The Short List: Yeah, That's a Good Excuse

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Baseball player Rafael Palmeiro faces a congressional investigation about whether he committed perjury in March when he told the House Committee on Government Reform that he had never used steroids. This week, Major League Baseball announced that the baseball star tested positive for steroid use, and was suspended for 10 games. Day to Day presents a list of explanations offered by athletes who have been busted for banned substances.


A quote in the news this week sounded familiar to us, and inspired the return of an occasional DAY TO DAY feature; it's called the Short List. See if you can guess what these quotes have in common before it's revealed at the end.

(Soundbite of "Rock and Roll Part 2")

Mr. GARY GLITTER: (Singing) Hey! Hey!

Unidentified Man: When he said it was flaxseed oil, I just said, `Whatever.'

I made a mistake trusting the label.

I put it down to female physiology.

She was bringing them from Lithuania for my mother-in-law.

The truth of the matter is blood can get there certainly from a fraternal twin who had a different genetic identity.

We went out and partied and had what I thought was a good time.

If it wasn't me, it has to be somebody else.

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to explain how it entered my body.

(Soundbite of "Rock and Roll Part 2")

Mr. GLITTER: (Singing) Hey! Oh! Hey!

Unidentified Man: Explanations offered by athletes who have been busted for banned substances.

BRAND: Thanks to Slate's Josh Levin and Rachael Larimore for compiling the quotes for our Short List.

And that last explanation? That was from baseball player Rafael Palmeiro, the Baltimore Orioles first baseman who before this week was bound for the Hall of Fame. Palmeiro offered his explanation on Monday after testing positive for a powerful steroid. He's been suspended by major-league baseball for 10 days. Now Palmeiro faces a congressional investigation about whether or not he committed perjury when he testified under oath before a House committee last March.

(Soundbite of March 2005 hearing)

Mr. RAFAEL PALMEIRO (Baltimore Orioles): Let me start by telling you this: I have never used steroids, period. I do not know how to say it any more clearly than that, never.

BRAND: In a statement released yesterday, Palmeiro said he would fully cooperate with the congressional investigation.

(Soundbite of "Rock and Roll Part 2")

Mr. GLITTER: (Singing) Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey! Ow! Hey! Hey! Hey-hey! Oh! Hey! Ah! Ah! Hey, hey, hey! Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey-yay! Hey-yay-ay! Hey-yay-ay! Hey-yay-ay! Hey-yay-ay! Yay-yay-yay-yay-yay! Yay-yay-yay-yay-yay! Ow! Hey!

BRAND: NPR's DAY TO DAY continues. I'm Madeleine Brand.

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