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McGwire admits steroid use

From the Associated Press:

Mark McGwire finally came clean Monday, admitting he used steroids when he broke baseball's home run record in 1998.

McGwire said in a statement sent to The Associated Press on Monday that he used steroids on and off for nearly a decade.

"I wish I had never touched steroids," McGwire said in a statement. "It was foolish and it was a mistake. I truly apologize. Looking back, I wish I had never played during the steroid era." McGwire also used human growth hormone, a person close to McGwire said, speaking on condition of anonymity because McGwire didn't include that detail in his statement.

McGwire's decision to admit using steroids was prompted by his decision to become hitting coach of the St. Louis Cardinals, his final big league team. Tony La Russa, McGwire's manager in Oakland and St. Louis, has been among McGwire's biggest supporters and thinks returning to the field can restore the former slugger's reputation.

"I never knew when, but I always knew this day would come," McGwire said. "It's time for me to talk about the past and to confirm what people have suspected." He became the second major baseball star in less than a year to admit using illegal steroids, following the New York Yankees' Alex Rodriguez last February.

Others have been tainted but have denied knowingly using illegal drugs, including Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Sammy Sosa and David Ortiz.

By Alexa Steele  |  January 11, 2010; 3:23 PM ET
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Next: McGwire goes deep [UPDATED: ... but not deep enough]


Is there a statute of limitations for steroid use? I'm sure McGwire didn't make the decision to come clean without consulting his lawyers first.

Posted by: Juan-John1 | January 11, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Bud Selig was fully aware of and fully behind the steroid use of McGwire and Sosa. Selig is as disgusting a human being as has ever been associated with baseball.

Posted by: hz9604 | January 11, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Blood test reveal steroids, so McGwire "admits" steroids.

Posted by: screwjob2 | January 11, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Hopefully, none of these and the other cheats, such as Rafael Palmiero, will make it into the Hall. If Pete Rose can be banned, they absolutely should be.

Posted by: wp318676 | January 11, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

I'm shocked I tell you shocked - NOT.

I can't hit without drugs but I will teach you how to - yeah. LaRussa's decision to hire him as a hitting coach is - I can't seem to find the correct word but hypocritical will do.

Posted by: rlj1 | January 11, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

I'm shocked, just shocked...

Posted by: mus81 | January 11, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Steroids don't make you able to hit.

Posted by: CH_Three | January 11, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Breaking news, the sky is reported to be blue! It's cold in Antarctica! It's warm in the Sahara dessert!

Posted by: jabreal00 | January 11, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

a cheat is a cheat is a cheat.

throw out his records.

Posted by: vigor | January 11, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

ummmm... what is the news item here? It's fairly obvious from the physical changes over time that he was on steroids! The bigger question is how to honorably annotate the record books.

Posted by: ceshannon | January 11, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Steroids don't help you hit the ball, they'll help you hit it harder/farther.

McGwire was already a really good hitter early in his career, when he was a skinnier guy. Ask a personal trainer how easy it is to dramatically add as much bulk as he did over the course of his career without performance enhancing drugs... It doesn't happen.

I'm glad he came clean about this, and I believe he has the knowledge to be a good hitting coach, but the steroid use will taint his legacy.

Condemning Selig is tricky. The impact of steroids on professional baseball is obvious, but how popular would major league ball be today without the era of steroids and the home run races? The sport's popularity was in steep decline, and many have argued that McGwire and Sosa's home run race fueled fan interest when it was needed most.

I think a fairer and more appealing way to bring fan interest back would be a salary cap so we wouldn't see the same handful of teams in the postseason every year.

Posted by: gophercrow | January 11, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Brightest spot in Cardinal history over the last half-century...and he's a phoney.

Posted by: kase | January 11, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Am I wrong? Didnt he TESTIFY in front of CONGRESS that in fact he hadn't used steroids?
Well, there goes the Hall of Fame

Posted by: dbeins | January 11, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Gee what next? There's no Santa Claus?

