Mark McGwire Admits To Steroid Use

Jan 12 10

Mark McGwire Admits To Steroid Use

Paul Weinstein

First published: 11th of January 2010 for Technorati

Mark McGwire today released a statement to The Associated Press that he did in fact use steroids during his 15 year professional playing career in baseball, including his single-season home run record 1998 season.

Heavy speculation that McGwire used steroids or human growth hormone has followed him almost since that very same record breaking season.

McGwire and fellow former Oakland Athletics team member Jose Canseco, along with New York Yankess’s Alex Rodriguez and Andy Pettitte have publicly admitted to using steroids during their recent playing careers. With many other suspected players including Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Sammy Sosa and David Ortiz being implicated in the past, baseball been forced to toughen its drug program twice in the past five years. Prior to the 2004 season, baseball had no mandatory testing program for active players.

“Baseball is really different now — it’s been cleaned up,” McGwire said. “The commissioner and the players’ association implemented testing and they cracked down, and I’m glad they did.”

McGwire’s statement comes on the heels of his appointment as a hitting coach for his former team, “Now that I have become the hitting coach for the St. Louis Cardinals, I have the chance to do something that I wish I was able to do five years ago.”

But, with his public admission to using steroids, McGwire refocuses the open question in baseball, what to do about the players, known and suspected and their playing records?

Should players such as McGwire be eligible for the Baseball Hall of Fame? Or even be allowed to work in baseball at all?

Since baseball has not outright banned players who have tested positive for or have admitted to using steroids McGwire is indeed still eligible to work in baseball as well as be included in the Hall of Fame.

In fact McGwire recently received 23.7% of the vote among baseball writers for inclusion into the Hall in 2010. While that vote total is well shy of the 75% needed for induction, McGwire obviously has some people pulling for him, including St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright, “they [McGwire and Sosa] did more than just hit home runs, they brought fans back, they brought baseball back,” Wainwright said, “There’s people in the Hall of Fame who have done much worse.”

While it remains to be seen if McGwire or any other “steroid-era” player will make it into the Hall of fame, the fact that McGwire has admitted to and now has a chance to watch out for the use of steroids will be closely watched over the coming season.

Hall of Fame or not, changes are fans of baseball will take recent assertion to heart. When asked if he felt that players of this era should have an asterisk by there name if voted into the Hall, Hank Aaron, a Hall of Famer himself, replied “If they’re guilty that’s what you should do,” Aaron said. “If they’re guilty they should come in with that because that, from what we gather, is part of why the record is where it is.”