General Nutrition Centers (GNC) expressed feigned outrage in a statement released to Newsday. Alex Rodriguez made the allegation that dietary supplements that have been sold in the past at GNC could have triggered false positive steroid results in athletes subject to anti-doping procedures. A spokesperson did not directly deny the claim as false but made a strong effort to cloud the real issue rather than acknowledge it (”GNC not happy with A-Rod’s steroid saga,” February 19).
“GNC does not sell illegal anabolic steroids. GNC is always troubled when an athlete who cheats himself and his profession attempts to implicitly or explicitly scapegoat another person or organization for his gross lapses in judgment, even if he was ‘young and stupid’ when it happened. GNC is confident that the public understands the difference between unlawful drugs that one’s cousin has to inject into the body and the legal, safe products for sale in its stores.”
Alex Rodriguez referenced GNC in an interview with ESPN’s Peter Gammon where he admitted his own use of prohibited substances. Rodriguez never claimed GNC sold “illegal anabolic steroids”. Many statements made by A-Rod regarding his own use of anabolic steroids may not have been true, but everything he said about GNC was true. The only unfair characterization of GNC was any implication that dietary supplements caused A-Rod’s own positive steroid tests.