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Time to stop doubting Canseco

AP file
Our foremost steroids expert?

The comments were made casually, and once again, the world smirked. That silly Jose Canseco. He just doesn't know how to quit while he's ahead.

It was a month ago, and someone asked Canseco about Manny Ramirez. Was the newly re-signed Dodgers' slugger on his radar as a suspected steroid user?

Yes, Canseco responded, because you can't be sure of anyone.

He offered no first-hand knowledge. No smoking gun. No sketchy rumors or overheard conversations. Simply an interesting theory.

Why didn't Ramirez get a long-term deal? Canseco asks. Why were owners gun-shy about signing arguably the game's best hitter? … To Canseco, the drawn-out negotiation, the lack of a long-term deal, the lack of interest all raise red flags, and so he tells the Bovard crowd that Ramirez's "name is most likely, 90%," on the list.

On Thursday, Canseco was asked once again about Ramirez, and hardly blinked. Not only was he not surprised by the revelations, he offered insight into the drug HCG, which Ramirez was busted for using. Canseco is currently on probation for trying to carry the drug across the Mexican border.

Asked why the Dodgers star might've taken it, Canseco offered a general explanation.

"It could be that a player used it because he used steroids and went cold-turkey and needed HCG to get his levels back to normal," Canseco told The Associated Press by telephone.

"I had to use it when I quit steroids cold-turkey. I had to go to a doctor to get it and get my levels back. Yeah, they may not be taking steroids now, but they may have and now their testosterone level is not back to normal. HCG is one of those chemicals — it works but it takes time."

So Canseco, despite more doubts, eye-rolling, and muffled chuckles from doubters everywhere, earns himself yet more credibility. Through two tell-all books, Canseco has implicated several players as steroid users, including Jason Giambi, Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmeiro, and Alex Rodriguez.

A month ago, he expressed doubts about Manny Ramirez.

Maybe it's time to stop doubting him. If he's not batting 1.000, he's got to be pretty close.

Canseco, meanwhile, said he planned to skip the splashy book on Rodriguez that was released this week.

"I'm not going to read what I already know. It's old news to me," he said.