Steroids should be banned from the game of baseball. The integrity of baseball is diminishing because of the over use of steroids by big time players. Anabolic steroids are a synthetic version of the male hormone testosterone. Testosterone in its normal state promotes and boosts muscle development and growth. When it is supplemented with steroids, you have an increase of muscle mass, reduction of body fat, and enhanced endurance. Steroids can be injected into an athlete’s body in three ways; the butt, the shoulder, and the thigh. Jose Canseco stated in his book Juiced that over “85% of baseball players use steroids” (136). Steroids have caused a lot of health consequences to baseball players who have used them over a long period of time. Baseball has attempted to toughen its drug policy by a plan of having random testing during the season.
On March 17, 2005, there was a congressional hearing about BALCO. BALCO is located in California. BALCO is a nutrition center that has been known to distribute steroids to such players’ as Barry Bonds, Jose Canseco, and Jason Giambi. There were five players summoned to testify in front of Congress; Rafael Palmeiro, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Jose Canseco, and Curt Schilling. During this period, Bond’s trainer, Greg Anderson and BALCO head Victor Conte, were not subpoenaed in California by the House Committee for investigation. I believe that Greg Anderson and Victor Conte should have been subpoenaed, because they had such a big role in the involvement anadrol of steroids in baseball. After the hearing was over congress pressured baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association to begin applying stricter regulations and to have a zero tolerance policy in correspondence to performance enhancing drugs (Wikipedia). To illustrate the lesser penalties, in 2004, the policy consisted of; first positive test resulted in a suspension of ten games, a second positive test resulted in a suspension of thirty games, the third positive test resulted in a suspension of sixty games, the fourth positive test resulted in a suspension of one full year, and a fifth positive test resulted in a penalty at the commissioner’s discretion. Players were tested at least once per year, with the chance that several players could be tested many times per year. In 2005 the penalties were toughened; a first positive test would result in a fifty game suspension, a second positive test would result in a hundred game suspension, and a third positive test would result in a lifetime suspension from MLB (Bodley 1).
Anabolic Steroids have major scientific side effects on the body; the negative effects that steroids have on the body should be the main the reason why baseball bans players from using them. Here are all the health issues that a player will have to deal with sometime or another during and after the use of steroids. There are strong indications that tumors of the liver are caused when the anabolic steroids contain a 17-alpha-alkyl group. Also anabolic steroids may lead to hepatic carcinoma. A well known side effect of AS in males is breast formation (gynecomastia). Gynecomastia is caused by increased levels of circulating estrogens, which are typical female sex hormones. Most of the investigations have been focused on risk factors for cardiovascular diseases, and in particular the effect of anabolic steroids on blood pressure and on plasma lipoproteins. Anabolic steroid users may become dependent on the drug, with symptoms of withdrawal after cessation of drug use. The withdrawal symptoms consist of aggressive and violent behavior, mental depression with suicidal behavior, mood changes, and in some cases acute psychosis. Steroids also have some side effects that aren’t as bad. They are premature balding or hair loss, dizziness, mood swings, including anger, aggression, and depression, believing things that aren’t true (delusion), extreme feelings of mistrust or fear (paranoia), problems sleeping, nausea and vomiting, trembling, high blood pressure that can damage the heart or blood vessels over time, aching joints, greater chance of injuring muscles and tendons, jaundice or yellowing of the skin; liver damage, urinary problems, shortening of final adult height, and increased risk of developing heart disease, stroke, and some types of cancer (downshen).