The prevalence of the use of steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs in professional baseball is no longer a novelty. However, many people still underestimate the extent of expansion of illegal substances currently and in the past. Below we’ll describe steroids in baseball and players who resorted to banned medications.
“Steroid Era” in Baseball
It’s believed that the “Steroid Era” in the world of this game began in the early 1980’s, which triggered a significant boost in aggressiveness of play. It especially relates to the number of long-range hits (in particular, in 1961-1994, no lucky beggar preformed with hitting 50 home runs per season, while in 1997 this mark was achieved by two players). The amount was unprecedented.
The official prohibition of steroids took place in 1991, but no reliable testing scheme was invented. The checking practice was introduced only in 2003. The first anti-doping code of Major League Baseball (MLB) was fairly permissive – after the first positive test an athlete could be let off with an admonition. But being pressed by claims that baseball players were supplied with doping by numerous distributors, MLB tightened the penalties for such malefactions.
New advanced rules were set at the beginning of the 2005 season. It stipulated that the first offence implied a 10-day disqualification, and a repeated violation presupposed extending this term to 30 days. The player, caught in using prohibited medications for the third time was disqualified for 60 days. For the fourth violation, a one-year suspension was applied. If the athlete continued neglecting the rules fine “at the discretion of the MLB commissioner” was provided.
In 2005, during the season, 12 doping cases were documented, which forced MLB to tighten the regulation in 2006. The primary principle, which was a mainstay of the code, valid currenlty, was justified by Bud Selig in his precise utterance: “Three strikes — and you’re out of work.” The first infringement was fraught with the athlete’s disqualification for 50 games, the second — for 100 performances. Triple breach deprived the culprit of the right to perform in MLB.
Since 2004, MLB has punished 67 baseball players for using illegal preparations. Two individuals have been caught twice, namely the superstar Manny “Mannywood” Ramirez and his compatriot, pitcher Guillermo Reynoso Mota from Dominican Republic. They haven’t received the strictest penalty (lifelong disqualification), which indicates the potency of the measures taken.
Why Do Baseball Players Use Anabolic Steroids?
When Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire arranged a race for “who will beat the quantity of home runs per season record faster” in 1998, the rejoicing of the mass media and the public was gigantic. The opponents were not provoked. They didn’t play one off against another (the identical situation was with Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle) and they didn’t receive letters with threats of speedy reprisals if they dared to break the record. Finally, the peak result, which couldn’t be surpassed for over thirty years, was reached by both players. Terrific? Undoubtedly. But the euphoria was short-lasting. What happened then? Sammy Sosa tested positive for a capabilities-elevating preparation in 2003. Mark was also under suspicion. In 2010, McGwire finally came clean, admitting he had used drugs when he had broken the home run record in 1998.
Baseball Players Who Took Steroids
Here is a list of players that took such medications:
- Alex Rodriguez. He has been nominated the best MLB’s figure and won the title three times. On his account there is a dozen of participations in the matches with all MLB stars. In 2007, he announced about his steroid past, which lasted from 2001 to 2003.
- Mike Piazza. He is a prominent player who has many awards. Experts surmise he used forbidden drugs, but this didn’t prevent him from being included in the Hall of Fame.
- Gary Sheffield. He has obtained the status of the All-Star 9 times, won 5 Slugger awards, and has been recognized Most Valuable Player several times. His connection with steroids inhibited his election to the Hall of Fame.
- Barry Bonds. He was also named the most eminent athlete of 2011 in America. Unfortunately, he was involved in the notorious scandals (we’ll talk about this below).
- Albert Pujols. The star has won the title of the most valuable player three times.
The list isn’t complete.
Notorious Baseball Steroids Scandals
- In In 2004, it was reported that Barry Bonds, the most important representative of the American baseball league of that time, could have resorted to forbidden medications. His counsels affirmed this, adding, however, that he could do it by ignorance, applying numerous cosmetic products, containing banned ingredients. His personal coach and companion Greg Anderson, prosecuted for steroids distribution, advised them to Bonds.
- In 2009, another significant scandal broke out in MLB. Sports Illustrated published an article, describing a doping checking undergone by 104 league’s players. Alex Rodriguez, one of the most highly paid MLB stars, was among them. He admitted his guilt without hesitations.
- 2015 is associated with another incident, when Anthony Bosh, an owner of a clinic in Florida, was sentenced to imprisonment for 4 years for figuring in the case of spreading illicit preparations. It was reported in the BBC. In October, 2017 he pleaded guilty of selling such drugs. His client Alex Rodriguez was debarred from 211 games in August 2013.
The Bottom Line: Are Honest Sports Possible?
We can hardly state that the ultimate victory over doping in the Major League has taken place, but the pivotal steps, aimed at the purification of this field are successful and auspicious. Steroid users are suspended from matches, and the propagators of prohibited substances are in jail. But athletes manage to use illegal steroids (for example, oral steroid pills, which are quickly removed from the organism). It remains only to hope that the sportsmen will be conscious and will play honestly, without deceiving their fans.