Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Friday, February 14, 2014

Science Codex: MLB largely responsible for players’ steroid abuse, UTA researcher says

Explore the future our game demands!

The widespread use of illegal steroids among Major League Baseball players has been fueled by an “economy of bodily management,” the free agent market and exploding television revenues, a UT Arlington assistant professor argues in a newly published research paper.

Sarah Rose, a labor and disability historian, says by attacking individual ballplayers’ morality, commentators have obscured the more salient issue.

“Baseball is representative of the fact that Americans increasingly live in an age of biotechnology in which bodily modification for profit has become the norm and, often, an unstated job requirement,” said Rose, who joined the UT Arlington Department of History in 2009 and is director of the University’s Minor in Disability Studies program.

...“Enticed by the prospect of riches, players and teams harnessed fitness training, reconstructive surgery, biomechanical analysis and performance-enhancing drugs to reduce wear and tear on players’ bodies and, ultimately, radically alter them for profit,” Rose and Salzmann concluded in the paper. “This interplay between economic incentives and medicine created what we call bionic ballplayers: bigger, stronger, and at times, more fragile than their predecessors.”

The study suggests that the question raised by steroids is not individual morality, but rather the morality produced by a political economy of labor that calls for both services and body parts rendered.

Ironically, as Rose and Salzmann’s article went to press, MLB Commissioner Bud Selig had just suspended 13 players for using steroids.

“Why has professional baseball players’ steroid use been characterized as an immoral illegitimate bodily enhancement, when other medical interventions, such as ‘Tommy John’ elbow reconstruction surgery, have been celebrated as career-saving cures?” Rose questioned. “While admittedly different, we show that both bodily interventions arose out of the same dramatic shifts in the business of baseball – shifts that drove the medicalization of the game and players’ bodies.”

The researchers contend that before the advent of salary arbitration and free agency, ballplayers were disposable parts in a high-risk work environment. But buoyed by exploding television revenues, the free agent market drove players’ salaries into the millions, transforming the economics of bodily management.

Repoz Posted: February 14, 2014 at 07:05 PM | 60 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: history, steroids

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Jim (jimmuscomp) Posted: February 14, 2014 at 07:30 PM (#4657185)
Interesting take on this all. I tend to agree with the excerpt....
   2. TJ Posted: February 14, 2014 at 07:53 PM (#4657187)
Well, I'm not sure how this would impact their conclusions, but the first TJ Surgery was performed in 1974, whereas the advent of salary arbitration came the same year and free agency in baseball did not occur until 1975, so it would appear that TJ "reconstructive surgery" arrived independently of "dramatic shifts in the business of baseball"...
   3. yolacrary Posted: February 14, 2014 at 08:43 PM (#4657200)
so it would appear that TJ "reconstructive surgery" arrived independently of "dramatic shifts in the business of baseball"...


yes, it "arrived independently", but its widespread acceptance and frequency of use very much has to do with the shifts she is talking about.
   4. Walt Davis Posted: February 14, 2014 at 09:19 PM (#4657204)
While I suspect they are right in spirit, it's not possible to "show that bodily interventions arose out of the same dramatic shifts in the business of baseball." You might show they coincided -- although athletes getting every ounce out of their bodies that they can is an old tale as are attempts at performance enhancement -- but causality is going to be impossible to show here.

And even back in the days when players earned $50,000, TJS made financial sense from both the players' and owners' perspective. (Unless TJS costs a lot more than I think it does.)
   5. TJ Posted: February 14, 2014 at 09:32 PM (#4657206)
I think there is a difference not made clear in the piece between "repair" (TJS) and "enhancement" (Lasik?) If the authors are saying that there has been an increase in medical procedures to enhance performance and that is driven by a profit motive for both player and owner, one could make that argument using better examples- steroid use itself, for example (approved steroid use under doctor's supervision for recovery from injury- legal. Unapproved steroid use in an attempt to enhance performance- not legal, but possibly profitable.) I'm not sure anyone has undergone TJS if they didn't need to.
   6. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: February 14, 2014 at 09:50 PM (#4657209)
I think there is a difference not made clear in the piece between "repair" (TJS) and "enhancement" (Lasik?) If the authors are saying that there has been an increase in medical procedures to enhance performance and that is driven by a profit motive for both player and owner, one could make that argument using better examples- steroid use itself, for example (approved steroid use under doctor's supervision for recovery from injury- legal. Unapproved steroid use in an attempt to enhance performance- not legal, but possibly profitable.) I'm not sure anyone has undergone TJS if they didn't need to.

