Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Baseball | DODGER REPORT

Lo Duca: Ephedra a 'Serious Issue'

February 23, 2003|Jason Reid | Times Staff Writer

VERO BEACH, Fla. — Catcher Paul Lo Duca, the Dodger player representative, responded Saturday to Commissioner Bud Selig's call for talks on the use of over-the-counter dietary and nutritional supplements. He agreed that more discussion is needed.

"It's a serious issue," Lo Duca said, "and guys have been talking about it a little bit more."

Selig has increased his efforts to persuade the players' union, which has historically opposed banning supplements containing ephedra, to change its stance after 23-year-old Baltimore Oriole pitcher Steve Bechler died of heatstroke Monday at the club's spring training complex in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. According to a Florida medical examiner, the prospect's death may have been linked to an ephedra-based diet pill.

During collective bargaining talks last season, the union successfully fought to exclude ephedra from the list of banned substances in the new basic agreement. However, the union bowed to public pressure on steroid testing and may face another public-relations nightmare on the ephedra issue.

"It's banned in the Olympics and [the NFL], so that's why [owners] want to ban it," Lo Duca said. "If you went around the league and asked players if we should ban it, I guess it would be 50-50, but it's tough because it's over-the-counter stuff. That's really the key point. And if you're going to ban ephedra, are you going to ban caffeine?

"I don't think what we do should be based on the Olympics; their testing is ridiculously strict. I know they're going to look at it, but it's going to be tough. To me, the FDA needs to keep looking at it more before we do anything, because it's not just associated with baseball. It's unfortunate, but there are a lot of other people in this world who have had problems with ephedra."

Lo Duca expects the Dodgers to be briefed on the issue when union officials meet with them in early March.

*

All-Star right fielder Shawn Green has tendinitis in his left (throwing) shoulder, the same problem that slowed him last spring.

Green's throwing has been limited because of inflammation, but the left-handed batter participates fully in other drills and batting practice. He said he underwent an MRI exam in December, and the problem should improve with exercise.

"It's just one of those things; kind of a nagging deal," said Green, who did not play defensively until the ninth exhibition game last season. "I don't feel it at all when I swing. If it was something that was worse, something causing me not to play, I'd be a little more concerned."

*

Right-hander Kevin Brown threw on a mound for the second time in as many days, and said he didn't experience back or elbow pain.

"It was good," said Brown, who threw 27 pitches. "It ... makes sense as long as I react well to being out there. It's kind of hard to plan because it all depends on how you feel, but I feel good now."

*

Right-hander Darren Dreifort, coming off elbow and knee surgeries, faced batters for the second time. "It was fine," he said. "No problems." ... Left-hander Derek Thompson, a Rule 5 draft selection, is scheduled to undergo reconstructive elbow surgery Thursday in Los Angeles. Team physician Frank Jobe will perform the procedure.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|