Finger pointed at supplements in baseball’s steroid scandal
WASHINGTON —It seems no one wants to take responsibility for the steroid scandal rocking Major League Baseball, not even the leaders, who continue to incessantly link steroid use to the sports nutrition industry.
That link was established again last month when, during testimony before a congressional committee, Donald Fehr, executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association, challenged Congress to examine whether the Food and Drug Administration is doing its job in regulating dietary supplements.
“As I have previously suggested, perhaps Congress should examine whether the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act is being adequately enforced,” he charged during his prepared testimony at the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform hearing on illegal steroid use by Major League Baseball athletes. “One of the members on the panel suggested that kids can buy [dietary supplement] stuff in stores. To the extent that that’s true, and I think it is, that means it is available in stores and legally.”
But supplements aren’t steroids, countered Steve Mister, president and chief executive officer of the Consumer Healthcare Products Association, and steroids aren’t supplements. “It’s a red herring,” Mister told Drug Store News. “It’s an effort from Major League Baseball to deflect the spotlight onto something other than them. My hope is that Congress does not take the bait like that.”
The Mitchell Report, which former Sen. George Mitchell wrote based on his independent investigation on the illegal use of steroids and other performance-enhancing substances by players in the MLB, only makes passing references to supplements, Mister noted, and makes no allegations that supplements are at the “heart of what’s wrong with Major League Baseball.”
During that same congressional hearing, Rep. John Sarbanes, D-Md., shared a story about a video he had bought for his 14-year-old son to help prepare for the ensuing youth baseball league season.
“At the end of it, the person on the videotape said, ‘So what you need is three things: You need the equipment, you need this instruction booklet on how to make sure your form is good and then, of course, you need these supplements that you can go buy, too,’” Sarbanes said.
In response, Fehr said, “If any of you haven’t done it, please go to the drug store, GNC or somewhere else.… Every tree, every grass, every bush, every mineral…everything else anybody’s ever heard of is there.”
“The kind of products that we’re talking about are products that are safe in the first place,” Mister said. “Creatin [for example], wide margin of safety behind the product, no significant adverse events. There’s no harm if a kid stumbles onto it,” Mister added. “It’s not like they’re doing any danger to themselves.”
Report says Tesco looking at expansion in Chicago
CHICAGO Tesco is looking to roll out Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Markets in the Chicago area, according to a report in the Chicago Sun Times.
The newspaper attributed the report to a “knowledgeable source” and said Tesco could offer the Chicago area something “unique because of its strong offering of prepared foods, packaged perishables and selection of produce, meat and bakery.”
Tesco has not commented on the report and has said it plans to expand on the West Coast in 2008, opening stores in California, Nevada and Arizona. The chain opened its first store in December and plans to have up to 50 Fresh & Stores open by the end of February.
Lubin promoted to Walgreens vp and new second position
DEERFIELD, Ill. Walgreens today promoted Steven Lubin to divisional vice president and the new position of general manager of marketing for non-mainland operations. In his new role, Lubin will ensure the company’s marketing meets the needs of customers in Puerto Rico and Hawaii.
As general manager of marketing for Puerto Rico, Lubin spent the past three years living on the island. He is relocating back to the company’s Deerfield, Ill., headquarters for his new duties.
“Steve was a huge asset in Puerto Rico as we worked to better meet the unique needs of our island customers,” said Walgreens chairman and chief executive officer Jeffrey Rein. “He also was invaluable as we opened our first Hawaii store last year, quickly grasping what Hawaiian customers want in a drug store and working with a Walgreens team to buy from many local vendors. Steve’s a big part of our early, strong success in Honolulu.”
Lubin joined the company in 1970 as a stock clerk in Chicago while attending college. He managed several Chicago-area stores before moving into Walgreens’ purchasing department in 1980. He was promoted to a divisional merchandise manager in 1988 and to general manager of marketing for Puerto Rico in 2004.