Barely more than a week after Major League Baseball suspended Phillies reliever J.C. Romero for 50 games for using a banned substance, the laboratory that produced the nutritional supplement that the left-hander claimed was tainted and caused him to falsely test positive has been raided by the Drug Enforcement Agency.
Ergopharm’s lab, located in Champ, Ill., and owned by chemist Patrick Arnold who was part of the BALCO steroids scandal, was raided by the DEA on Thursday, according to a source with knowledge of the situation who asked not to be identified. Ergopharm produces 6-OXO, which Romero said he purchased at a General Nutrition Center in Cherry Hill, N.J. Romero also said he believed 6-OXO was not banned by MLB.
Romero tested positive twice last season, on Aug. 26 and Sept. 19.
The New England Office of the DEA led the raid and was assisted by local DEA and police. No arrests were made and a document warrant was served.
Ergopharm, in a statement to the Philadelphia Inquirer on Tuesday, said that “a perfectly legal and untainted substance can cause a positive test for a banned or illegal substance.”
However, MLB executive vice president and human resources Rob Manfred dismissed the idea that Romero might have tested for a false positive in an interview with MLB.com’s Barry Bloom.