In light of the news that Major League Baseball will suspend New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez for the 2014-2015 season due to his involvement in the Biogenesis performance-enhancing drugs scandal, it’s clear the league cannot control doping in the sport, even with harsh penalties against its players.
This problem has highlighted the dishonesty of athletes who want to have an upper hand on their competitors and cheat the game for better statistics and bigger contracts. There’s been a tough debate about how these cases should be handled. For now, the MLB is hitting its players where it hurts: with long suspensions, which also affect them financially.
A-Rod isn’t the first person to be the focus of this type of media storm. There have been many PED controversies in recent years, but these five high-profile players linked to the scandals have given some much-needed attention to the issue. The following list is not ranked in any way.
1. Barry Bonds
Former San Francisco Giants slugger Barry Bonds was riding high after he broke two previously unbeatable MLB records: most career home runs (762) and most home runs in a single season (73). But when his personal strength trainer from BALCO (Bay Area Laboratory Co-operative) was indicted by a federal grand jury for supplying steroids to several baseball players, Bonds was forced to testify during the investigation in 2003.
After he repeatedly denied knowing that he took illegal supplements, prosecutors indicted him in 2007 with obstruction of justice and making false statements. Bonds was convicted in 2011 on the obstruction charge, which was upheld in 2013. As a result, he was sentenced to 30 days of house arrest and two years of probation. Meanwhile, Bonds did not get elected to the MLB Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility.