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Steroids In Baseball

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Steroids in Baseball

As I watched the San Francisco Giants play baseball on ESPN, I thought to myself, is Barry Bonds taking steroids? It's a tough question that surrounds baseball as he approaches Hank Aaron's all-time homerun record. If it is proven that he has been taking them, baseball's records could be tainted. Barry Bonds is not the only athlete in the questioning of steroids, it has been estimated that over half of Major League Baseball (MLB) players are taking them. Before baseball is over-run with controversy, a program should be implemented that tests random players at random times to control this problem.

According to Ken Caminiti, over half of all players are on steroids. He is the first player to publicly admit to using steroids, and he said that it's no secret that players are talking them (CNNSI). Caminiti said that he was on steroids when he one the National League MVP in 1996. Although the steroids have broken his body down, he regrets many things, but taking steroids is not one of them. He says that there is so much money today. A kid could use steroids to get better and earn more money, its too tempting to them. Also, the fans want to see it. They don't care about illegal steroids if a guy can hit a ball twenty feet further or throw a ball six miles per hour faster (CNNSI). Caminiti never regained his 1996 form when he one the MVP, because of constant injuries caused by the steroids (Olsen).

The NFL, NBA and International Olympic Committee all test their athletes for steroids. But, Major League Baseball has yet to develop a program to test their athletes. Even Commissioner Bud Selig believes that players need to be tested (Madden). "I believe it's in the best interest of the players' long term, I feel very strongly about that," Selig commented. But, the players' association has refused to include steroid testing in past bargaining agreements. They say that it is an invasion of privacy.

The debate has been recently including into Senate hearings. Senator John McCain of Arizona told Commissioner Bud Selig and the players association executive director Donald Fehr, that their sport "is about to be a fraud." Fehr faced two and a half hours of questioning on steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs have reached a pinnacle in sports prominence (Madden). The Senators believe that mandatory testing should be implemented in their bargaining agreements. McCain believes that MLB should have a policy as strong as the NFL's (Madden). A four game suspension the first offense, and a year suspension the second offense. But, the NFL testing program does have its flaws. It tests two players from every team each week. This leaves about 20 players that go untested. Also, the players are given a 24 hour warning in advance, which then players can try to rid their bodies of the drug (Phipps).

The BALCO Company has supplied athletes in baseball and other sports, with steroids. They come up with new performance enhancing drugs faster than the



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