Didn't he testify before congress under oath that he did not? Felony, party of one.

Posted by: PatrickNYC1 | January 11, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Who actually thought he DIDN'T use them? I'm beginning to think most modern day athletes used them at some point or continue to use them.

Posted by: michaelaudet | January 11, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Steroids don't make you able to hit.


No, but when you do make contact, the ball goes a LOT farther. Being the flyball or double king just didn't have the same panache.


Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | January 11, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Steroids don't make you able to hit.
Posted by: CH_Three | January 11, 2010 4:23 PM

That's true. But when you do hit, steroids enable you to hit FAR. A double or triple becomes a homerun, a single becomes a double, etc. His record, as is Bonds, is tainted.

He's a cheat.

Posted by: itsagreatday1 | January 11, 2010 5:08 PM | Report abuse

More than 20 years after the fact, the man finally owns up to cheating. How noble of him.

Posted by: octobertea | January 11, 2010 5:12 PM | Report abuse

no duh!

At least by admitting what every American already knew, he keeps from looking like Clemens or the proverbial kid caught in a lie that just keeps saying...."no mommy, I didnt eat those cookies"...with chocolate all over his face!!!!

Posted by: davemichelle09 | January 11, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Oh, my gosh. I don't even care, and I knew the man was using steroids. Very unfortunate, but really, there was a Congressional inquiry into *this*? Seriously, he shouldn't had to perjure himself just because it literally isn't a federal issue.

Next they'll be telling me wrestling is staged. Who knew?

At michaelaudet, I was just talking about this a few weeks ago. Who honestly thinks that human evolution has enabled these guys (in nearly every sport) to increase a third or so in size from those who went before? My grandfather was a champion athlete in the '30s and never topped 220. As an older "fat" guy he might have hit 250. Suddenly humanity has gotten to muscular 300 and more? Better nutrition? Um, yeah, my hiney.

Posted by: magentamom | January 11, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Actually, while it's true that muscle bulk primarily helps you hit the ball further, it very likely helps batting average as well.

Early in their careers, McGwire was a low-average hitter and Bonds a moderate-to-good contact guy, in addition to both of them having good - though not record-breaking - power.

After the point where both are presumed - based on apearance - to have started juicing, not only did their home run rates skyrocket, but McGwire started hitting for respectable average and Bonds started leading the league. People, in Bonds case, simply don't naturally become .370 hitters at age 37 (when most guys are losing their bat speed and reflexes).

My theory is that when you're stronger, it helps batting average in various ways. You can go the opposite way and still hit it hard in the gap as opposed to a lazy popup or dribbler. Routine ground balls become hard smash ground balls - harder to get to. And of course, warning track fly ball outs become home runs (hits).

That's just a sample of two, but I bet if you looked at this systematically you'd see steroids making a player look like a "better" hitter as well as a more powerful slugger.

One last thing to keep in mind is that these guys are just the most visible cases. It was a baseball problem, not an individual one. And the commissioner looked the other way because it was great for business. We're all complicit too; we enjoyed watching those home run races. There's blame to go around.

Posted by: B2O2 | January 11, 2010 5:26 PM | Report abuse

I'd like to know what baseball is doing about Steroid use right now... today?? Come Spring training, will all players be subject to a drug test?? Mid season?? end of the season?? If baseball was really interested in this abuse of steroids they would do more than they claim. Do we now go back to the previous homerun that the "Hero" has been outted?? In the military... at your job... if your suspected of drug abuse on the jobsite... they walk you right to the urinal for a drug test... why are these guys not subject to the same?? Baseball... like most other organized sports is a scam... and has been for years.

Posted by: BobbyYarush | January 11, 2010 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Baseball should follow track and field's lead: delete the records, return the medals of those drug cheats.

Posted by: NevadaHoya | January 11, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

No surprise here; everyone knew it for years. The only new thing we know is that now he is an admitted liar. He lied about it then and only admitted it now, after his career is long gone. Typical pro sports scumbag.

