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MLB’s Neverending Scandal: Managing Manny’s steroids crisis May 23, 2009

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After the announcement that he would be suspended for 50 games for the use of performance enhancing drugs, Los Angeles Dodger Manny Ramirez attributed the banned substance found in his blood to a doctor prescribed medication. He also released a short statement:

“Recently I saw a physician for a personal health issue. He gave me a medication, not a steroid, which he thought was OK to give me. Unfortunately, the medication was banned under our drug policy. Under the policy that mistake is now my responsibility. I have been advised not to say anything more for now. I do want to say one other thing; I’ve taken and passed about 15 drug tests over the past five seasons. I want to apologize to Mr. McCourt, Mrs. McCourt, Mr. Torre, my teammates, the Dodger organization, and to the Dodger fans. LA is a special place to me and I know everybody is disappointed. So am I. I’m sorry about this whole situation.”

Ramirez privately apologized to Dodgers owner Frank McCourt, and met privately with several teammates during a series in Florida. A grander public apology seems to be in the works, but reports indicate that Manny may not reveal so much about the specifics of the case.

For more on this story, see the videos below:

Discussion Questions:

1.  Why does Manny Ramirez need to apologize?  Why could he not simply serve his suspension and come back without responding directly to the accusations of steroid use?

2.  Was Manny’s statement effective in responding to the charges? Will the scandal go away, or is there something else that he needs to do before winning forgiveness?

3.  What might Ramirez learn from previous case studies?  That is, what could he learn about responding to this kind of crisis from Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez, or Andy Pettite?

4.  If you were drafting Ramirez’s future apology to the public, what might it entail?  What would be your strategy in repairing his public image?

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