By Spike Eskin
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – As time passes and sports medicine advances, the line between what is cheating and what is not is blurred. The line between what is healthy, and what is not, is also blurred.
For Jonathan Papelbon, the line between what’s ok and what isn’t, depends on the team.
The Phillies closer told ESPN that he took the legal anti-inflammatory drug Toradol while he was a member of the Boston Red Sox, between the years of 2005 and 2011. But when he signed with the Phillies before the 2011 season, he was told by the team to discontinue use of the drug.
“[The Phillies] told me, ‘We don’t do that here.’ That kind of surprised me,” Papelbon told ESPN on Saturday. “I haven’t had a single Toradol shot since.”
“But here’s the thing you have to understand. There are so many organizations that do it. Not only baseball, but every sport. Football, basketball, hockey. It’s not just the Red Sox.”
“It was kind of a word-of-mouth thing,” he said. “You got in the clubhouse and said, ‘Man, I feel like crap,’ and somebody would say, ‘Oh, you should get a Toradol shot.’ All players talk about what gets you through a 162-game season.”
“I used it based on how I felt,” he said. “The days I felt bad, I took it. Maybe once a month.
“It made me feel better. You had to get it about 30 minutes before a game, and it made me feel pretty damn good. It only lasted about four hours maximum. But I never saw anyone else get injected, that’s the God’s honest truth.”
There are differences of opinion regarding Toradol and its long-term effects on athletes. 2012 Cy Young award winner R.A. Dickey used the drug to recover from a torn plantar fascia in 2011.
A group of NFL players sued the league over its use of Toradol, saying it worsened high-risk injuries, such as concussions.