Posted by: gce1356 | January 11, 2010 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Big Mac cheated during his home run chase?!?! Say it ain't so.. In other news, the sky is blue and water remains wet..

Posted by: bigceedee | January 11, 2010 5:31 PM | Report abuse

He admitted it and said he was sorry....Thats about all he can do...I'm very happy he was man enough to say I did it and I'm sorry..

never say what you'll do...till you walk in another man's shoes

Posted by: lucygirl1 | January 11, 2010 5:31 PM | Report abuse

1) Was Steroid use illegal when McGuire seet the records?
2) If the answer to 1) is Yes then McGuire's record declared nul and void and expunged from all MLB records and award lists.

Anything less and the Sport loses its ligitimacy. Spitballs are one thing, and corked bats are poor sportsmanship but drug use is a whole different story. I know some will argue about lower danger from the newer drugs but the rules either mean something or they don't

If the leadership and unions cannot deal with this problem clearly, effectively and decently then MLB should be considered on a par with professional 'wrassling.'

Posted by: AmzgGrce | January 11, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

So he is a cheat and a liar in an age of cheats and liars. Take away all his records and outcast him.

Posted by: affirmativeactionpresident | January 11, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

I would love to take any one of you, who think that just because someone took steroids they automatically become a home run hitter and pump you full of drugs give you the best hitting coach, and the best traning methods, and see if you could even touch a ball. If it was so easy why aren't there lots of you guys out there playing in the major leagues. Remember he took the drugs after he was already in the majors. And believe me there were lots of steroids in the 70's and 80's,just in the 90's the guys had better trainers and nutrition

Posted by: peytonpaw1 | January 11, 2010 5:36 PM | Report abuse

I don't know how he can teaching hitting. Does he know that they call strikes above the waist now?

Posted by: rusty3 | January 11, 2010 5:49 PM | Report abuse

It was obvious when Bret Boone quite steroids. His uniform hung on him like it was three sizes too large. He quit baseball when he lost the ability to hit the ball. I would've thought he would still be able to hit, but maybe it was age that caught him, who knows. Steroids don't make you see the ball any better, but maybe you can react faster to it.

Posted by: blarsen1 | January 11, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

To the mental midget who was wondering about statutes of limitations, using Anabolic steroids has never been illegal. Anyone, even today, with low Testosterone levels can get a legal prescription. If anabolic steroids are so horrible, then why did the FDA, DEA and FBI vote against them becoming a controlled substance? It is because Congress is filled with morons who know nothing and wanted to just make one more thing illegal and take away the rights of the individual. This is a fact. NO ONE, yes, NO ONE has ever died from using anabolic steroids, but if the baseball players smoked or drank, no one would care.

Posted by: rschuh | January 11, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Maybe he was told by God to use steroids. I mean if Palin can be anointed by God to run on the GOP ticket, why not McGuire?

Posted by: mortified469 | January 11, 2010 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Yawn. How is this a surprise again? Anyone with a bird's brain knew McGuire was on the juice. However, many wanted to protect Big Mac with a sob story of him being a single dad and America's next great white hope. America bought it hook, line and sinker. Just as Barry Bonds was rightly vilified for his juice-induced record (the one with the asterisk), little Mac deserves the same beatdown. Oh, and let's forget Cooperstown for this cheat; the only recognition McGuire deserves is that he is a cheat and a liar.

Posted by: meldupree | January 11, 2010 6:06 PM | Report abuse

McGuire Also winner of the "Duh Awards" for finally admitting the obvious.

Posted by: washingtonpost-jim | January 11, 2010 6:13 PM | Report abuse

How many people adored the McGuire - Sosa battle? If professional sports are indeed "entertainment",then why the fuss? Virtually everyone knew who was on "juice" of one type or another. Anyone go to court to get an injunction-restraining order to stop them, in the name of purity of the game? nope...but now the "purists" emerge??? Same for other professional sports, or is it entertainment, which we pay thru-the-nose to see, so we believe we are entitled to "record-after-record" in order to satisfy our insatiable appetites and our pervasive "entitlement" attitude -- duh -- and where else is this 'entitlement attitude' appearing? There would be no professional athletes if we 'fans' did not pay for them to be. We have paid dearly for those "records", so how do we dare to *-them? Hypocrites we are (per Yoda).