It really takes a rocket scientist to tell the difference between surgery designed to keep your arm from falling off, and surreptitious injections to help you increase your existing power. Only on BTF can you find people who pretend not to get this distinction.
   7. boteman Posted: February 15, 2014 at 12:08 AM (#4657234)
I'm not sure anyone has undergone TJS if they didn't need to.

I have read stories of Little Leaguers whose parents have put them through Tommy John surgery in anticipation of a lucrative adult pitching career. How many do this I don't know, but that qualifies as "didn't need to" in my book. It disgusts me, as well. At least wait until the kid has enough sense to decide that he doesn't want to design the next iPhone before you go chopping up tendons.

Not Major League players, but a data point to consider in the overall "morality" discussion.
   8. John Northey Posted: February 15, 2014 at 01:18 AM (#4657241)
Lasik is also done a LOT by professional athletes. I've known a few who did it and in one case that I know of it pretty much killed his career in an attempt to slightly improve vision - in golf. Yes, even golf has enhancements going on, better eyesight means you can read the greens better and judge distance better and if it saves you just one shot over 4 days it can be worth thousands. The problem he hit was it created double vision where he didn't have that before, took 3 procedures (that I know of) to fix and by then it was too late (took years to get it right).

Now, if it can make a difference in golf imagine the difference in baseball - going from 20-20 to 20-10 vision (as Ted Williams was said to have) means you could identify the spin earlier thus speeding up reaction time. No big difference for pitchers I'd think, but for hitters a major one.
   9. Jim Wisinski Posted: February 15, 2014 at 01:33 AM (#4657244)
It really takes a rocket scientist to tell the difference between surgery designed to keep your arm from falling off, and surreptitious injections to help you increase your existing power. Only on BTF can you find people who pretend not to get this distinction.


Honest question for your point of view: What if a player gets a Toradol injection (or some other legal treatment) to mask the soreness or other issues from working out excessively in an attempt to increase power? It's legal but crosses the line of medically necessary.

I just think that there's a real double standard when it comes to the vicious condemnation of steroid use compared to the various (technically) legal treatments used to keep players on the field and performing at a high level despite them not being truly medically advisable. The proper recommendation for badly inflammed tendons or muscles should be rest and recovery, not injecting something so you can continue to heavily use damaged body parts.
   10. ptodd Posted: February 15, 2014 at 02:59 AM (#4657251)
Not sure what she said, but it's well known MLB and team owners promoted the use of steroids. Even today, you have performance enhancers like DHEA, Toradol, Creatine. Obviously, cortisone, antibiotics, surgical techniques, etc that did not exist in the early 20th century.

Equipment improvements (bats, gloves) , juiced ball, weigh training, not having to work in the offseason, first class travel, etc are all benefits the modern player has today.

OTOH, the talent pool is much larger and the competition is tougher
   11. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: February 15, 2014 at 08:06 AM (#4657258)
Honest question for your point of view: What if a player gets a Toradol injection (or some other legal treatment) to mask the soreness or other issues from working out excessively in an attempt to increase power? It's legal but crosses the line of medically necessary.

Honest answer I've given many times:

1. Steroids for injury recovery should be legal.

2. Steroids for injury recovery should be limited to players on the DH, and not be administered once the player is removed from the DH. After such a player returns from the DH, unlimited random testing should be allowed thereafter.

