One cannot help but question the wisdom of using the Mark McGwire defense, especially when the issue is performance enhancing drugs. Yet that’s exactly what Jon Conway did at Red Bulls media day Monday, repeating almost to a word the disgraced slugger’s words from his fateful 2005 Congressional hearing.
The unfortunate incidents that occurred last year is something that’s in the past. I’ve decided to move on with my life and my career and leave the entire matter where it belongs: in the past. The league’s dealt with it, I have had to deal with it and I see no real purpose in revisiting it. My sole focus right now is playing for the Red Bulls.–Jon Conway, March 16, 2009
Conway made clear he would only respond to questions “with regards to playing and soccer” before making clear (just in case there was any doubt) “however I won’t be addressing the past issue.”
Asked if he felt fans deserved an explanation for what transpired last year, when Conway and then-teammate Jeff Parke became the first players in Major League Soccer history to receive suspensions for banned substances, the goalkeeper could only say “I’d rather not address the past issue.”
Thanks Mark Jon. Seeing as you could not or would not (or weren’t allowed to, by legal/media advisors) address the matter, allow us to offer a brief refresher: At some point last season, Conway and Parke, for reasons yet obscure, decided to take an over-the-counter performance enhancer named Jungle Warfare. Whether they knew the supplement contained illegal substances is open for debate. That taking it constituted (at best) a monumental lapse in judgement, is not. League testing found traces of banned performance enhancers androstatriendione (ATD) and boldenone metabolites substances in their systems and they were suspended for 10 games each. Parke later provided an apology statement. Conway did not. Monday was the first time he publicly addressed the issue.
Except, he didn’t address it. Or so much as acknowledge it. Or anything else for that matter. Conway even refused to discuss the team’s playoff run last season. “Last year’s in the past and I’m not going to address any questions in regard to it,” he said. Does Conway expect to start when his suspension is up four games from now? “I don’t know, you’ll have to ask the coach. He makes those decisions.”
Perhaps the only telling part of the interview was a Freudian slip that came when Conway was asked about Parke’s statement. “As I said I won’t be addressing any of the issues,” he said.
Yeah, I think we got that.