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Steroids, steroids, and steroids

It’s been beaten over the head time and time again by sports writers, opinion columnists, and ex-players since the 1998 home run race between Mark McGuire and Sammy Sosa. It’s been taken to Congress and many reports have been written about it. The steroid and professional baseball issue will just not go away. And with the recent news of Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, you can bet that it won’t dissolve anytime in the near future.

The baseball world was once again weighed down on Saturday when Sports Illustrated’s Selena Roberts and David Epstein reported that Alex Rodriguez tested positive for two anabolic steroids in 2003.

In that season, Rodriguez won the American League’s home run title and the league’s Most Valuable Player. Sources say he was one of 104 players listed on a 2003 MLB survey of players that tested positively for performance-enhancing drugs.

It’s not a surprise or that far of a stretch. Rodriguez is just one of many big name players who have ran into these claims. Along with Rodriguez, steroid allegations have followed Roger Clemens, Andy Pettitte, Jason Giambi, Jose Canseco, Miguel Tejada, Gary Sheffield, and the never-dying Barry Bonds to name a few.

The Mitchell Report, as it is now known, was released to the commissioner of the MLB and the public on December 13, 2007 and reported that 89 current and former players of the MLB were under investigation for using performance-enhancing drugs. The report was released after former Sen. George J. Mitchell launched a 20-month investigation on professional baseball and drugs such as human growth hormone (HGH) and anabolic steroids that possibly give players an upper hand on the competition while using them.

A large group of players were asked to testify before Congress and give their testimonies about drug use. One of the players, Jose Canseco, even wrote a book about it. In that book, entitled “Vindicated,” Canseco, who was once a teammate of Rodriguez, claims that the Mitchell Report was “incomplete” because it did not list Rodriguez as one of the 89 players. Canseco said he introduced Rodriguez to Joseph Dion, a Canadian steroid dealer, and stated “I did everything but inject the guy myself.”

Rodriguez joins the long list of players whose career in professional baseball may be tarnished by illegal steroid use. “You’ll have to talk to the union,” said Rodriguez when confronted by a Sports Illustrated reporter. “I’m not saying anything.”

Rodriguez currently has a .306 batting average with 553 home runs, 2,404 hits and 1,606 runs batted in through 15 seasons with three different clubs. During his 2003 A.L. MVP season in which he tested positive for steroids, Rodriguez, the shortstop for the Texas Rangers, had a .298 average, 47 homers, and 118 RBI.

With all the records, all the statistics, and all the pride that comes with being a professional baseball player, as a fan, you can guarantee this issue won’t fade away quickly. It’s not going to simply disappear within the next season. We will see it more and more and you can bet that additional big name players will be nailed for performance-enhancing drugs while sports writers, opinion columnists, ex-players and bloggers will continually beat this topic to death.


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