Many professional athletes have turned to steroids to enhance their performance. Besides making the muscles bigger, steroids have also been known to reduce any muscle damage that has occurred on or off the field, which often helps athletes recover much quicker as it enables them to work out harder and more frequently.
Down below I have noted some of the most known professional baseball players that have cheated the game. (In no specific order, of course!)
1. Barry Bonds
Bonds played 22 seasons in the MLB with both the Pittsburgh Pirates and San Francisco Giants. The slugger earned himself a record of seven NL MVP awards, twelve Silver Slugger awards, and eight Gold Glove awards. And did I mention he was selected into the All-Stars 14 times?
There’s no denying Barry Bonds was already a super slugger before he allegedly took steroids; however, in 1998 Bonds admitted to using steroids after his personal trainer accused him of taking flaxseed oil and arthritis cream. It was stated that after the 1998 season Bonds was threatened by Mark McGwire’s performance on the field, therefor he wanted to captivate the attention of MLB fans, leading him to take steroids. By August of 1998 Bonds became the first player to ever enter the 400-400 club by having a career total of 400 home runs and 400 stolen bases.
2. Mark McGwire
Big Mac, formally known as Mark McGwire, was a first baseman for the Oakland Athletics and St. Louis Cardinals. In his 16 seasons as a professional baseball player, McGwire won a World Series championship with Oakland as a player in 1989, as well with St. Louis as a coach in 2011.
In 1998, McGwire hit a record of 70 home runs, defeating Sammy Sosa by 4. But it wasn’t until after the season that McGwire finally came clean, admitting he used anabolic-androgenic steroids when he broke the home run record. In a statement sent to the press, McGwire admitted to the abuse of steroids on and off for nearly a decade.
3. Jose Canseco
The six-time All Star Cuban-American is a former MLB designated hitter and outfielder for the Oakland Athletics, Texas Rangers, Boston Red Sox, Toronto Blue Jays, Tampa Bay Rays, New York Yankees, and the Chicago White Sox.
The prolific ball player hit 462 home runs in his career, earning himself a Rookie of the Year award and an MVP award.
It took a tragic phone call for the young star to turn to roids. He stated in an interview that his mother had been suffering from a brain hemorrhage. When he arrived at the hospital his mother had been hooked to the machine but was pronounced dead. Because his mother never had the chance to watch him play in the big leagues, he promised her that he would become the best player in the world for her, no matter what it took.
When he returned to playing on the field, Canseco reached out to one of his friends that he suspected was using the performance enhancers. Canseco was determined to become bigger, faster, and stronger.
It wasn’t until 2005 when Canseco admitted to taking performance enhancers, dragging Jorge Delgado, Damaso Moreno and Manuel Collado along with him.
4. Alex Rodriguez
Alexander Rodriguez, better known as A-Rod, was a professional shortstop and third baseball who played a total of 22 seasons with Seattle Mariners, Texas Rangers, and the New York Yankees. During his career with the Yankees, A-Rod was named the American League MVP in both 2005 and 2007.
In 2006, Rodriguez tested positive for the banned stimulant; however, it wasn’t until February of 2009 when Rodriguez admitted to having used steroids from 2001 to 2003 when playing for the Texas Rangers. According to the player, the enormous amount of pressure to perform lead him to the stimulant. In 2014, the 14-time All-Star was suspended for an entire season for violating MLB’s performance-enhancing drugs policy, costing him a potential spot in the Hall of Fame. In 2016, the stunner retired from professional baseball, leaving him with a home run count of 696.
5. Ken Caminiti
Third baseman, Kenneth Caminiti, spent 15 seasons with the Houston Astros, Texas Rangers, Atlanta Braves, and the San Diego Padres. Caminiti was named the NL Most Valuable Player with San Diego in 1996, earning himself a a spot in the Padres Hall of Fame.
In June of 2002, Caminiti went public with the news that he started taking steroids, as well as doing cocaine, during the 1996 season up until the 2001 season to help battle against his shoulder problem. In October of 2004, the National League star died from an accidental drug overdose, leaving him with a home run count of 239.
Though performance enhancers have been banned in Major League Baseball since 1991, it is no secret that doping in baseball has been an ongoing issue.