PEDs in Baseball

Joseph Sturtz, Editor-in-Chief

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Performance enhancing drugs, come to have become known as PEDs, have been a long-debated topic in the world of professional sports; particularly in the field of baseball.

The earliest known case of “doping” in baseball dates back as far as 1889 to the pitcher Pud Galvin, who himself admitted to using a particular testosterone supplement. Performance enhancing drugs were not widely addressed as an issue until 1991, when the commissioner sent an email to every team enforcing the fact that PEDs were against the rules of baseball, though there were no official rules in place to reinforce this.

The rather nonchalant attitude towards these drugs remained the same until something called the BALCO scandal, in which many high profile players were found to have been using steroids, and the MLB was forced to officially make rules addressing the ongoing problem. This scandal included many professional baseball players using drugs provided  by the company BALCO, which then had to face legal repercussions and included many trials with the players who were involved with the controversy.

This affair included the extremely well known player Barry Bonds, who, in his time as a player, received seven NL MVP awards and 14 All-Star selections. Bonds remains the face of the issue of doping in baseball, even though his career ended in 2007. Bonds’ case, however, added to the league’s decision to more heavily enforce their anti-drug ruling from 2005 onwards. They began to implement a suspension whenever players were to be found doping.

Recently a trend of masking agents, or something used to impede on the league’s ability to test for steroids or other performance enhancing drugs, has appeared. Though many players were thought to have had some contact with such drugs, these masking agents have prevented the league of fully being able to identify who in the league is actually violating these rules.

Within the past two years, however, one particular masking agent that was particularly popular among those who use PEDs was exposed to the league, and because of this the league has recently, more than ever, been able to identify those who are indeed taking these drugs. In 2016 alone seven players have already been shown to have taken substances that violate league rules, and have therefore been suspended.

The league has also issued a statement saying that more suspensions are to follow immediately, and fans of the sport patiently await the release of the list, hoping that their favorite players are not identified among those perpetrators.

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