Why Steroids Are Bad for Major League Baseball
After the MLB labor dispute in the mid 1990’s, lots of people believe Major League Baseball has been in the “Steroids Era” ever since. Numerous high profile MLB players have been accused of steroid use and a few, like Jose Canseco, even admitted it openly, crediting the application of steroids for his entire career. Actually, Conseco wrote a book called “Juiced” which documented the use and impact of steroids in baseball.
According to Canseco, around 85% of MLB players currently playing today are using performance enhancing drugs. Jose’s book titled “Juiced: Wild Times, Rampant ‘Roids, Smash Hits and How Baseball Got Big” names many well-known players who have used steroids throughout their professional careers.
Another player, Ken Caminiti, came forward about his steroid use and detailed the damage the drug did to his body. Caminiti admitted that his body had mostly stopped producing testosterone and that his testicles have gotten much smaller. As a matter of fact, his body only had 20% of the normal level of testosterone. And although Ken Caminiti clearly knew the damage it did to his body, he still confessed he would have done it all over again if he had another chance. Ken eventually died because of his steroid use. (from Wikipedia)
Several beloved MLB players have stood accused of using these performance boosting drugs. Names like Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, Rafael Palmeiro and Jason Giambi have been tarnished by the claims. Their records and awards have all come under question given that they weren’t achieved naturally, but with chemical assistance banned by MLB commissioner Bud Selig.
A company known as BALCO, the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative has been cited as a central way to obtain steroids to athletes in many sports. BALCO was an American based natural supplements company run by Victor Conte.
BALCO made and marketed a steroid dubbed “The Clear”, also known as THG, or tetrahydrogestrinone, that was created by a BALCO chemist named Patrick Arnold (from Washington Post)
In 2003, the company’s role in a drug sports scandal was investigated by two journalists; Lance Williams and Mark Fainaru-Wada. The scandal was referred to as the BALCO Affair and centered on the distribution of the Clear to many high profile athletes in the us and Europe over a period of many years by Conte, Greg Anderson, a weight trainer and Remi Korchemni, a coach.
The investigation was aided by a tip from US Olympic sprint coach Trevor Graham in 2003. Graham supplied a syringe containing traces of the substance referred to as “the Clear”. A test to detect the Clear was developed plus some 20 Olympic class athletes tested positive for the drug. Marion Jones, an Olympic track star, just admitted to using steroids after years of public denial. She said she used them to get ready for the 2000 Olympics in Sydney and the Olympics committee has recinded all her medals. (from the Washington Post)
Later, a search of the BALCO facilities uncovered litigant list with names including Barry Bonds, Jason Giambi, Jeremy Giambi, Gary Sheffield and some other MLB players.