Posted by: rickpost | January 11, 2010 6:24 PM | Report abuse

McGuire finally tells the truth, although there are so many athletes who should come clean to the public. Every sport (baseball, football, basketball, soccer, tennis, track & field, boxing and others that are dependent on ticket sales, corporate sponsors, television, fans support should clean-up their act. The owners and league management of these sports are afraid it would be suicide to open Pandora's Box.

The only way is for there to be an independent testing i.e... similar to the Olympics Testing Procedure which is free (hopefully) of corruption. In addition to being monitored both Nationally and Internationally. Blood and genetic testing is the only way to go. This type of testing Manny Pacquiao and Bob Arum are afraid of being caught.

All governments should mandate International testing regardles of the sport.

Posted by: danthony930 | January 11, 2010 6:32 PM | Report abuse

Almost as scandalous as McGwire's steroid use is the fact that Tom Boswell still believes that pitchers "win" games. I mean, what decade, or century is this?

I belatedly made some comments on his HOF threads if anyone wants to read my rants. :)

Nothing person to Boswell, but I'm just amazed he's still paying attention to discredited stats like wins, runs and RBI. There are much better measures of baseball performance that have been available for, really, decades now.

Posted by: B2O2 | January 11, 2010 6:35 PM | Report abuse

The record books should be stripped of his name. They are meaningless now and an insult to those he "passed."

Posted by: KarenLS | January 11, 2010 6:42 PM | Report abuse

Thank you Mark; it's about time. Aren't you glad you have this monkey off your back now? You're too good of a human to be able to walk around with this bringing you down. Yeah the HOF is now out but so what. You can now re-join the game you love and be at peace.

My guess is that if Barry hadn't broken (snicker...) your singele season HR record, you would have eventually relinquished the record back to the Babe. Good luck with the rest of your life now.

Posted by: DeweyDevil | January 11, 2010 6:42 PM | Report abuse

Everybody knew this anyway -- now it is a fact.
Well Fine -- now void his records and statistics.
This is the only meaningful thing that makes baseball what it is --
A statistically driven sport spanning generations.

Posted by: FormerNewYorkerNo9 | January 11, 2010 6:46 PM | Report abuse

Gawd, remember when Giambi showed up at NYY spring training after getting off the juice .. at first team reporters who had followed the team for a long time and knew him well .. did not recognize him.

Nasty stuff. Hope these guys don't pay twice for messing with nature.

Posted by: tslats | January 11, 2010 6:52 PM | Report abuse

it seems to me that steroids affect at least two aspects of hitting. First and most importantly the abnormal muscle development gives a hitter added bat speed and control. Second, the added bat speed translates in to more power. McGwire, Sosa, Bonds, and others were all pumped up to a very unnatural extent and all of there records are shams. How good a hitter is McGwire? Probably decent for the majors but no better than that. No way to tell how good a coach that will make him--playing informs coaching but is only a modest amount of the skill set required. LaRussa knows this.

Posted by: snakebit | January 11, 2010 7:15 PM | Report abuse

No kidding, I thought McGwire got his arms just like Dolly Parton got her .... It's all natural of course.

Posted by: merrylees | January 11, 2010 7:20 PM | Report abuse

If he really wanted to come clean, he would have said something like, "I cheated, and that Home Run Record doesn't belong to me -- it belongs to Roger Maris."

Posted by: Losercuda | January 11, 2010 7:20 PM | Report abuse

No, he did not testify to Congress that he did not use steroids; Raphael Palmerio did that.

As for "Bud Selig was fully aware of and fully behind the steroid use of McGwire and Sosa. Selig is as disgusting a human being as has ever been associated with baseball."

You can dislike Mr. Selig for a lot of things; that's your choice; but without specific evidence, Mr. Selig could not say anything definitive, and if the testing program results were known to him but were under the agreement of their not being able to be revealed, you can't blame Mr. Selig for that. If you want to place blame, blame the Players' Union and blame the players and blame the people such as the agents/spokespersons for the playersp place the blame where it deserves to be placed.

Of course it would be interesting to know why you think "Selig is as disgusting a human being as has ever been associated with baseball." Why do you think that?

Posted by: Dungarees | January 11, 2010 7:20 PM | Report abuse

What an incredible revelation at this late date! No one ever would've suspected that he did steroids. Just when you thought he was clean, he shocks the world w/ this confession.

Posted by: randysbailin | January 11, 2010 7:32 PM | Report abuse

What groundbreaking revelation comes out next? Will Richard Simmons disclose that he's gay? Will Stallone confess that he can't act?

Posted by: randysbailin | January 11, 2010 7:34 PM | Report abuse

Show me the money, that's what sport have become...

Posted by: beenthere3 | January 11, 2010 7:43 PM | Report abuse

When McGuire was having his record-setting year, I remember a friend who was in the 10th grade in high school. His parents took him to several Cardinals' games hoping he would see the record-setting home run. He thought Mark McGuire walked on water.

I have to wonder how disappointed (disillusioned) he is today. That's the trouble with cheating. It robs, not just the player, but his fans of his accomplishments too.

Posted by: tinyjab40 | January 11, 2010 7:44 PM | Report abuse

When is the NFL going to conduct serious "blimp" testing? Half the league would likely be disqualified.

Posted by: wp318676 | January 11, 2010 7:45 PM | Report abuse

Richard Simmons is gay?!?!?

Posted by: beenthere3 | January 11, 2010 7:54 PM | Report abuse

Hopefully, none of these and the other cheats, such as Rafael Palmiero, will make it into the Hall. If Pete Rose can be banned, they absolutely should be.


The hypocrisy and the ignorance of the public is purely amazing. Look at the pro football players. This guy hit 50 homerins as a rookie, before steroids. Pete Rose should be in the hall of fame. Ty Cobb and others gambled on baseball. No doubt.

You folks elected the last two POTUSs. The most highest supposedly example on earth. Number one role model to kids. One was a drunk until the age of forty and the other used illegal drugs, only as a teenager, unless you put the baseball standard to him. He told it in a book. How do we know he didn't use them a long time? How do we know he isn't using them now. Remember Bush getting choked on a pretzel and falling off the couch and hurting himself. I never could think of the good pretzel story when I fell off the couch, a chair, or the bed. Heh heh.

I think we should DEMAND they come clean. Be like baseball. You can be a drunk or drug addict and get elected POTUS but lots of silly no nos in the election to the baseball hall of fame.

Go figure.

Posted by: bnw173 | January 11, 2010 7:55 PM | Report abuse

there should be two sets of record books. one for pre roids and post roids.

seems unfair to measure old timers who kicked butt without shots and those who did it with roids.

i dont actually care if they use them, makes the game interresting as long as everyone can use them too, but records should be based on apples and apples not apples and oranges.

Posted by: infantry11b4faus | January 11, 2010 7:59 PM | Report abuse

Steroids don't make you able to hit.


Amen amen amen.

I wanted to be a pro athlete when I was in high school. They had a powder protein you mixed with milk and raw eggs. It was supposed to make you a great athlete. I drank so much of that stuff it is a wonder it didn't kill me. Didn't help a bit. I'm just glad we didn't have steroids on the early fifties.

Posted by: bnw173 | January 11, 2010 8:01 PM | Report abuse

Must be because it's past the statute of limitations that he now, finally, admits it. Will Barry be next?