3. Steroids for injury recovery should be prescribed and administered exclusively by MLB certified doctors with no connections of any type to any team or player.

4. Any unauthorized use of steroids should be punished under the same rules as exist today.

5. Multi-language copies of this policy should be mailed by e-mail and registered letter to every player under contract to a MLB club, and posted prominently in every clubhouse.

I just think that there's a real double standard when it comes to the vicious condemnation of steroid use compared to the various (technically) legal treatments used to keep players on the field and performing at a high level despite them not being truly medically advisable. The proper recommendation for badly inflammed tendons or muscles should be rest and recovery, not injecting something so you can continue to heavily use damaged body parts.

The distinction should be between injury recovery and everything else. If a player is required to proactively request steroids for injury recovery, that would pre-empt any retroactive rationalizations a a la McGwire.
   12. Joey B. Posted: February 15, 2014 at 09:07 AM (#4657271)
Most guys never go back to the field for any major length of time once they start DH'ing.
   13. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: February 15, 2014 at 09:39 AM (#4657278)
2. Steroids for injury recovery should be limited to players on the DH, and not be administered once the player is removed from the DH. After such a player returns from the DH, unlimited random testing should be allowed thereafter.

Most guys never go back to the field for any major length of time once they start DH'ing.


Obviously I should have written "DL" rather than "DH" there.
   14. Joey B. Posted: February 15, 2014 at 09:42 AM (#4657283)
Obviously I should have written "DL" rather than "DH" there.

I know, and frankly I'm a little concerned, especially considering you did it three times.
   15. Padraic Posted: February 15, 2014 at 10:28 AM (#4657316)
I think the "enhancement" vs. "repair" idea is really not the key issue here. The much larger questions is how the blame for the "steroid era" (whether you think it's enhancement or repair) has overwhelmingly been given to the personal (im)morality of the players, rather than the demands of major league baseball.

A analogy might be made to the teacher cheating scandal in Atlanta, Philly, and elsewhere, where it was recognized by many people that while yes, the teachers who falsified student answers were indeed guilty of severe moral lapses, there was a widespread recognition that the context of high-pressure testing played a role. There has seemingly been no concomitant recognition (outside of a few dark corners like BTF and academia) of MLB's role as being analogous to something like No Child Left Behind.

Basically, you can still think that the players who "enhanced" through steroids are fundamentally morally inferior to TJS pitchers, but that also MLB is inciting a hypocritical and self-serving attack on the personal morality of steroid users that completely obfuscates their own role.
   16. Publius Publicola Posted: February 15, 2014 at 11:11 AM (#4657322)
“Why has professional baseball players’ steroid use been characterized as an immoral illegitimate bodily enhancement, when other medical interventions, such as ‘Tommy John’ elbow reconstruction surgery, have been celebrated as career-saving cures?” Rose questioned.


Very simple, Sarah. Elbow surgery is therapeutic and restorative. Society, which you seem to be blaming here, created an institution called "the FDA". This govermental agency was granted, by Act of Congress, sole regulatory authority on all drugs, therapeutics and medical devices. Regulatory authority is largely supervised by expert panels, constituted by physicians, medical scientists, academicians, statisticians and other subject matter experts. Their primary analysis is based on something called "risk/benefit" calculation, usually a balance of the efficacy or health benefit a certain procedure provides, weighed against the safety risks. This risk/benefit calculation is arrived at after extensive clinical trial testing and evaluation and the analysis of all relevant data, and approval is granted only after extensive weigh in by all authorative parties.

So, society has already weighed in on steroids, even as you have so obviously missed the memo. And that memo stated in no uncertain terms that the risks outweigh the benefits for non-therapeutic use of steroids. That the players went ahead and used them anyway speaks to a societal problem, but one different than the one you state: a sense of entitlement and self-interest by the players,a t the expense of the other players they were competing against, that led them to believe they were above the law and entitled to any reward or benefit they obtained by this surreptitious activity. That they used extra-legal or gray market means to obtain them, and hid from the public they were using them, strongly suggests they knew they were acting contrary to the approval of the society you are now blaming.

