Warren Spahn Award last month in Oklahoma City, has denied using performance-enhancing drugs and has never been suspended for testing positive. His father, Max, said he consulted Bosch in hopes of losing weight.
“We hope everything works out the best for that kid,” Griffin said. “There's really no reason to comment unless more information surfaces.”
Other awards have been stripped once evidence proved an athlete has taken a banned substance. Lance Armstrong and Floyd Landis were stripped of their Tour de France titles.
After testing positive, Marion Jones was stripped of five Olympic medals from the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Sprinter Ben Johnson also lost his gold medal.
Brian Cushing won the 2010 NFL Rookie of the Year award in a revote after he tested positive for a banned substance but was stripped of second-team All-Pro honors.
Banned substances have affected nearly every sport. Dancer's Image won the 1968 Kentucky Derby but was stripped of the title when a lab report revealed the horse was given an illegal substance.