What percentage of MLB players took steroids in the early 2000s? - Fan Arch

What percentage of MLB players took steroids in the early 2000s?

What percentage of MLB players took steroids in the early...

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Steroid usage in Major League Baseball (MLB) during the early 2000s was a matter of significant contention and speculation. The prevalence of steroid use among players, though difficult to quantify precisely, was a controversial issue that garnered widespread attention and concern. Several sources, including players and sports journalists, provided varying estimates of the percentage of MLB players using steroids during this period.

Estimates of Steroid Use

  1. Jose Canseco's Claim: Jose Canseco, a former MLB player, estimated that 85% of major leaguers were using steroids. This estimate was widely publicized and sparked significant debate within the baseball community.

  2. Ken Caminiti's Estimate: Ken Caminiti, a former player, initially estimated that 50% of players were using steroids. However, he later retracted this claim and suggested that the number was lower.

  3. MLB's Survey Testing: MLB's survey testing indicated a usage rate of 5-7%, but the reliability of these numbers was questioned due to the ease of evading MLB's testing.

  4. Unreliable Estimates: It is important to note that estimates of steroid use varied widely, and the true percentage of players using steroids during the early 2000s remains elusive.

Impact of Widespread Testing

  • The introduction of widespread testing seemed to have pushed steroid usage to the fringes of the sport, with many minor league players who tested positive being fringe prospects.

Players Who Spoke Out Against Steroid Use

  • Curt Schilling, Ken Griffey, and Frank Thomas were prominent players who spoke out against steroid use during the period when it was commonly occurring.

Broader Context of Steroid Usage

  • Steroid investigations and speculation were not limited to star sluggers, as both pitchers and position players, stars, and fringe players were implicated.

Other Performance-Enhancing Drugs

  • It's important to note that steroids were not the only performance-enhancing drugs in use. There were speculations that smart players had started using human growth hormone (HGH), for which MLB long lacked an effective test .

Historical Context of Drug Use in Baseball

  • Drug use in baseball has a long history, with widespread use of amphetamines during the 1960s also being documented.

Prevalence Beyond Steroids

  • It's essential to recognize that the issue of performance-enhancing drugs in baseball goes much deeper than just steroids and has been a part of the sport for far longer than most fans realize.

The exact percentage of MLB players who took steroids in the early 2000s remains uncertain due to varying estimates and the elusive nature of the issue. The prevalence of steroid use and the broader context of performance-enhancing drugs in baseball underscore the complexity of this historical period in the sport.


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