What is a Steroid?
Steroids are a group of hormones that are usually known for their ability to increase muscle mass, strength, and athletic performance. These hormones have been used in sports for decades, and baseball is no exception.
The most commonly used steroids are anabolic-androgenic steroids, or AAS. Anabolic steroids are synthetic substances that are related to the male sex hormone testosterone. They help to increase muscle and strength, while androgenic steroids help to increase aggression and sexual characteristics.
History of Steroid Use in Baseball
The use of steroids in baseball dates back to the early 1900s, when players experimented with various substances to enhance performance. At this time, steroids were not yet banned, and players had no idea of the potential risks they posed.
However, the first reported use of steroids in Major League Baseball (MLB) came in the 1950s, when Willie Mays and Mickey Mantle both admitted to using amphetamines to increase their performance. This began a trend, as other players also began to experiment with various substances to gain a competitive edge.
In the 1980s, the use of steroids in baseball began to increase significantly. This was largely due to the availability of illegal steroids on the black market, as well as the increasing pressure to perform at a higher level.
The Emergence of Steroid Scandals
The use of steroids in baseball reached its peak in the late 1990s and early 2000s, when several high-profile players were implicated in steroid scandals. In 1998, former MLB player Jose Canseco wrote a book titled “Juiced: Wild Times, Rampant ‘Roids, Smash Hits, and How Baseball Got Big,” which laid out the details of his own steroid use and the use of steroids by other players in the MLB.
This book was followed by a series of other revelations, including the much-publicized scandal involving Barry Bonds and other MLB players. In the wake of these revelations, MLB commissioner Bud Selig instituted new rules and regulations regarding the use of steroids in baseball, and the use of steroids in the sport declined significantly.
MLB’s Steroid Policy
In 2005, the MLB established its first-ever steroid policy. Under this policy, players were subject to testing for steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs). Any player who tested positive for steroids or other PEDs would face a suspension and a fine.
The MLB’s steroid policy has been updated multiple times since then, with the most recent update coming in 2016. Under the current policy, players are subject to random testing for steroids and other PEDs. If a player tests positive for steroids, they face a suspension of up to 80 games, and a second offense can result in a suspension of up to 162 games.
Effects of Steroid Use in Baseball
The use of steroids in baseball has had a significant impact on the sport. Many players have been suspended or otherwise penalized for their use of steroids, and the MLB has seen a decline in attendance and interest in the sport.
In addition, the use of steroids has led to a number of health concerns for players, including an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, and other serious health issues.
The Future of Steroids in Baseball
In spite of the MLB’s efforts to reduce the use of steroids in baseball, the issue of performance-enhancing drugs in the sport remains a concern. While the MLB has implemented strict testing procedures, the use of steroids and other PEDs is still prevalent in the sport.
The MLB continues to take steps to reduce the use of steroids in baseball, but some experts believe that the only way to truly eliminate the issue is to remove the incentives for players to use them. This could include harsher penalties for players who are caught using steroids, as well as increasing the focus on nutrition and strength training for players.
Public Opinion on Steroids in Baseball
The public’s opinion on steroids in baseball has shifted over the years. Initially, many fans were sympathetic to the players who were using steroids, as they believed that it was a necessary part of the game.
However, as more information about the health risks associated with steroids came to light, public opinion shifted. Today, most fans view the use of steroids in baseball as an unethical and dangerous practice, and they have called on the MLB to take a stronger stance against players who use steroids.
Notable Players Who Have Been Suspended for Steroid Use
Alex Rodriguez was one of the most high-profile players to be suspended for steroid use. In 2013, he was suspended for 162 games for his involvement in the Biogenesis scandal.
Ryan Braun was another high-profile player who was suspended for steroid use. In 2013, he was suspended for 65 games for his involvement in the Biogenesis scandal.
Manny Ramirez was suspended for 50 games in 2009 for his use of a banned substance.
Barry Bonds, one of the most famous players in baseball history, was implicated in the steroid scandal in the early 2000s. He was never officially suspended for steroid use, but he was convicted of obstruction of justice in 2011.
David Ortiz was suspended for 50 games in 2009 for his involvement in the Biogenesis scandal.
The use of steroids in baseball has been an issue for decades, and it continues to be a source of controversy today. MLB commissioner Bud Selig has implemented several policies to reduce the use of steroids in the sport, but it remains a problem.
The public’s opinion of steroids in baseball has shifted in recent years, and most fans now view the use of steroids as an unethical and dangerous practice. The MLB must continue to take steps to reduce the use of steroids in the sport, and it must continue to hold players who are caught using steroids accountable for their actions.