Now, if you are saying that MLB management authority supersedes the USG, that's a pretty tough argument to make, even though it is made routinely in this playpen we call BTF.
   17. Publius Publicola Posted: February 15, 2014 at 11:15 AM (#4657323)
The much larger questions is how the blame for the "steroid era" (whether you think it's enhancement or repair) has overwhelmingly been given to the personal (im)morality of the players, rather than the demands of major league baseball.


To the extent that management encouraged, either actively or passively, their use, they are guilty as well to that measure. But we live in a society that recognizes personal responsibility. For instance, battlefield atrocities are not permissible just because a commanding officer ordered them. Soldiers are permitted, even encouraged, to ignore immoral orders.
   18. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: February 15, 2014 at 11:33 AM (#4657330)
Basically, you can still think that the players who "enhanced" through steroids are fundamentally morally inferior to TJS pitchers, but that also MLB is inciting a hypocritical and self-serving attack on the personal morality of steroid users that completely obfuscates their own role.

I'm perfectly willing to co-assign blame on this issue, and there's plenty of blame to go around**, but I'm not willing to let the guilty players off the hook. The "crime" of steroids users, such as it sometimes gets called, wasn't against Roger Maris or Hank Aaron, who were long gone from the playing field by the Bondses and the McGwires came along. The "crime" was against their non-juicing peers, and while the assertion that "everyone else was doing it" may diminish the degree of how much we should condemn the guilty ones, it doesn't make them any less guilty.

**For elaboration, just ask Gonfalon to re-post his 1000+ comments on the subject, all very convincingly documented.
   19. Joey B. Posted: February 15, 2014 at 11:38 AM (#4657332)
A analogy might be made to the teacher cheating scandal in Atlanta, Philly, and elsewhere, where it was recognized by many people that while yes, the teachers who falsified student answers were indeed guilty of severe moral lapses, there was a widespread recognition that the context of high-pressure testing played a role. There has seemingly been no concomitant recognition (outside of a few dark corners like BTF and academia) of MLB's role as being analogous to something like No Child Left Behind.

Basically, you can still think that the players who "enhanced" through steroids are fundamentally morally inferior to TJS pitchers, but that also MLB is inciting a hypocritical and self-serving attack on the personal morality of steroid users that completely obfuscates their own role.


Yes, the rationalization of "I couldn't help cheating and breaking the rules because life is hard, the competition is fierce, and there's so much money on the line" can be used to try to justify all kinds of illicit behaviors in this day and age. In the end though, it still boils down to the fact that you're trying to blame other people for your own bad and immoral decisions. How New Age.

Also, you're ignoring the fact that members of baseball ownership attempted on multiple occasions to address the PED issue in the past, and were fought tooth and nail by the players every step of the way. It wasn't until the federal government added their weight on the matter and put the fear of God into the players that they finally stopped resisting.
   20. Jim Wisinski Posted: February 15, 2014 at 12:36 PM (#4657351)
Andy, thanks.
   21. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: February 15, 2014 at 12:37 PM (#4657353)
**For elaboration, just ask Gonfalon to re-post his 1000+ comments on the subject, all very convincingly documented.

Okay, but you gotta give me two minutes.

2. Steroids for injury recovery should be limited to players on the DL, and not be administered once the player is removed from the DL.

Thank heavens this policy wasn't in place in 1988, or we would have been robbed of one of MLB's official "Mastercard Presents Major League Baseball's Ten Most Memorable Moments."

you're ignoring the fact that members of baseball ownership attempted on multiple occasions to address the PED issue in the past

Not counting the Yankees rewriting Jason Giambi's contract to allow steroids, or the Dodgers trading Paul LoDuca because they knew he was off steroids and feared his production would drop, or multiple teams conducting spring training seminars to teach their players how to use steroids more safely... but technically, those also count as addressing the PED issue. Congratulations to the owners for nobly doing the right thing, and also to Bernie Madoff for paying back some of the money.

