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 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).
Not only can steroids be dangerous to the human body, but the injection of steroids is just as dangerous. The most commonly way players get injected are through needles. Steroids need to be taken two or three times a week, that's why injecting steroids is so important because it happens so frequently. There are three major areas where steroids are injected; the butt, the shoulder, and the thigh. These three parts are the safest parts of the body to inject steroids because they offer a large area where the needle can be injected safely Injecting steroids the wrong way can cause major health problems. The most notable diseases are HIV and Aids. Athletes can get these diseases by either sharing needles or not cleaning the needle properly (Steroid).
Steroids pose an unfair advantage for players that use them. They help athletes get stronger, run faster, and pitch stronger. A well known athlete Evander Holyfield said "Well, when I think of steroids I think of an image. You have the advantage over someone, which is a form of cheating. I guess it wouldn't be right unless it was legal for everybody. Reason it's not legal for everybody is because it can hurt people seriously (Brainy Quote)." With steroids, players have broken records that people thought would never be broken. Barry Bonds broke the home run record for most home runs in a season. Baseball columnists say "that the record should not count because Bonds broke it using steroids". As a young kid growing up playing baseball, I used to look up to Barry Bonds. I got his jersey, collected all his baseball cards, and tried to watch all his games. Ever since steroids popped up surrounding him, I don't like him anymore. I can not look up to someone that uses steroids. I also can not look up to someone who in my opinion cheated to get here he is at. He has lost a lot of fans because of the steroids case surrounding him. I have lost a ton of respect for Bonds as a player and as a man. Another baseball player that has used steroids to his advantage was Ken Caminiti. He has stated that he won the 1996 NL MVP Award while on steroids (Wikipedia). I don't think that Ken's MVP Award should be taken away because he accomplished the award before any one new that baseball players were using steroids. Professional baseball players that use steroids are bad role models towards young kids playing baseball. It tells kids that it is alright to use steroids to enhance your performance or cheat. When young kids use steroids, it destroys their bodies a lot quicker than it would a grown man. It destroys their bodies in such ways that can destroy their athletic careers for ever. Steroid problems can result when they create imbalances in the body. In young kids steroids build muscle mass so quickly, the rest of the body cannot adjust quickly enough. You get a tremendous increase in muscle mass, but the connective tissue does not catch up. The tendons and ligaments are not strong enough, causing such injuries as ligament tears. Knees are a common victim of overdeveloped muscles. Knee injuries may include a fracture of the femur, the bone connecting the hip to the knee. If the fracture affects the epiphyseal plate, the site where new bone actually grows, the body will grow a bony bridge across the plate, stunting growth in that leg. The other leg will continue growing, causing unequal leg length as the child matures. Although other steroid-induced joint injuries may heal better than this, joints are never quite the same again (Brandser). As a fan of the game, I think players using steroids take away from the integrity of the game. It is not the way baseball should be played. Ryan Sandberg, a Hall Of Fame baseball player agrees with me when he said "We do have a problem in baseball, and using steroids is not respecting the game (Brainy Quote)."
Steroids have made a big impact on the game of baseball. Nowadays, several baseball players have been using steroids to enhance their muscles and their performance. Greats like Ted Williams, Babe Ruth, and Lou Gherig didn't need enhancement drugs to break records. They were great without the needles whereas today, steroids seem to be almost a necessity for some players. The use of steroids is giving Major League Baseball a bad name. Broken records in the past fifteen years can be blamed on steroids. As a result of steroid use, the sports pace has changed greatly. More homeruns have been hit and more records have been broken. Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, and Sammy Sosa are three of the players involved in one of the most celebrated record chases: the single season home run champ. There's no coincidence that all three players are under review for steroid use. Another reason why players tend to use steroids is because they will produce better statistics which in the long run will get them higher salaries. The players I mentioned in the beginning of the paragraph; Ted Williams, Babe Ruth, and Lou Gherig played the game with respect. They are proof that an athlete can be in the Hall Of Fame with out using steroids. They are the players that gave the game integrity and now the players that are using steroids are taken it away. The players that don't use steroids are the players that young kids should look up to, not the ones that use steroids. As a big fan of baseball, I love to see players succeed with out having to use steroids. Stadiums are losing money because less and less fans are coming to watch the games at the ball parks. They rather stay at home and watch steroid athletes play than waste money to go watch them play.
Steroids have been around in sports for a long time. It wasn't until 2004 that steroids have become such a big problem. Steroids are killing the integrity of the game. A lot of the big time players in Major League Baseball that own records have been able to achieve those records because of the use of steroids, and that's not right. There have been a lot of athletes that kids look up to that have accomplished their goals by not using steroids. Those are the athletes that we should be hearing about in the news, not the ones that cheat. Steroids give an unfair advantage to the people who use them. It makes them run faster, jump higher, and pitch faster. The most important thing about using steroids is the fact that it destroys your body. Not only are steroids dangerous but the injection of steroids is just as dangerous. As the saying goes "cheaters never win," and with the new restrictions they won't.