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Steroids & Sports

How many Players use Steroids in Baseball?



Basketball steroid

Steroids are a huge class of chemicals that are bioactive in nature causing scandals in the baseball. A number of players have been found to be involved in alleged usage of these chemicals to enhance their performance. There are certain sources that claim that players have been involved in using these chemicals since 1960.

Composition of Steroids:  

Steroids constitute a fused 4 ring, and 17 carbon structures from cholesterol. These steroids offer a range of functions like estrogenic (feminizing), androgenic (masculinizing), as

well as anti-inflammatory properties etc. In the world of sports, the most significant controversies had been related to the anabolic steroids i.e. muscle building steroids.

These steroids have been banned in most of the sports including baseball as illegal drugs enhancing the performance of the players. Whenever there are steroids mentioned without any qualification with reference to the sports they are referred to as anabolic steroids.

Steroids Era:

It refers to the time period in the Major baseball leagues where a number of players were believed to use these performance-enhancing drugs. .It led these users to an enhanced offensive output throughout their game. Though the steroid usage was banned since 1991, however, the baseball leagues did not implement the PED testing until 2003. The lack of testing clearly means that there were very less chances of the players to be caught.

The agreement with the league players called for a random test every year with no punishment for that first year. It was decided that if the 5% of the players would be found in using these steroids then the testing would be made tougher. On the other hand, if this number turned out to less than 2.5% then the testing procedure would be dropped.

Steroids usage Scandal:

The issue of using steroids was highlighted during the early 2000s with the controversy of BALCO. It brought several players in to question including Barry Bonds, Gary Sheffield, and Jason Giambi. In a jury, Giambi admitted that he has been using steroids before contacting BALCO and that he used the steroids offered by BALCO.

However, Bond and Sheffield denied the steroid usage Prosecutors claimed that they have been using substances like “the cream”, and “the clear” steroids. These have been the steroids that were designed by BALCO in a way where the steroid usage remained undetectable in usual tests for steroids.Steroids Scandle

Institutionalization of Steroid usage:

Baseball instituted the steroid usage for the first time and hence there were seen several suspensions of Major as well as Minor league players.  The biggest suspension was Rafael Palmeiro who earlier claimed that he had never used steroids.

The most attention was caught with the book written by Jose Canseco back in 2005 named as Juiced. In this book, he admitted that he along with his teammates such as Palmeiro, Mark McGwire, and Ivan Rodrihuez have been using steroids. Many of the players pointed by Canseco were confirmed to be steroid users most prominently McGwire who came clean in 2010 and Palmeiro who was found to be negative users of steroids in 2005.

Percentage of Baseball Players using Steroids:

It is not possible to exactly know the number of percentage of baseball players using the steroids. Estimates related to steroid usage vary largely. Jose Canseco gave an estimate that almost 85% of the players in the major leagues use steroids. Ken Caminiti estimates 50% of the players

using these performance-enhancing drugs. However, afterward, he retracted the claim and said

that the percentage is pretty much lower to what he showed earlier.

Which Players use Steroids?

In addition to using steroids; which players use the bioactive chemicals steroids is yet another concern. Most of the times the focus has been on the strugglers but there have been players including the position and the pitcher players, fringe players and position players.

Most of the minor league players that were involved in using steroids were the fringe players.

Steroids case in 2015:

Another steroids usage case was highlighted in 2015. Four picthers i.e. David Rollins, Arodys Vizcaino, Jenry Mejia, and Ervin Santana were suspended for 80 games in a couple of weeks. All of these players were found to be positive for the Stanozolol. It is the same steroid that was once claimed to be used by champion Ben Johnson. His gold medal was taken away. Looking at its long history, it was a simple product to be detected. People were surprised to see why anyone would risk using it when it was certain that it would be detected during a drug test.

Baseball indeed has a long history of drug usage. Jim Bouton wrote a book with title Ball Four in which he has written about widespread usage of these bioactive chemicals since 1960.

To conclude this discussion it is stated that no doubt steroid usage now has been banned still players are using them in a way that they are not caught. Otherwise, the exact number of percentage of players using the banned steroids cannot be given. Different studies claim this number to be different as mentioned above as well.

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