Steroids in BaseballThe use of performance enhancing drugs and anabolic steroids within pf sport of baseball is perhaps one of the most passionately and fiercely disputed and discussed topics over the last 1 — 2 decades throughout the late s and into the s. The actual subject at hand of anabolic steroids in baseball was, as the general population was concerned, did not even come to mind within in the sport of baseball until the latter part of the s and into ansbolic early s and beyond. This was approximately 40 years following the very beginnings compra dianabol chile anabolic hkstory use in sports and athletics in general. The initial beginnings of anabolic steroid use in athletics and sports was first established in the Olympic games in the mids, and as history would baseballl, the benefits of anabolic steroids and its use in enhancing athletic performance would slowly but surely descend upon other major sports and athletic competitions. Following the initial use in the Olympics was the use of anabolic steroids in powerlifting and other strength-related sport. Bodybuilding then followed suit, almost simultaneously with powerlifting and history of anabolic steroids in baseball sports. Football would follow in logical order as the next sport to history of anabolic steroids in baseball the proliferation of anabolic steroid use amongst its athletesand onwards to baseball and almost every other sport.
Steroids in Sports - A timeline and history of Steroid Usage in Sports
The use of performance enhancing drugs and anabolic steroids within the sport of baseball is perhaps one of the most passionately and fiercely disputed and discussed topics over the last 1 — 2 decades throughout the late s and into the s. The actual subject at hand of anabolic steroids in baseball was, as the general population was concerned, did not even come to mind within in the sport of baseball until the latter part of the s and into the early s and beyond.
This was approximately 40 years following the very beginnings of anabolic steroid use in sports and athletics in general. The initial beginnings of anabolic steroid use in athletics and sports was first established in the Olympic games in the mids, and as history would dictate, the benefits of anabolic steroids and its use in enhancing athletic performance would slowly but surely descend upon other major sports and athletic competitions. Following the initial use in the Olympics was the use of anabolic steroids in powerlifting and other strength-related sport.
Bodybuilding then followed suit, almost simultaneously with powerlifting and strength sports. Football would follow in logical order as the next sport to experience the proliferation of anabolic steroid use amongst its athletes , and onwards to baseball and almost every other sport. This article will clarify and educate the reader of the fact that steroids in basebal l has existed for a very long time.
As a matter of fact, general performance enhancing drug PED use within baseball, whether or not the drug in question is anabolic steroids, is nothing new to baseball.
Nor is it anything new to any sports, as athletic sporting along with its athletes, for the thousands of years it has existed, has always attempted to obtain an athletic edge or advantage through the consumption and use of various foods, plants, herbs, drugs, and substances.
Baseball is no special exception to this fact, but as previously stated, it had surprisingly only become a major highlight of concern in the late 20 th century, despite its existence for many, many years prior. Even more astounding is the fact this was also approximately years prior to the modern use of Testosterone and related anabolic steroids in baseball itself.
As with any experimental stage, there are bound to be errors and ineffectual practices, and Babe Ruth had stated that the use of these animal extracts were ineffective and that it had furthermore caused him to briefly become sick.
It was regarded as just another part of being an athlete using one of the many tools to assist training and performance. As such, most if not all baseball players at the time had engaged in experimentation with different potential PEDs.
The amphetamine era of baseball began after the end of the Second World War when troops returning home from serving during World War 2. Many of these troops during their service in the various theatres of war had been issued amphetamines to be consumed during periods of fatigue for the purpose of increasing alertness, focus, mental acuity, and wakefulness which was often the case during strenuous periods of extended operations . Among those professional sports was, of course, baseball. Needless to say, the use of amphetamines in baseball had become very prominent and commonplace during the post-war period.
For example, one of the most noteworthy events was in , where Mickey Mantle was administered an injection in the middle of a baseball game that contained a mixture of several different drugs, including amphetamines as well as steroids. Ironically, however, this injection of a concoction of PEDs actually ended up hampering him due to the fact that the needle happened to be unsterile and resulted in Mickey Mantle developing an abscess as a result .
A plethora of MLB players had openly confessed to amphetamine use during the Pittsburgh drug trials, which investigated drug use in the MLB, and among those who admitted amphetamine use were players such as Dale Berra, Bill Madlock, and Willie Stargell . Finally, the ever popular steroid era in baseball had arrived. However, as mentioned in the introduction of this article, the fact is that anabolic steroids in baseball had been established and underway far earlier than the majority of people have been lead to believe, with various early incidences of steroid use in baseball having already been touched upon thus far throughout this articles.
The steroid era of baseball had officially begun in the late s, but actual steroid use in baseball began decades prior. Some of the earliest reports were in the s, where pitcher Tom House admitted to anabolic steroid use during his — career, and he had even stated that PED use of all types was widespread and commonplace during that time .