It wasn't until the federal government added their weight on the matter and put the fear of God into the players that they finally stopped resisting.

Whereas the owners desperately wanted to clean up the sport even before Congress threatened to revisit MLB's anti-trust status.
   22. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: February 15, 2014 at 12:49 PM (#4657357)
2. Steroids for injury recovery should be limited to players on the DL, and not be administered once the player is removed from the DL.

Thank heavens this policy wasn't in place in 1988, or we would have been robbed of one of MLB's official "Mastercard Presents Major League Baseball's Ten Most Memorable Moments."


Not that I'd minded if Eck had gotten that third strike past Gibson, which given the intricate laws of cause and effect might well have prevented 9/11 and the Iraq invasion, but I wasn't referring to cortisone shots for injury recovery any more than was Mark McGwire.
   23. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: February 15, 2014 at 12:59 PM (#4657361)
I wasn't referring to cortisone shots for injury recovery any more than was Mark McGwire.


Of course you weren't. To do so would be to engage reality at the expense of your moral grandstanding.
   24. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: February 15, 2014 at 01:01 PM (#4657362)
MLB's current drug policy only permits clubhouse steroid use if it results in a scene that can be scored to John Williams music.
   25. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: February 15, 2014 at 01:03 PM (#4657364)
Proud alumnus of UTA here. BS in Electrical Engineering, Class of '91.
   26. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: February 15, 2014 at 01:08 PM (#4657365)
I wasn't referring to cortisone shots for injury recovery any more than was Mark McGwire.

Of course you weren't. To do so would be to engage reality at the expense of your moral grandstanding.


Please let me know the next time a player is accused of taking surreptitious cortisone injections.
   27. Sunday silence Posted: February 15, 2014 at 01:25 PM (#4657371)
Society, which you seem to be blaming here, created an institution called "the FDA". This govermental agency was granted, by Act of Congress, sole regulatory authority on all drugs, therapeutics and medical devices. Regulatory authority is largely supervised by expert panels, constituted by physicians, medical scientists, academicians, statisticians and other subject matter experts. Their primary analysis is based on something called "risk/benefit" calculation, usually a balance of the efficacy or health benefit a certain procedure provides, weighed against the safety risks. This risk/benefit calculation is arrived at after extensive clinical trial testing and evaluation and the analysis of all relevant data, and approval is granted only after extensive weigh in by all authorative parties.


Doesnt this clever argument fall by the wayside once you consider third world countries that have allowed this sort of PED use?

I mean you refer to "society" as the US FDA when clearly players are from many different countries that have many different views of this.

The really silly part is where you liken the FDA to society. The FDA is a government unit that is divorced to what I think of as society at large. There are several factors going on that warp the FDA as a direct reflection of society:

1) Lobbyists who drive federal policy at the expense of society;

2) horse trading or swapping of votes that goes on in Congress in order to pass other legislation that doesnt reflect society as a whole;

3) personal pecadillos of those in office who may not approve of say abortion pills and such on a personal basis; these too do not reflect society.
   28. Sunday silence Posted: February 15, 2014 at 01:31 PM (#4657372)
The "crime" of steroids users, such as it sometimes gets called, wasn't against Roger Maris or Hank Aaron, who were long gone from the playing field by the Bondses and the McGwires came along. The "crime" was against their non-juicing peers, and while the assertion that "everyone else was doing it" may diminish the degree of how much we should condemn the guilty ones, it doesn't make them any less guilty.


Please correct me if I'm wrong but wasnt the Andro that McGwire was taking legal at that time? And same for PEDs during much/most of Bonds' career?

Since you've been out in front on this issue here, I think its a fair question to ask: if your position is that all non therapeutic steroid use was immoral or just that since MLB policy specifically against them?

