Drugs in baseball

Performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) have been around since competitive sports have been played. History shows that since the early 1900s, Olympians have been mixing their own concoctions that they believed would enhance their athletic performance. An Olympic marathon runner used a near-lethal mixture of brandy and strychnine in 1904.

In 1928, the International Association of Athletics Federations became the first international sports federation to ban doping of athletes; This is the governing body for track and field.

However, in 1958, the FDA approved the first anabolic steroid for sale in the United States, and that changed the face of sports forever. While official drug testing at the Olympics began in 1968, a reliable test for anabolic steroids was not developed until 1975, and the substance was quickly added to the list of banned substances.

While most of the banned substances only applied to Olympians, Congress passed the Anabolic Steroid Control Act in 1990, placing this substance in the same legal class as amphetamines, methamphetamine, opium, and morphine. The following year, Major League Baseball banned steroids. The MLB commissioner during that time has said that he banned steroids in large part due to rumors about Jose Canseco’s use of the substance, even though he didn’t really know about steroids at the time.

In 1997, the new MLB commissioner reiterated the steroid use ban, reminding teams of the ban. The following year, the world watches as Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire engage in the famous fight that ends with McGwire hitting a record 70 home runs in a single season. McGwire admits to using a steroid precursor, however, because MLB is not imposing penalties with the steroid ban at the time, McGwire is not penalized.

In 2002, Ken Caminiti gives an interview to Sports Illustrated where he admits to using steroids during his 1996 NL MVP season, estimating that half of MLB players also use steroids. This puts pressure on MLB to try steroid use. Later that year, MLB includes “survey tests” in the labor agreement for the following year in order to measure steroid use among players, without penalty.

Due to the high number of positive tests from the 2003 MLB season, random testing with sanctions imposed begins in 2004. The testing program is strengthened in 2005 and extends for three more years. During this time frame, Barry Bonds breaks the all-time home run record, leading to speculation about steroid use despite passing MLB-administered drug tests. In 2011, Bonds was convicted of lying about steroid use.

In 2008, Roger Clemens fights allegations that he was injected with human growth hormone and testosterone during his MLB career. The following year, MLB shows that they are serious when they suspend Manny Ramirez for 50 games without pay after a failed drug test.

Since 2010, numerous scandals have erupted with former Major League Baseball players admitting to steroid and drug use. Records have been expunged and indictments have been issued. However, players keep using PEDs and keep getting caught (or not).

As of 2013, seasonal random drugs tested in MLB include human growth hormone, testosterone tests, steroid tests, tests for any Schedule II substance included in the Controlled Substances Act (such as marijuana, cocaine, ecstasy , etc. ).

Players who violate the drug policy will be punished. They will suffer suspensions, fines and loss of salary for games not played.

It is always disappointing for a fan when their favorite player is found “cheating” using PED. With stricter policies and tougher penalties, MLB is showing that it takes this problem more seriously. The question is, will all of this make players think twice about using PED?