Heavy anabolic steroid use in the sport of baseball was not seen until the s, however. Androstenedione was marketed as a legal nutritional supplement at the time, and specifically was a prohormone , which are compounds that exhibit no hormonal activity themselves, but when ingested will convert into active anabolic steroids in the body. The sighting of Androstenedione is considered by many to be the very first spark that lit the powder keg of anabolic steroids in baseball, leading to perhaps the largest amount of media sensationalism, turmoil, and inquisition-like witch hunts in baseball and all of sports history.
A domino effect followed as baseball player after baseball player took steps forward to openly admitting anabolic steroid use in baseball whilst simultaneously accusing and exposing other players of anabolic steroid use. The accusations and exposing had occurred both in secret behind closed doors, as well as openly to the media and magazines.
This initial confession to the media was the farthest impacting where anabolic steroids in baseball is concerned. Of course, alongside the exposing information in regards to other MLB players, Jose Canseco admitted his own anabolic steroid use and had even attributed his career to steroid use. Following the initial anti-steroid sensationalism and hysteria carried forth by Jose Canseco, the situation would then become far worse in the — BALCO scandal.
In addition to legitimate product manufacture and development, BALCO would acquire a customer base of high-profile athletes and secretly market and administer various undetectable anabolic steroids to these athletes through a particular supply system.
The anabolic steroids manufactured were either brand new compounds, or unknown compounds, and were therefore undetectable in testing methods. THG and other anabolic steroids manufactured by BALCO were distributed and administered to a plethora of athletes that did not just include baseball players, but also other types of athletes a well.
Working with Trevor Graham, USADA eventually developed a successful testing procedure that could now detect THG and the other various anabolic steroids that were previously undetectable . After this was established, approximately more than professional athletes were then urine tested from urine samples that had been gathered years prior.
Needless to say, 20 of the tested athletes failed the test, turning up positive for the various aforementioned anabolic steroids, and among the athletes tested were of course various baseball players. This had only been the beginning of the investigation especially in regards to steroids in baseball , as it was only a short period afterwards before BALCO was then investigated during fall when a BALCO warehouse was identified containing crates and containers with anabolic steroids and other PEDs within them.
Within this warehouse were also lists containing the names of athletes as well as their anabolic steroid usage protocols and doses. Among those on the list was: The United States government was then brought into the picture when Congress proceeded to hold hearings concerning anabolic steroids in baseball. Many top-tier baseball players were summoned forth to testify in these hearings, including those who were incriminated in the BALCO scandal.
Throughout the hearings, Jose Canseco had openly confessed to his anabolic steroid use as well as stating that anabolic steroid use was in fact considered to be acceptable throughout the s and s, and other MLB players such as Rafael Palmiero, however, denied any anabolic steroid in front of Congress . Mark McGwire had also been called forth to testify in front of Congress, whereby he refused to speak on the matter on the grounds that he felt that he would be deemed guilty despite anything he had to say, whether admitting use or not .
Jason Giambi confessed to his anabolic steroid use and his involvement in the BALCO scandal  , and Greg Anderson who was his trainer, had provided the BALCO-manufactured anabolic steroids to him as well as to various other professional baseball players. It was through Greg Anderson who had trained many different MLB players and other athletes that BALCO had used as the distribution hub for the anabolic steroids being provided to the athletes .
Some of these other baseball players implicated through Greg Anderson included Jason Giambi, Barry Bonds, and other baseball players. It is very important to make note of the fact that Barry Bonds purportedly passed all drug tests issued to him, but according to transcripts of his testimony to Congress on Dec 4, , he had apparently stated that he was provided and administered anabolic steroids without his knowledge by his trainer Greg Anderson .
Following this, Greg Anderson refused to testify against Barry Bonds and was then sentenced to a three month prison term . Patrick Arnold, who was the chemist working for BALCO that designed the various designer anabolic steroids and prohormones, served a three month prison sentence as did Greg Anderson.
However, Greg Anderson followed with another prison sentence some time later for the refusal to testify against Barry Bonds . The BALCO scandal had impacted athletics and sports in a massive manner in general, but had the most impact on baseball.
It is important to make note of the fact that prior to the BALCO scandal, baseball was the only major sport that had gone without a policy against anabolic steroid use. Following this, it was determined then that if a player is to test positive for anabolic steroids for the first time, the player is then subjected to a 50 game suspension. A second offense results in a game suspension, and a third offense carries a permanent ban from the MLB.
All suspensions and penalties are void of pay for the players who are penalized. After the BALCO scandal, which occupied the first half of the s concerning anabolic steroids in baseball, the next chapter in the steroid era would be the Mitchell Report in the latter half of the s. The Mitchell Report is named after former senator George J.
For the most part, the Mitchell Report basically reinforced and re-confirmed what had already been understood and discovered concerning anabolic steroid use in baseball.
