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Wednesday, December 27, 2006

The Needle and the Damage Done (to Baseball)

Yet again, a federal authority is taking steps to restore integrity to America's national pastime forfeited by a shameful conspiracy between Major League Baseball and the Players Union.

Minutes ago, a federal court ordered that the urine samples of baseball players who tested positive for steroids in 2003 (the height of "juiced" baseball) can be used by federal investigators. This will undo a shameless, shady deal cut by MLB and the Players' Union to hide the evidence, protect the cheaters, and sell out the efforts of clean players.

That grey pall on Barry Bonds' name is one step closer to becoming a black mark, if his name is among those 100 samples that tested positive in 2003. Not that anybody seriously doubts his steroid use.

His personal trainer was guilty of steroid distribution, and sits in jail for refusing to answer questions about what Bonds knew. Hmm. Now why would he refuse to answer that question? Bonds' position is equally telling. He says that he never knowingly used steroids, though he admits using the infamous "cream" and "clear" distributed by Balco. What were the "cream" and "clear"? Steroids, as established in the Balco court case.

Anything to add Mr. Bonds?

Categories: baseball, steroids


zridling said...

The problem will be that Bonds was most certainly using a designer steroid (along with gross amounts of HGH according to his trainer), which might have been undetectable at the time of the 2003 test. If I were the commissioner, I'd kick that whole 80s and 90s class to the curb with lifetime bans. All the proof you need with Bonds is in the numbers from 98-03, and the photographic record of skinny guy with moderate power morphing into Hulk, old guy, HR blaster.

It's sad how many sports these days are drowning in chemicals — wrestling, baseball, football, boxing, track, just to get the list started., track, just to get the list started.

Jeff Kaplan said...

You're likely right that advanced cheaters were on to HGH and THG technologies by 2003.

I come down where you do. Ban the class. The only line that works with cheating in sports is a hard line. One strike and you're out.

In 1993, I wrote an op-ed about the female Chinese swimmers who were breaking every world record in sight. It was clear from their body mass and rapid, stunning improvement that performance enhancing drugs were involved. Exactly the situation with Bonds.

And despite years of denials, lo and behold, it finally came out. Of course they were cheating.