MLB Players Who Definitely Took Steroids
MLB Players Who Definitely Took Steroids
Major League Baseball’s steroid era started in the mid-1990s and went until the Mitchell Report was released in December of 2007. During that time, baseball was revived after the game was nearly killed by the player’s strike of 1994. The revival came due to the large amount of home runs that were hit which hit its peak between the years of 1998 and 2001.
With Donald Fehr leading the Major League Baseball Players Association the sport had the worst testing policy in the world. Under the policy players were warned in advance when they would be tested giving them enough time to clear the drugs out of their system prior to the test. That created an epidemic of performance enhancing drugs in the game.
Since 2007 many players have been accused of using steroids. Some have been found guilty and punished for their discretions. Others simply live under a cloud of suspicion. In some cases they were never proven to have taken steroids though everyone knows that they did. This slideshow will look at Major League Baseball players who definitely took steroids. Some of the players were caught and suspended, some of the players admitted use following their retirement, and some it’s just widely known of their use.
In 1992 an FBI investigation found a steroid dealer named Curtis Wenzlaff. Wenzlaff helped train several athletes including Oakland A’s slugger Mark McGwire. Going through Wenzlaff’s notes, investigators found that he had put McGwire on a mixture of steroids including Winstrol V, testosterone, and Equipoise. In Jose Canseco’s 2005 book Jucied, he claimed to have injected McGwire when they played together in Oakland. After originally being ostracized by the public, later the book turned out to be true giving credence to Canseco’s claim.
The New York Times reported that Sammy Sosa was one of 104 players that tested positive for performance enhancing drugs during Major League Baseball’s 2003 survey test. While the drug he tested positive for was not released, it is highly likely that it was a steroid. Sosa famously went from hitting 8 home runs in 1992 to hitting 33 home runs in 1993. There was also a major difference in Sosa’s physical makeup following that offseason.
Testifying before a grand jury about the Bay Area Laboratory Co-operative (BALCO), Bonds admitted to using two undetectable steroids inadvertently given to him by BALCO. He claimed that he thought The Cream, which is used to hide steroid use, was arthritis balm and the THG was flaxseed oil. The substances were given to him by trainer Greg Anderson.
Palmeiro came before congress to testify about the use of steroids in baseball along with other stars. During the hearings Palmeiro vehemently denied that he used them saying “I have never intentionally used steroids. Never. Ever. Period.” In August of 2005, just months after the hearings, Palmeiro tested positive for Stanzolol, an anabolic steroid and was promptly suspended.
In May of 2002, Ken Caminiti became to first Major League Baseball star to admit steroid use. In an interview with Sports Illustrated’s Tom Verducci, he said he began using in 1996 while he was attempting to recover from a shoulder injury. That year he would win the National League Most Valuable Player Award. In the interview he estimated that 50% of current players used performance enhancing drugs.
Jason Giambi was called to testify before a grand jury in 2003 where he admitted using undetectable steroids from BALCO which were provided by trainer Greg Anderson. Some of the steroids he admitted using were The Clear, The Cream, Deca-Durabolin, and injectable testosterone. He told the grand jury that he had gone to Anderson because of Barry Bonds success after using the trainer. That’s what implicated Bonds in the case.
The most controversial player of the steroid era was Jose Canseco. In February of 2005, Canseco released an auto-biography called Juiced where broke the seal on the steroid era. He claimed in the book to have been using steroids for many years and to have injected several star players including Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmeiro, Juan Gonzalez, Ivan Rodriguez, and Jason Giambi. Most ignored the claims originally but months later it turned out that most of the book as proven true.
In 2001 Canadian police questioned Juan Gonzalez’s trainer Angel Presinal when he picked up an unmarked bag which contained anabolic steroids and Clenbuterol. The trainer told police the bag belonged to Gonzalez who at that time was playing for the Cleveland Indians. When Jose Canseco released the book Juiced in 2005, he claimed to have taught Gonzalez about using steroids while they were teammates in Texas along with Rafael Palmeiro and Ivan Rodriguez. He also claimed to have injected his teammates with steroids during that time.
Larry Bigbie was found to be a customer of convicted steroid dealer Kirk Radomski. The former Major Leauge player cooperated with the Mitchell Report investigation after he called Radomski for drugs while the government monitored his phone. Bigbie admitted to using a wide variety of performance enhancing drugs which includes anabolic steroids.
GARY MATTHEWS JR.
Gary Matthews Jr., the son of a Major Leaguer, had his name come up in 2007 as a customer of Applied Pharmacy Services in Mobile, Alabama. The company was busted for selling both steroids and human growth hormone over the internet. In February of that year Matthews was revealed to have used the associated with the company in an article by the Albany Times Union.
In 2009 Jose Canseco came out with another book called Vindicated. In the book he claims to have introduced Alex Rodriguez to a steroid dealer/trainer. Canseco said that he didn’t reveal Rodriguez in Juiced because people knew he didn’t like Rodriguez and would’ve questioned his motives. But with the truth that was later found out of the first book, what Canseco puts in these books can now be taken as truth.
Testifying before a grand jury in the BALCO case, Sheffield admitted to using undetectable steroids. Sheffield testified that he received The Clear, The Cream, and Andriol directly from Barry Bonds rather than his trainer Greg Anderson.
