Barry Bonds Steroid Use by Mike Westerdal of CriticalBench.com
The use of steroids as a means to increase muscle mass, improve endurance, and improve overall athletic performance is not new in the world of professional sports. However, this practice is being more rampant in professional sports, especially in professional baseball. Baseball players feel pressured to have enough strength to be powerful hitters and have enough endurance to run the bases and play the field. Legislators and law enforcement officials are trying to crack down on illegal steroid use among professional baseball players, but are having a difficult time. One of the well-publicized cases of steroid use in the professional baseball world is that of Barry Bonds.
Barry Bonds has had a distinguished professional baseball career with several major league teams. He has been intent on breaking the record number of home runs set by Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron, and has been closing in on the record for some time. His rise to the top and the pursuit of this record have been tainted by allegations that he abused steroids in order to gain muscle mass and become a more powerful hitter. Bonds denies these allegations, despite testing that shows he may have used a steroid substance. Bonds' faster recovery from injuries has also sparked suspicions of steroid use since the use of steroids can promote faster repair of injured tissues.
When Bonds took the test that showed he may have used steroids, he attempted to place the blame on his professional trainer, stating that the trainer gave him a "clear substance." Some experts contend that this could not have happened without Bonds' knowledge due to the side effects he would have experienced from using the steroids. Minor effects might have included dizziness, acne, and the growth of extra body hair. Major effects that could have occurred with the use of steroids include nausea, vomiting, jaundice, anger, irritability, paranoia, and other mental and physical side effects. By saying that his trainer is responsible for providing him with steroids, Bonds is trying to remove the responsibility for the steroid use from him and put it on another person.
Bonds is not the only professional baseball player that has admitted steroid use or has failed steroid testing. Jason Giambi of the New York Yankees has admitted using steroids as well as Mark McGwire, who holds the single season record for home runs. Major League Baseball has continued to thwart investigators' efforts to test players and hold hearings on steroid use in the professional baseball league. While the players may suffer legal consequences and medical side effects from steroid use, it is ultimately the fans who will pay the highest price. Baseball has always been considered a spectator sport where you should enjoy the powerful hits and unusual plays made by the players. If professional baseball is so tainted by this steroid scandal, fans will have to wonder if any of the players are actually talented or if their performance is enhanced due to the use of illegal steroids. This question of talent may make fans turn to another sport or lose faith in professional sports all together.