Conway, Parke banned 10 matches for positive drug tests

October 16, 2008

NEW YORK -- New York Red Bulls goalkeeper Jon Conway and defender Jeff Parke on Thursday became the first players in the history of Major League Soccer to be suspended for using performance-enhancing drugs.

The two players were banned for 10 league games each.

They tested positive for androstatriendione and boldenone metabolites after purchasing and using an over-the-counter nutritional supplement from a vitamin store that is part of a national chain, the league said.

The players cannot playing in other competitions during their 10-game ban and each was fined 10 percent of his salary. Conway makes $115,000 this season, and Parke has a base salary of $57,488.

"MLS has one of the strictest drug policies in professional sports and holds its athletes both responsible and accountable for what they put into their bodies," commissioner Don Garber said. "This is an important statement as to the high standards to which we hold our players."

MLS began testing for performance-enhancing substances in 1999.

Conway has started all 28 MLS games for the Red Bulls this season and Parke has played in 24.

"This is a sad day for our club and our fans," team managing director Erik Stover said. "We are extremely disappointed that Jon and Jeff have tested positive for a substance banned by MLS's policy."


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press