Famous baseball players on steroids have tarnished America's favorite pastime. The generation of baseball players that played in the 1980s through the early 2000s will forever have a blotch on their records because of the rampant steroid use throughout the league. Even those that never took steroids are grouped in with a set of players that changed what it meant to hit 50 home runs in a season or 500 home runs in a career. Below are the five most significant steroid users to play baseball.
- Barry Bonds The most infamous steroid incident features the all-time and single season record holder for home runs. Barry Bonds hit career home runs and 73 in one season. Bonds gave testimony to a grand jury in a case dealing with steroid supplier BALCO that he had used steroids in the past, and the testimony was leaked. Since 2008, he has been under investigation and was charged with counts of perjury and obstruction of justice in regards to the BALCO case.
- Mark McGwire In 1998, McGwire broke the long standing single-season home run record set by Roger Maris in 1961 by hitting 70 home runs. His achievement came before the steroid scandal broke, but there were thoughts of wrongdoing on McGwire's part when he was found with androstenedione, a performance enhancing drug that was not yet illegal in baseball. McGwire later testified before Congress in 2005, but refused to discuss any of the allegations that he used steroids. In early 2010, McGwire finally admitted to steroid use throughout his career, including during the record breaking season.
- Sammy Sosa Sosa was the other player in the now tainted 1998 home run chase. He ended that season with 66 home runs, also passing Roger Maris' mark. Sosa also testified at the Congressional hearing in 2005, and refused to admit to any steroid use. For years, there was never any conclusive proof that Sosa took steroids because there were no positive tests. In 2009 though, the New York Times reported that Sosa had indeed tested positive for steroids in 2003. Just weeks before, Sosa gave an interview where he said he would patiently wait for his election into the Hall of Fame.
- Alex Rodriguez For most of his career, many thought that Alex Rodriguez was one of the special players who was great and didn't need to take steroids. In 2009, Sports Illustrated reported that Rodriguez tested positive for steroids in 2003. Rodriguez admitted to taking steroids then, but said he hadn't since.
- Rafael Palmeiro Palmeiro is one of the few players to have reached the 3000-hit and 500-home run mark for a career. He was named in Jose Canseco's book Juiced as a steroid user, but denied in outright under oath in the 2005 Congressional hearing. Later that year, in August, just after joining the 3000-hit club, he was suspended for steroid use.