The Big Names in Baseball's Steroids Scandal
Since steroids became a full-blown scandal in Major League Baseball five years ago, some of the game's most famous players have testified before Congress, held news conferences proclaiming their innocence (or sometimes guilt) and dealt with the fallout any way they could.
Nevertheless, it came as a shock to the baseball world this week when one of its biggest stars, New York Yankees shortstop Alex Rodriguez, told ESPN's Peter Gammons that he took steroids while he was a member of the Texas Rangers in 2003. His revelation followed a Sports Illustrated story that found Rodriguez had tested positive for anabolic steroids twice that year, making note that Rodriguez told news anchor Katie Couric in a December 2007 interview that he had not taken any performance-enhancing drugs.
Rodriguez, a member of the league's most storied franchise, joins a growing list of stars linked to steroids. Here's a look at some of them:
— Seven-time Cy Young Award winner Roger Clemens was implicated in the steroid saga roughly a year ago when his name appeared 82 times in the Mitchell Report, a 400-page investigation commissioned by Major League Baseball.
Former Yankees trainer Brian McNamee told investigators that he had injected Clemens with the drug Winstrol over three seasons between 1998 and 2001.
Clemens, now 46, denied the claims and told "60 Minutes" host Mike Wallace in a January 2008 interview that his successful career based was based on "hard work," not steroids.
A month later, he appeared before Congress and testified that he had not taken steroids during his 24-year career and that he had only injected himself with the vitamin B-12 and lidocaine.
Sitting near McNamee, Clemens told lawmakers: "This man has never given me HGH or growth hormone or steroids of any kind."
The House committee has opened up an investigation into whether Clemens lied under oath.
Read about Mark McGwire, Barry Bonds and others after the jump
— Mark McGwire, the former Oakland Athletics and St. Louis Cardinals slugger, never admitted or was charged with taking steroids but his March 2005 testimony in front of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee left the impression he may, in fact, have been a user.
In that testimony, McGwire refused to answer questions about any personal steroid use, saying, "I cannot answer these questions without jeopardizing my friends, my family, and myself."
While McGwire acknowledged "there has been a problem with steroid use in baseball," he responded to questions about his own involvement by saying, "I'm not here to discuss the past," or, "I'm here to be positive about this subject."
McGwire, who broke the single-season home-run record in 1998, had previously admitted to taking a steroid-precursor, androstenedione, which is an over-the-counter muscle enhancement product that is legal in Major League Baseball.
The cloud of suspicion hanging over McGwire's testimony may end up damaging his legacy. McGwire, now 45, has twice had relatively poor showings on Hall of Fame balloting, despite being named to the league's All-Century Team in 1999.
— Four-time All-Star Rafael Palmeiro, who played mostly with the Texas Rangers and Baltimore Orioles over his 20-year career, was one of the players identified as a steroid user by José Canseco, in his 2005 tell-all book, "Juiced: Wild Times, Rampant 'Roids, Smash Hits & How Baseball Got Big."
In March 2005, the Cuban-born first baseman testified to Congress (video) that he had "never used steroids, period."
But roughly five months later, he was suspended for 10 days after testing positive for the steroid stanozolol. He released a statement saying that he had "made a mistake" and later told an arbitration panel that a tainted B-12 vitamin supplement from teammate Miguel Tejada may have been the cause.
Palmeiro, now 44, has not been charged with perjury (although he has not been cleared). He was named in the Mitchell Report, although it offered little new evidence against him.
— Barry Bonds, the San Francisco Giants' home run king, remains for many the face of baseball's steroids controversy, ever since 2003 when he was swept up in the Bay Area Laboratory Cooperative (BALCO) scandal.
It started in 2000 when Bonds' former trainer, Greg Anderson, was indicted by federal authorities for supplying anabolic steroids to athletes. In December 2003, during grand-jury testimony, Bonds said he used a "clear substance" and a "cream" from Anderson, who allegedly told him it was flaxseed oil and a balm.
In 2006, two San Francisco Chronicle reporters, Lance Williams and Mark Fainaru-Wada, published, "Game of Shadows," a book that alleged that Bonds used stanozolol and other steroids (chat with the authors).
The owner of the all-time home run record and a seven-time Most Valuable Player, the 44-year-old Bonds is currently a free agent.
— Ex-New York Yankees slugger Jason Giambi is one of the few players to publicly acknowledge steroid use.
The former American League Most Valuable Player told a grand jury in 2003 that he had used steroids provided by Anderson, the trainer at the heart of the BALCO scandal, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. The Chronicle reported Giambi's comments in December 2004 and Giambi held a 45-minute press conference in February 2005 to admit "mistakes" (although he was rather vague about what mistakes he actually made).
In the Mitchell report, Giambi admitted using Deca-Durabolin on a weekly basis during the 2001 and 2002 seasons. He was the only active player to speak to Mitchell. Giambi, now 38, re-signed with his old team, the Oakland Athletics, last month after being let go by the Yankees in November.
By Derek Kravitz |
February 10, 2009; 6:26 PM ET
Previous: Work Suspended at Ivins' Anthrax Lab | Next: Banks on Offense Before House Hearing, FBI Probes Firms' Murtha Ties, Agent: Stevens Evidence Concealed
Please email us to report offensive comments.