Urban Legends

Hey, I love Curt Schilling. I love his openness, his candor. But Curt seems to be trafficking in urban myths, as far as I can tell. Not that his “friend” hadn’t eated a TON of poppy seed bagels, but I think there was a Seinfeld episode about this. It sure would have been funny if Curt had said his friend had eaten an “assload of hamentaschen”, though…

From today’s Globe:

Schilling is militant on the subject of privacy safeguards for drug testing, as well as the inherent risks of a procedure that could prove ruinous to a player’s career, even if the test proved to be a false positive.

“I have a friend who is younger and not in baseball,” Schilling said, “who worked at a company that had drug testing for its employees, and he failed, because his test showed traces of cocaine. If you knew this guy, you knew that couldn’t be true, but this guy was let go. Eight months later, it turns out that this guy had eaten a lot of bagels with poppy seeds, and because of some kind of chemical reaction his tests gave a false reading. But by then, eight months of his life was gone.”

A quick internet search reveals the following:

Poppy seeds, usually on breads, contain traces of morphine, and lead to positives for opiates. According to Dr. Grow, eating a pastry filled with poppy seeds will bring results showing that you are a *high level* opiate user. Harold Crossley, a nationally known chemical dependency expert, said you would have to eat 100 poppy seed bagels to score a positive on a drug test. When taken into account that very few poppy seeds are sprinkled on bagels, you can see that poppy seeds from a hundred poppy seed bagels will easily fill a single large pastry. Purim cookies, a Jewish food known as Hamantashen, may have five to six tablespoons of poppy seeds. A couple Purim cookies may cause a positive test. Poppy seeds can be distinguished from illicit drugs on the GC/MS test. Although poppy seeds have the same metabolites as opium, these metabolites are shown to have different patterns when viewed with the GC/MS.

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