Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Forget steroids, is baseball’s Bartolo Colon the bionic man?

Roboto Colon

“This is not hocus-pocus,” Purita said in an interview here. “This is the future of sports medicine, in particular. Here it is that I got a guy back playing baseball and throwing pitches at 95 miles an hour.”

  Those are the words of a doctor in Boca Raton, Florida when he was describing the reemergence of a pitcher named Bartolo Colon, who was considered to be finished as a pitcher by many. His story starts again perhaps with the courtesy of some fancy new age medicine. Some people aren’t so sure it’s medicine though.

Forget about Lee Majors and the Six Million Dollar Man series from years ago, it’s all about money still, but this time it’s professional athletes that want to command those high earning salaries well past their prime, and continue their careers when others have just fallen apart. Here is the story of Bartolo Colon, perhaps the first man who has benefited with what is known about this pioneering field of extending the physical prowess of athletes when all else has failed in the past.

This story reminds me of Barry Bonds when he said he didn’t know that what he was doing was wrong. He didn’t have a clue why he looked like the incredible hulk, and never dawned on his how his physical strength powered him to 73 HR’s in one season. A feat that has never been done since he did it, and may never be broken now that the steroid issue has come to light.

Sports athletes have so much money now, they can afford to try to extend their careers well past the time that they used to be coming to an end. Pioneering or some would say ‘gray market’ technics are being used now by doctors and they seemingly have a never ending supply of patients.

Bartolo Colon has become one of the players who has come into the spotlight for such treatments. Colon received an injection of his own fat and bone marrow stem cells in an effort to regenerate the damage to his elbow and arm that nearly caused the end of his career. His doctor’s name is Joseph R. Purita. This doctor has also used HGH, or the banned steroid in baseball in some of these procedures on other patients but not in Colon’s case, he said.

Not everyone has been a fan of Dr. Purita’s work though, as you can see in this video, the man who was treated by Purita at some point in the past suffered a strange and serious looking wound to his skin. It hardly seems like this is the work of a miracle worker, but just watch this report that aired on a Florida news station about this man’s personal experience.

It is illegal in the MLB to have been treated with unapproved medicines or steroids on the banned list. Colon’s issue has just surfaced and is being looked at by MLB officials and others. The New York Times broke the story on this, and then the GM of the Yankees informed the MLB about Colon’s treatments. This is unusual that the subject wasn’t brought up before by the Yankees, and they did so only after learning of the NY Times story.

Read the article here in the NY Times

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