The report had overall gathered findings, details, and data on almost every single facet of anabolic steroids in baseball. These findings included the health effects of anabolic steroids, the legality surrounding anabolic steroids, the fairness of use of anabolic steroids and PEDs in general, and how the use of anabolic steroids in the MLB impact the youth who look upon baseball players as role models.
It made note of the fact that in spite of those numbers, there had been a roster of 40 baseball teams that were in fact immune in one way or another from the testing procedures until , which was when drug testing became mandatory for all baseball teams in the MLB.
From investigating the results of mandatory testing, the average number of players who tested positive was determined to be at least one player from every team . The total number came to 89 players   and included some very well-known prominent players such as Eric Gagne, Roger Clemens, Miguel Tejada, and Andy Pettite who were all found to be involved in a social network centralized around Kirk Radomski whereby the PED use would be centered at .
The Mitchell Report resulted in the MLB taking action to make major changes to its drug testing programs and protocols, with the goal to make it stricter so as to halt the use of anabolic steroids. As previously explained earlier in this article, the MLB after the BALCO scandal had introduced mandatory testing every year as well as random testing for various particular players both in-season as well as off-season. If a player had failed a test, suspensions would be placed upon the player without pay.
Following the Mitchell report, the MLB opted to increase the frequency of testing as well as the punishments for testing positive. Testing was then increased in frequency to twice yearly for any and all players, as well as random testing for particular players. The test had expanded to include many other substances aside from anabolic steroids and other drugs that are commonly and frequently tested for.
The testing had specifically expanded to testing for 7 different types of drugs, 47 different anabolic steroid analogues, and 30 different stimulants. The punishments had expanded to include more suspensions without pay. Specifically, it had been altered to: The Mitchell Report was criticized by some as holding a conflict of interest, as former senator Mitchell, who was director of the Boston Red Sox, did not name any particular Red Sox players in the report .
This was very concerning, considering the fact that David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez both Red Sox players were both later on discovered to have used PEDs back in . These details were reported by some major media outlets, such as the New York Times in the summer of In the same similar situation, MLB commissioner Bud Selig who played a major role in the Mitchell Report, actually commissioning the report was a prior owner of the Milwaukee Brewers.
Other criticisms of the Mitchell Report included the fact that the report had leaked to the San Francisco Chronicle just before a major deciding game between the Cleveland Indians and the Boston Red Sox, but the report was not officially made public until months after that series had ended. As a result, many individuals both within the sport of baseball as well as the general population, were very suspicious about the timing of the leak and the official release of the report.
In particular, Paul Byrd, who was the Cleveland Indians pitcher, was named in the Mitchell Report as one of the athletes implicated in PED use, and that the timing of events related to the release of the report was concerning. PED use, both non-steroid and steroid, in baseball as well as all athletics and sports prior to the mid-late 20 th century was not regarded as an anathema offense among professional sport. Losses in revenue and overall popularity of the sport was at an all-time low, and continued to dive further as time progressed.
However, it was the increase in performance that was assisted by the anabolic steroids the astounding homerun record breaks that actually pulled baseball as a sport out of the rut it had landed itself in, both financially as well as in terms of popularity.
The anabolic steroid enhanced home runs and the sensationalism surrounding anabolic steroid use in baseball is what provided this much-needed life save to the sport. As the frenzies grew and the performance of the players skyrocketed, more tickets were sold, and more people tuned in to the games on television to watch their favorite players who were all likely using anabolic steroids.
The steroid scandals did not hurt Major League Baseball — it helped it beyond belief. With that having been established, it is also extremely important to understand that anabolic steroids are not the sole reason for the home runs. Anabolic steroids merely enhance the fine-tuned ability, strict nutrition, and training that the athlete already engages in. They enhance, but do not create profound ability out of nowhere. Anabolic steroids have assisted and contributed to the recent stellar home run record breakings, but they are not the sole reason for them.
All baseball players who have been implicated with the use of anabolic steroids, whether they are top-tier famous players or not, are top tier driven athletes regardless of the anabolic steroid use or not. It should be finally understood that anabolic steroid use does not enhance form, hand-eye coordination, or the ability to swing a bat or bitch a ball more precisely. Anabolic steroids simply serve to enhance strength and muscular size, provided that it is facilitated with proper nutritional and training habits.
With this being said, the majority of anabolic steroid and growth hormone use among baseball players both past and current is more so for the purpose of injury recovery, and the ability to be able to get back into the game quicker rather than performance enhancement within the game itself. The vast majority of players who have openly discussed and admitted their anabolic steroid use have attested to that fact.
The fact of the matter is that baseball is not a sport that the direct performance enhancing effects of anabolic steroids are very beneficial for compared to weight lifting or strongman competitions, for example.