Posted by: tncdel | January 11, 2010 8:03 PM | Report abuse

Here's how steroids make you a better hitter, for both average and power:

A major league hitter has only a split second to react to the pitcher's delivery. Steroids (and lots of weightlifting) make you stronger so that you can swing the bat faster. You can wait longer before beginning your swing and you have more time to read the pitch.

Plus, you can swing a heavier bat. But it's the timing that helps the most.

Posted by: exit56 | January 11, 2010 8:16 PM | Report abuse

Mickey Mantle and Babe Ruth were drunks. Had to effect their game in a negative way. Did they cheat by depriving the fans of seeing all those home runs they would have hit if they had always played sober? What is the difference.

I have been a baseball fan really longer than I can remember. The first thing I can really remember is hearing the Cardinals from Harry Carey, another drunk, on the radio. I have been a baseball and Cardinal fan all my life. But I have to say I enjoyed the 1998 baseball season more than any year in my 71 years.

I don't really care what he and Sosa took. I know how hard it is to hit that crazy moving baseball with a round bat with less hitting surface than a golf club. Hell, I have trouble hitting a golf ball sitting real still upon a small stick with a big club with approximately 4 square inches of nearly flat hitting surface, much less a moving baseball. No way steroids could help someone hit a moving baseball. Maybe a little further, but not that much. It might have helped them combat injuries. I know they will remove inflammation from any part of your body.
Hell, they prescribed me steroids for sinus infection. Worked great.

Posted by: bnw173 | January 11, 2010 8:25 PM | Report abuse

Here's how steroids make you a better hitter, for both average and power:

A major league hitter has only a split second to react to the pitcher's delivery. Steroids (and lots of weightlifting) make you stronger so that you can swing the bat faster. You can wait longer before beginning your swing and you have more time to read the pitch.

Plus, you can swing a heavier bat. But it's the timing that helps the most.


What is your source for that load of crap?

Posted by: bnw173 | January 11, 2010 8:29 PM | Report abuse

Am I wrong? Didnt he TESTIFY in front of CONGRESS that in fact he hadn't used steroids?
Well, there goes the Hall of Fame

No dumbbutt. He said he wasn't going to talk about it or the past.

You know I'm kinda glad he admitted using steroids. If he had been clean no one would have ever believed him. Think of that a minute. He has confessed and all you squeaky clean fans and all those squeaky clean sports writers can say I told you so. And like the electorate it will soon blow over. It IS really a good thing for McGwire not to be clean.

Posted by: bnw173 | January 11, 2010 8:41 PM | Report abuse

He admitted it and said he was sorry....Thats about all he can do...I'm very happy he was man enough to say I did it and I'm sorry..
Did you forget about his deceitful sppearance before Congress, which really was viewed by America on the 6 pm news?

Great player, user, not a hero. Too bad for everyone.

Not real crazy about Tony hiring McGuire. La Russa becomes a little bit tarnished with his judgement.

They play the game, we decide who our hero's and role models are. Fair enuf?

Posted by: patrick10 | January 11, 2010 8:41 PM | Report abuse

As a lifelong baseball fan, this simply infuriates me.
Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, etc.; they didn't have the opportunity to become bionic before achieving their records.
Hence, their records are fairly awarded and are true and dependable.
They earned their records with what nature gave them.
Not so, post-steroids.
It's a whole new game.
Those who use against those who don't.
The rules were clear: steriod use is illegal.
Just like gambling on games is illegal.
Until that changes, all users MUST have their records stripped away and their performance banned.
This goes for the Olympics, as well, in my opinion.
This malarky, taken in consideration of the toll this recession has taken on our teams, their seasons and the cost of producing a season, makes me despair for the future of our major sports, especially baseball.
The commissioner needs to take immediate action, as does the Baseball Hall of Fame.
(Also, I'm glad they hung in there and kept Pete Rose in his place.
Rose needs to be banned for life in order to keep gambling from polluting the game.)
Strip McGwire of the record (no astericks, please) and let a REAL athlete win that award honestly.

Posted by: Judy-in-TX | January 11, 2010 8:51 PM | Report abuse

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