In Jose Canseco’s follow-up book, Vindicated, he reveals that he injected Magglio Ordonez with steroids. He also claims that he offered Ordonez an opportunity to be left out of the book if he invested in a documentary about Canseco’s first book, Juiced. The plot to get Ordonez to invest was revealed in a New York Times article printed in January of 2008.
In an IRS affidavit, Jason Grimsley admitted to using steroids during his 15 year career but claimed to have stopped in 2004 when Major League Baseball instituted their new drug testing policy. After that he said he just used human growth hormone. Grimsley also gave names of other players that he knew used steroids though those names were later redacted.
In 2003 Armando Rios testified before the BALCO grand jury. In the testimony it was revealed that Rios admitted using BALCO drugs provided by Greg Anderson. The drugs included The Clear, The Cream, and injectable testosterone. The testimony was reported by the San Francisco Chronicle in 2004 and used in the book Game of Shadows in 2005.
While Jason Giambi was one of the most known users of steroids, his younger brother Jeremy used them as well. The younger Giambi testified before the BALCO grand jury in 2003 that he obtained The Clear, The Cream, Deca-Durabolin, and injectable testosterone from Greg Anderson. Jeremy’s testimony about Anderson mirrored that of his brother and was leaked by the San Francisco Chronicle in 2004.
In 2003 Benito Santiago testified to the BALCO grand jury that he was given and used undetectable BALCO drugs given to him by Greg Anderson. The drugs he used included The Clear, The Cream, Winstrol, and injectable testosterone. His testimony was brought to the public in December of 2004 by the San Francisco Chronicle and again in 2005 in the book Game of Shadows.
In 2009 pitcher JC Romero tested positive for the steroid Androstenedione. After the failed test, Romero stated, “I still cannot see where I did something wrong. There is nothing I should take away from the rings of my teammates. I didn’t cheat. I tried to follow the rules.” But his test says otherwise. He was suspended for 50 games for the incident.
Though he claims that he didn’t use them, Glenallen Hill bought the anabolic steroid Sustanon from convicted steroid dealer Kirk Radomski around 2001. This happened after Radomski sent Hill a “sample bottle” of a human growth hormone free of charge earlier that year. Radomski claims that Hill later referred Mo Vaughn to him.
In an interview with ESPN baseball writer Buster Olney, Wally Joyner admitted that he used steroids in 1997. He described to Olney how he asked Ken Caminiti, a close friend, how he could obtain the drugs. Caminiti gave Joyner the phone number of a steroid dealer. Joyner then received pills through the mail from the dealer via Caminiti. Joyner claimed he only took three pills before deciding to stop.
The earliest account of steroid use comes from Tom House who pitched in the Major Leagues from 1971 to 1978. In a telephone interview with the San Francisco Chronicle in 2005, House admitted to using steroids for a couple of years during his career and estimated that six or seven pitchers from each team were experimenting with steroids throughout the 1970s.
Lenny Dykstra’s former business partner, Lindsay Jones, sued Dykstra over ownership of a car wash. Jones claimed in the suit that Dykstra used steroids and gambled on Major League games during his career. In the suit, a bodybuilder and convicted steroid dealer, Jeff Scott, said he injected Dykstra with steroids “more times than I can count”.
In his auto-biography, Juiced, Jose Canseco claims that he educated catcher Ivan Rodriguez about steroids along with other teammates Rafael Palmeiro and Juan Gonzalez. He claims that he later acquired steroids for his teammates and personally injected them “many times”. Canseco claims in the book that all three used a combination of human growth hormone and the steroids Deca-Durabolin and Winstrol.
Todd Greene told investigators that during a “critical point” of his career he was worried that he wouldn’t be able to provide for his family. So to remedy that problem, he used steroid prescribed to him by Dr. Ramon Scruggs. The revelation came to light in a New York Times article in 2009.
In 2005 Matt Lawton tested positive for an anabolic steroid called Boldenone Undecylenate. Following the positive result Lawton said, “I made a terrible and foolish mistake that I will regret for the rest of my life. I take full responsibility for my actions and did not appeal my suspension.”
In 2006 New York Mets reliever Guillermo Mota tested positive for performance enhancing drugs and was subsequently suspended for 50 games. Six years later in 2012 Mota, now playing with the San Francisco Giants, tested positive for steroids a second time. As his second positive test he was suspended 100 games.
In 2007 it was revealed that between May of 2003 and June of 2004 pitcher Scott Schoeneweis received anabolic steroids from Signature Pharmacy through New Health Center in California. The anabolic steroids used were Stanozolol and testosterone. Both substances were banned by Major League Baseball at the time. Even though he denied the use, the revelation came to light in a Sports Illustrated article.
Miguel Tejada’s name first came into the steroid picture following Rafael Palmeiro’s positive testing. Palmeiro claimed that his positive test for Stanozolol may have been caused by a tainted B12 shot that he got from Tejada. In Jose Canseco’s book, Juiced, he claims that he educated Tejada about the benefits of using steroids. Later in the Mitchell Report, Adam Piatt says that he purchased human growth hormone and testosterone for Tejada in 2003. Those three together show that Tejada used steroids throughout his career.
Between 2002 and 2005 infielder Matt Williams received over $16,000 worth of anabolic steroids and human growth hormone as well as other drugs from Palm Beach Rejuvenation Center. The anabolic steroids he used were Nandrolone and testosterone Cypionate. The revelation of Williams’ use came to light in a 2007 article in the San Francisco Chronicle.