Thread: CNN on Steroids in baseball
05-28-2002, 03:04 PM #1
CNN on Steroids in baseball
Just heard that the show wolf blitzer reports will talk about the disturbing use of steroids in major league baseball. The show starts now, so I will see if I can catch it. If not hopefully there will be a transcipt on the cnn website.
05-28-2002, 03:13 PM #2
Caught the tail end, seemed to just be a 5 minute story but they talked about how players up and down the line are using, not just power hitters but anyone who wants to improve bat or throwing speed. That use is prevalent.
They said use was contributing to a higher frequency of injuries and that players were willing to accepts the consequences in order to get a chance at a big contract that would set their families up for life. No shi*
They said they are waiting for a reaction to the story from MLB and will make it public asap.
05-28-2002, 04:20 PM #3
I read a report that 75% of professional atheletes are doing some type of AS. this does not include Andro either.
05-28-2002, 05:46 PM #4New Member
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This is from CNN.com...........
ATLANTA (CNNSI.com) -- Former major leaguer Ken Caminiti says he was on steroids when he won the National League Most Valuable Player Award in 1996, according to an exclusive report in this week's issue of Sports Illustrated.
But even though it left him with health problems that continue to this day, Caminiti defended his use of steroids and told SI's Tom Verducci the practice is now so rampant in baseball that he would not discourage others from doing the same. Caminiti told Verducci that he continued to use steroids for the rest of his career, which ended last season when he hit .228 with 15 home runs and 41 RBIs for the Texas Rangers and the Atlanta Braves.
"Look at all the money in the game," Caminiti said. "A kid got $252 million. So I can't say, 'Don't do it,' not when the guy next to you is as big as a house and he's going to take your job and make the money."
Eight days after his release by the Braves last November, Caminiti was arrested in a Houston crack house. In March, he was placed on three years probation and fined $2,000 after pleading guilty to cocaine possession.
"I've made a ton of mistakes," admitted Caminiti, who is also a recovering alcoholic. "I don't think using steroids is one of them."
Although he is the first major leaguer to publicly admit using steroids, Caminiti told Verducci that, "It's no secret what's going on in baseball. At least half the guys are using [steroids]. They talk about it. They joke about it with each other. ... I don't want to hurt fellow teammates or fellow friends. But I've got nothing to hide."
Steroids are illegal in the United States unless prescribed by a doctor for a known medical condition. But they are easily obtained, most commonly over the counter at pharmacies in Mexico and other Latin American countries. Former major leaguer Chad Curtis, who retired after last season, estimated that 40 to 50 percent of major league ballplayers use steroids -- sometimes supplemented with joint-strengthening human growth hormone -- to suddenly become stronger and faster.
"You see guys whose facial features, jaw bones and cheek bones change past [age] 30. Do they think that happens naturally?" Curtis told SI. "You go, 'What happened to that guy?' Then you'll hear him say he worked out over the winter and put on 15 pounds of muscle. I'm sorry, working out is not going to change your facial features."
Steroids improve muscle mass, especially when combined with proper nutrition and strength training. But they also have several side effects, such as heart and liver damage, endocrine-system problems, elevated cholesterol levels, strokes, aggressive behavior, and the shrinkage and dysfunction of genitalia.
The NFL, NBA and International Olympic Committee all test their athletes for steroids. Major League Baseball has no testing program, but in February owners presented the players' association with a comprehensive drug-testing plan that covers 17 commonly known steroids, as well as amphetamines, cocaine, LSD and Ecstasy.
"We need to test," commissioner Bud Selig told SI. "I believe it's in the best interest of the players long term. I feel very strongly about that."
But the players' association has refused to include steroid testing in past collective bargaining agreements, arguing that it is an invasion of privacy. Gene Orza, the union's associate general counsel, was noncommittal about the latest proposal.
"We're going to do what the interest of our membership requires us to do," he said. "There will be a consensus from the players' association."
One reason for baseball's slow response, players suggested to SI, is that by making players bigger -- the average All-Star weighed 211 pounds last year, compared to 199 in 1991 -- steroids have contributed to one of the greatest slugging booms in the game's history. The single-season home run record has been broken twice in four years, while the 60-homer plateau has been surpassed six times. Even leadoff hitters and utility infielders are hitting home runs in record numbers.
"We're playing in an environment in the last decade that's tailored to produce offensive numbers anyway, with the smaller ballparks, the smaller strike zone, and so forth," said Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Curt Schilling. "When you add in steroids and strength training, you're seeing records not just being broken, but completely shattered."
And that's what fans want, said Curtis. "If you polled the fans, I think they'd tell you, 'I don't care about illegal steroids. I'd rather see the guy hit the ball a mile or throw it 105 miles an hour.' "
Caminiti told SI that he began using steroids midway through the 1996 season after injuring his shoulder while playing third base for the San Diego Padres. Then 33, Caminiti had never hit more than 26 home runs in a season. But he hit 28 alone after the All-Star break that year, finishing with 40 homers, 130 runs batted in and a .326 batting average. All were career highs, and he was a unanimous choice for the MVP.
"I think it was more of an attitude," Caminiti said of the steroids' effect. "There is a mental edge that comes with the injections. And it's definitely something that gets you more intense. The thing is, I didn't do it to make me a better player. I did it because my body was broke down."
While his performance improved, Caminiti encountered new health problems, primarily because he initially used steroids nonstop instead of in recommended cycles. As a result, his testosterone level dropped 80 percent below normal. Still, he continued to use steroids for the rest of his career, albeit in proper doses. But he never again approached his '96 performance, in part because he spent portions of each of his final five seasons on the disabled list.
"I got really strong, really quick. I pulled a lot of muscles. I broke down a lot," he said. "I'm still paying for it. My tendons and ligaments got all torn up. My muscles got too strong for my tendons and ligaments. And now my body's not producing testosterone. You know what that's like? You get lethargic. You get depressed. It's terrible."
Caminiti's injury history is not unusual, according to the SI report. Major league players made 467 trips to the DL last season, staying there an average of 59 days -- 20 percent longer than in 1997. And major league teams paid $317 million last year to players physically unable to play -- a 130 percent increase from four years earlier.
"It [baseball] was always the sport for the agile athlete with the small frame," said noted sports orthopedist James Andrews of Birmingham, Ala. "Over these last 10 years, that's all changed. Now we're getting a bunch of these muscle-related injuries in baseball. You'd have to attribute that -- both the bulking up and the increased injuries -- to steroids and supplements."
05-28-2002, 06:53 PM #5Senior Member
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