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 in the sport. Below we’ll describe steroids in baseball and players who resorted to using the banned medications.
“Steroid Era” in Baseball
It’s believed that the “Steroid Era” in the world of this game began in the early 1980s. They noticed that there was a boost in aggressiveness on the field. Also, the number of home runs exploded substantially. Two players hit 50 home runs per season in 1997. From 1961 to 1994, no player could achieve such an impressive feat.
The official prohibition of steroids took place in 1991, but no reliable testing scheme was invented. A testing practice was not instigated until 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. After being pressed by claims that baseball players were supplied with steroids by many distributors, MLB tightened the penalties for such malefactions.
New advanced rules were set at the beginning of the 2005 season. They stipulated that the first offense implied a 10-day disqualification, and a repeated violation presupposed extending this term to 30 days. The player caught 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 a fine “at the discretion of the MLB commissioner” was issued.
In 2005, during the season, 12 doping cases were documented, which forced MLB to tighten the regulations in 2006. Bud Selig justified and explained the primary principle of the code 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 the 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 the Dominican Republic. They haven’t received the strictest penalty (lifelong disqualification), which shows 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 number of home runs per season 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 occurred 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 capabilities-elevating preparations 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. They have nominated him the best MLB’s figure and won the title three times. On his account, there are dozens of participants in the matches with all MLB stars. In 2007, he confessed to 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 as the 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 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 2004, it was reported that Barry Bonds, the most important representative of the American baseball league at that time, could have resorted to forbidden medications. His counsels affirmed this, adding, however, that he did it by ignorance by applying many cosmetic products which contained banned ingredients. His personal coach and companion Greg Anderson, prosecuted for steroids distribution, gave them to Bonds.
In 2009, another significant scandal broke out in MLB. Sports Illustrated published an article describing a doping check undergone by 104 league players. Alex Rodriguez, one of the most highly paid MLB stars, was among those listed. He admitted his guilt without hesitation.
In 2015, Anthony Bosh, the owner of a clinic in Florida, was sentenced to four years in prison for distributing illicit preparations. They reported it on the BBC. October 2017, he pleads guilty to selling such drugs. His client Alex Rodriguez was debarred from 211 games in August 2013.
The Bottom Line: Are Honest Sports Possible?
The Major League is not victorious over doping. However, it has taken pivotal steps aimed at purifying the sport. They suspend steroid users from matches and the propagators of prohibited substances are jailed. But athletes continue to use illegal steroids (for example, oral steroid pills, which are quickly removed from the body). Most hope that the players will play honestly and not deceive their fans.