Athletes don't take drugs. They ingest them, "unknowingly," "accidentally," and "unintentionally." Jaded fans can rest assured, it's never their fault.
"I am here to make it very clear that I have never intentionally used steroids. Never. Ever. Period. … I am sure you will ask how I tested positive for a banned substance. As I look back, I don't have a specific answer to give. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to explain to the arbitrator how the banned substance entered my body."
—Baltimore Orioles first baseman Rafael Palmeiro, Aug. 1, 2005
"When [my trainer Greg Anderson] said it was flaxseed oil, I just said, 'Whatever.' … I had no doubt what he was giving me, because we were friends."
—San Francisco Giants outfielder Barry Bonds, Dec. 4, 2003, testifying to the BALCO grand jury (via San Francisco Chronicle)
"The truth of the matter is [blood] can get there certainly from a fraternal twin who has a different genetic identity. … So that's the deal."
—Dr. David Housman, who testified on cyclist Tyler Hamilton's behalf, on why tests at the Athens Olympics showed Hamilton had someone else's blood in his body (Los Angeles Times, April 17, 2005)
"I was very surprised, because I didn't know I was taking anything on the ban list. … It's my mistake for not knowing what's on the ban list. … [From now on, you] won't even see me eat a PowerBar."
—Seattle Mariners minor leaguer Ryan Christianson (Seattle Times, April 5, 2005)
"I don't take steroids, period. I bought supplements. … [I] made a mistake trusting the label."
—Seattle Mariners minor leaguer Damian Moss, who "would not name the supplements or the manufacturer, saying he didn't want to get any companies in trouble" (Seattle Times, April 5, 2005)
"I don't want to make a big deal. We went out one night and had some fun and I tested positive. … We went out and partied and had what I thought was a good time."
—Chicago Bears safety Damon Moore (Chicago Sun-Times, Sept. 11, 2002)
"Of course I can't be 100% certain that anybody [spiked my drink] but I can't see any other way. … You can't lock [drinks] away every time you take a vault, so it's possible."
—Pole-vaulter Janine Whitlock, July 19, 2002, after testing positive for steroids at the Commonwealth Games
"He really doesn't understand why a test came out this way. He wants to explore that. He clearly has not intentionally taken anything to cause a positive test."
—Mitch Frankel, agent for Cleveland Indians pitcher Rafael Betancourt (Cleveland Plain Dealer, July 10, 2005)
"For many years, I've been taking this blood test and I've never had problems. I put it down to female physiology."
—Cross-country skier Larissa Lazutina, after a test at the 2002 Winter Olympics revealed abnormal levels of hemoglobin (Washington Post, Feb. 25, 2002)