Steroids and Baseball

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Why are steroids bad in baseball?

Baseball has been a passionate and historical game for America. A lot of memories have been made by the true players of baseball. Many of these players are well known by everyone. Many players like Babe Ruth, who was the home run king for a long time with 714 home runs is well know. Roger Maris was another true player of baseball, who hit 61 home runs in one season and Hank Aaron who broke Babe Ruths old record with 755 home runs. All of these players all had one thing in common; they were honest, hardworking baseball players. From what history has told us they were known as the “greats” because they used a combination of hard work and God-given talent to excel in their games.

So when I say “true player” I mean players who worked hard and did not cheat their way to become what they are known as today. Everyone who is still alive today probably witnessed when Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa chased Roger Maris's 61 home run record or when Roger Clemens achieved his 350th win or when Barry Bonds broke the infamous all-time home run record held by Hank Aaron. Many of you are aware of these historical achievements and I'm also sure you heard that all of them used steroids while achieving these records. Nowadays whenever you turn on the sports channel, it seems a new story about professional athlete using steroids stirs up. It is starting to become a big problem in sports now, especially baseball.

Steroids have been around for decades now. It was Dr. Leopold Ruzicka, a Swiss-Croatian scientist, who invented steroids in the early 1930's for medical purposes particularly to fight conditions like cancer and AIDS (Seemungal and Wedzicha). After the discovery, Dr. John Bosley Ziegler,an American Physician later transformed Dr. Ruzicka's discovery into anabolic steroid Methandrostenolone. Dr. Zieger pioneered the drug to help aid muscle growth to bodybuilders, when he was the physician to the U.S. Weightlifting team. Some say he is to blame for the start of steroid use in sports today (Seemungal and Wedzicha).

Even though steroids have been around for many years, athletes did not pay much attention to the drug effects of steroids until the late 1970s when an increasing number of athletes were tested positive for using these substances during the Olympics. With time, steroid abuse spread much beyond the Olympics in the 1970s and eventually it became a part of baseball by the early mid 1970's (Taylor).

Many years after steroid were introduced to sports, sports leagues were cracking down on the usage of enhanced drugs such as steroids. Major League Baseball was one of the last sports leagues to take action about the drugs. In 2002, the MLB decided to ban anabolic steroids in 2002. The ban required some players to take a drug test. If a player was tested positive, that player would receive treatment but would not be suspended or publicly named (History). Though at the time, the MLB was not concerned about steroid usage at the time because they thought it was not necessary and not many people had any idea that steroid was in use at the time, until an all-star third baseman admitted to using steroids.

Ken Caminti was one of the first players to be part of the steroid usage scandal. After his 15-year career came to an end in 2001, he shocked the sports world by admitting to using steroids during his time in the majors, including his MVP season of 1996. He also estimated roughly that fifty percent of the players in the league were using them also during his use of steroids (Radomski).

Soon after Caminti's claims, many other baseball players admitted to using steroids. One of the oldest players to admit using the drug was Tom House. He was the only notable baseball player to using steroids dating back to the 1970's. But the most famous player to admitting to steroid use was home run slugger, Jose Canseco. He admitted to...
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