Steroids continue to have a negative impact on professional sports

In any given competition there are people who look for the easy way out in order to win. In poker, players will try to count cards. In video games, people will look at their opponent’s screen. And in sports, athletes use performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs), including steroids, to get an advantage.

In sports like baseball, cycling and even football, steroids have been a major issue that the sports community have had to deal with. This even includes well respected athletes like Barry Bonds, Lance Armstrong and Alex Rodriguez all getting asterisks by their names in the record books, after testing positive for steroid use.


The United States Anti-Doping Agency started uncovering major steroid use in 2003 when they announced that they had found out that a laboratory called the Bay Area Laboratory Co-operative, had developed an (at the time) undetectable steroid. This led to a long investigation that resulted in uncovering PED use from several major athletes, including Barry Bonds and Jason Giambi.

Lance Armstrong has admitted to taking steroids throughout his career as a professional cyclist. Getty Images photo by Doug Pensinger.

This discovery led to a huge debate and discussion among sports pundits, fans and athletes, who all wanted to have their voices heard on the issue. Some said that we need to crack down harder to prevent steroid use, while others thought that we should make them legal for athletes to use, as a way of leveling the playing field.

However, due to their harm to the athletes, especially the youth, they were widely discouraged and professional sports made several attempts to eliminate the problem, including implementing suspensions, fines and bans to PED users.


Lots of athletes have since apologized or expressed regret about their actions, and many encouraged others not to follow in their footsteps, including former MLB superstars Mark McGwire, Barry Bonds and Alex Rodriguez.

Alex Rodriguez admitted to steroid use which tarnished his reputation throughout the league. Getty Images photo by Elsa.

As the sun sets on these players careers, they were each overshadowed by their use of these drugs, and their legacies will continue to be defined by their PED usage. Bonds, Rodriguez, Armstrong and all the other athletes who used steroids will never be able to remove this blemish from their records.

Two of the top five home run leaders were players who took steroids, including the number one home run hitter of all time. Seven different Tour de France titles were stripped from Lance Armstrong due to the use of illegal steroids. The top three single season home run leaders, Bonds, McGwire and Sammy Sosa, were all steroid users during their record-breaking seasons.

These records are likely to never be broken for a long time but the record books will forever be tainted by these players who cheated with steroids.

Connor McPherson can be reached at [email protected] or @theGOATMcphers1 on Twitter.