Athletes Whose PED Denials Were Untrue

Joe GiglioContributor IJuly 23, 2013

Athletes Whose PED Denials Were Untrue

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    Deny, deny, deny.

    When in doubt, professional athletes have lied about steroid and performance-enhancing drug allegations. As the years pass and new information comes to light, those denials become infamous. 

    Perhaps if the world of news and media resembled the past, quotes wouldn't be as accessible and video evidence wouldn't filter the Internet for sports fans to remember with the ease of a click.

    While it's difficult to know if the greats of yesterday broke rules or would have if given the opportunity, their era wasn't as easy to document for the future. In today's sporting landscape, those days are gone. Take, for example, the recently suspended Ryan Braun, and his now, constantly-on-replay public denial of using banned substances.

    Here are the top denials by athletes who have been busted, suspended or have admitted to using PEDs. 

Ryan Braun

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    The truth shall set you free!

    In the case of Ryan Braun, his speech prior to the 2012 season was brazen, embarrassing for the sport of baseball and set the stage for the grudge match against Bud Selig when the Biogenesis news broke last winter.

    While others on this list took a passive-aggressive approach to denying allegations, Braun was hard-hitting and straightforward.

    Because he confronted the issue so directly, his involvement and eventual 2013 suspension look worse by comparison.

    At this point in his illustrious career, Braun hasn't yet, technically, failed a drug test. However, as detailed by ESPN.com, his admission that he's "made some mistakes" means his smug denial of using performance-enhancing drugs will live in infamy throughout his playing days and long after.

Alex Rodriguez

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    Alex Rodriguez didn't just lie to Katie Couric during a 60 Minutes interview in 2007. He portrayed himself as a player too talented, too far ahead of his peers and, frankly, above the idea of needing any help to achieve success on a baseball field.

    "You never felt like, 'This guy's doing it, maybe I should look into this, too? He's getting better numbers, playing better ball,'" Couric asked.

    "I've never felt overmatched on the baseball field," he replied. "I've always been in a very strong, dominant position. And I felt that if I did my work as I've done since I was a rookie back in Seattle, I didn't have a problem competing at any level. So, no."

    At the time, A-Rod was unmatched in the American League, chasing only Albert Pujols for title of best player alive. If he was clean, his attitude made sense.

    Of course, just a two years later, Alex admitted to Peter Gammons that he was a user when arriving in Texas for the 2001 season.

    As the Biogenesis story unfolds, it's likely that he'll be outed as a user beyond the Texas days.

Lance Armstrong

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    From a symbol of perseverance and strength to a lying, cheating and disingenuous athlete, Lance Armstrong's strong, persistent and demeaning nature of denying doping over the course of a long, decorated cycling career may be the most famous denial in sports history.

    As the years go on, Armstrong should be remembered as someone who brought about awareness and compassion for cancer donation and research, but it likely won't overshadow his pariah status in the eyes of fans.

    Recently, Armstrong admitted, in an interview with the Des Moines Register, that his doping is still a "polarizing topic" for many.

    If Armstrong admitted his transgressions without the laundry list of denials, he would have become a villain, but ultimately, he could have persevered back into the spotlight.

    Due to his attitude, the 'polarizing topic' will last a long, long time.

Rafael Palmeiro

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    If Ryan Braun took lessons on how to be remembered for a lie, "Rafael Palmeiro Congress Segment" might have been bookmarked on his computer.

    During the infamous Congress session, Palmeiro took a different approach than his peers: anger and frustration.

    Not with the state of the sport, but toward the mere notion that he could or would ever ingest performance-enhancing drugs on his way to the illustrious 3,000-hit, 500-homer club. 

    Of course, during the 2005 season, just five months after uttering the words, "I have never used steroids. Period," during the session, Palmeiro flunked a Major League Baseball drug test.

    In the aftermath of his 10-game suspension, Palmeiro admitted to the usage but suggested that it was an accident.

Marion Jones

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    Olympic track star Marion Jones said she passed 160 tests, both before and after competition, and never took banned performance-enhancing drugs. 

    Soon after, she was sentenced to six months in prison, two years of probation and community service for lying to federal prosecutors about her use of performance-enhancing drugs. 

    Famously, Jones admitted to using flaxseed oil during her training regimen. That denial was similar to the blissful ignorance shown by Barry Bonds (flaxseed) and Alex Rodriguez ("Boli") during their denials.

    As fans have learned over the years, world-class athletes keep explicit detail over everything they put in their respective bodies.

    The idea of ignorance with supplements is, and always will be, one of the most hilarious memories of the PED era in major sports.