By Thursday morning, every player on the Brewers’ 40-man roster had signed on to a club policy that prohibits athletic supplements in the clubhouse.
“Everybody signed it,” Brewers union representative Wes Helms said. “Everybody agreed with what it said.”
On Wednesday, the Brewers had asked the players to sign the one-page document, which warned of the potential dangers associated with steroids and over-the-counter supplements, including ephedra. Last month’s death of Baltimore Orioles pitcher Steve Bechler was linked to ephedra. The document forbids players to store supplements in the clubhouse, including their lockers.
General manager Doug Melvin on Thursday said that club cannot prohibit legal supplements in the clubhouse without approval from the players’ union. The memo, he said, was more of a suggestion than a ban.
Union official Gene Orza told the Associated Press that he was “confident we can work out the problems of unilaterally adopted club policy.”
A memo from the union posted in the Brewers clubhouse on Wednesday reminded players that while supplements are legal, “players should be extremely reluctant to use any products containing ephedra.”
Brewers physicians Craig Young and Mark Niedfeldt spoke earlier this spring about the dangers of certain supplements, and Wednesday morning an outside doctor briefed players about the importance of hydration and urged players to avoid supplements.
“Now, everything is out there and we’re aware of it and we’re talking about it,” said Brewers lefty Wayne Franklin. “That’s all this is about.”
Ephedra is a legal, over-the-counter substance. Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig banned supplements containing ephedra in the minor leagues last week, but a big league ban would require union approval.