In 2003, Major League Baseball players voluntarily submitted to a steroids test. They were told that this was strictly anonymous testing, it will remain confidential, and it was pure research to find out how bad the problem really was in the league.
In 2007, one by one, names started to trickle out as to who tested positive on those "anonymous" tests. In total there are a suspected 104 players who have violated the drug testing policies.
First it was Barry Bonds, then Roger Clemens.
Speculation hit towards Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa for their record breaking home run season in 1998, both surpassing Roger Maris' 61 mark set in 1961. McGwire hit 70 and Sosa launched 66.
The next name to pop up was Alex Rodriguez after he clearly denied using any performance enhancing drugs on a 60 Minutes interview with Katie Couric in December of 2007.
That denial ended abruptly when the Mitchell Report came out and A-Rod was mentioned.
In February Miguel Tejada pleaded guilty to lying to congressional investigators about the use of performance enhancing drugs in 2005.
In April, it was Manny Ramirez who actually served a 50-game suspension
Now, it's David Ortiz.
Michael S. Schmidt is the New York Times reporter who broke the story on Thursday and covers the steroids beat in professional sports.
The documents were all supposed to be destroyed, as Schmidt noted on NBC's Nightly News with Brian Williams.
Players thought it was safe, it would remain confidential and no one would ever find out.
There is always someone out there that wants to destroy you and your reputation. There is always that reporter who wants to boost their career for being the person to break the "Barry Bonds scandal," the "A-Rod scandal," etc.
Sports Illustrated writer Selena Roberts broke the A-Rod story and conveniently has a new book entitled, "A-Rod," that has proof the New York Yankees third baseman took performance enhancing drugs.
Now it's Schmidt from the New York Times, a newspaper that doesn't isn't known for its glorifying sports reporting and coverage.
So is there someone to blame for this whole mess?
The lawyers who let these names leak?
The players for being naive enough to take the test in the first place?
I bet every single of these 104 names wishes they never volunteered and they are probably praying every night that they aren't the next "big name" to be leaked out.
All in all, it's just sad.
I can now unfortunately say I grew up watching the steroid era as an innocent child who was only excited and amazed about the 1998 home run chase between McGwire and Sosa.
I was oblivious to what steroids were and never thought that's why they hit so many home runs, but now looking back it all makes sense.
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