My position is that since MLB has explicitly made rules against them, then it is implied that what happened in the past was legitimate in the name of trying to get an edge. Otherwise, why the need to pass rules?
   29. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: February 15, 2014 at 01:41 PM (#4657373)
Yes because the fda and goverment know what they are doing 100% of the time with drugs. Because afterall coke is harmless compaired to pot.
   30. Ron J2 Posted: February 15, 2014 at 01:54 PM (#4657377)
#28 The cream and the clear were probably legal. I say probably because a simple reading of the law makes pretty much any designer steroid legal though it's extremely doubtful that this was the intent of the legislators and legislative intent has been known to matter.
   31. Publius Publicola Posted: February 15, 2014 at 02:13 PM (#4657384)
The cream and the clear were NOT legal. If they were, Conte would never have been busted for running an illegal pharmaceutical company.

Re:28. No the argument does not fall apart. What, hiring a prostitute does not constitute cheating on your wife if you do it in Bogota?
   32. Publius Publicola Posted: February 15, 2014 at 02:17 PM (#4657385)
Ron, if that's your reading of the law, then you need to hire a lawyer. Drugs aren't legal until the FDA disapproves them. They are ILLEGAL until the they ARE approved.
   33. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: February 15, 2014 at 02:30 PM (#4657390)
The "crime" of steroids users, such as it sometimes gets called, wasn't against Roger Maris or Hank Aaron, who were long gone from the playing field by the Bondses and the McGwires came along. The "crime" was against their non-juicing peers, and while the assertion that "everyone else was doing it" may diminish the degree of how much we should condemn the guilty ones, it doesn't make them any less guilty.

Please correct me if I'm wrong but wasnt the Andro that McGwire was taking legal at that time? And same for PEDs during much/most of Bonds' career?


I'm not talking about Andro any more than I'm talking about cortisone. When McGwire finally admitted he'd taken steroids, it wasn't about either of those products.

Since you've been out in front on this issue here, I think its a fair question to ask: if your position is that all non therapeutic steroid use was immoral or just that since MLB policy specifically against them?

Since the question of the legality vs. illegality of pre-2005 steroid use has been argued here for longer than I can remember, rather than argue that point I'll simply base my opinion on the fact that steroid use was always surreptitious, and clearly designed to enhance rather than to restore. If steroid use prior to 2005 had been thought to be "legal", why wouldn't at least one player have come forth and admitted what he'd done, and defended it on that basis? What was the basis for all the hiding?
   34. Publius Publicola Posted: February 15, 2014 at 02:31 PM (#4657391)
SS, the really, really silly part is that you believe the USG is somehow apart from society. There's nothing more CENTRAL to a society than its government. It sets all it's laws and penalties.
   35. Publius Publicola Posted: February 15, 2014 at 07:00 PM (#4657463)
There are several factors going on that warp the FDA as a direct reflection of society:

1) Lobbyists who drive federal policy at the expense of society;

2) horse trading or swapping of votes that goes on in Congress in order to pass other legislation that doesnt reflect society as a whole;

3) personal pecadillos of those in office who may not approve of say abortion pills and such on a personal basis; these too do not reflect society.



Man, SS, you really have your acts fassbackwards.

1) it is not permitted to lobby the FDA.

2) non sequitor

3) the decision to approve is not held by elected officials. It is held within the agency, by career professionals
   36. Sunday silence Posted: February 16, 2014 at 02:37 AM (#4657537)
The Bush administration like probably all administrations put pressure on the FDA to not approve the RU480whatever abortion pill. That has to do with personal preference of people in office, it does not necessarily reflect the will of society.

Your argument that decisions are made by career professionals is making my argument: that's not the view of society, that's some professional's view. And again, to think the FDA is not heavily politicized office is insane.

The pharmaceutical industry also has serious influence on the FDA; have you ever priced drugs made in India? It's unfukinreal how cheaper they are there.

It doesnt matter if people dont directly lobby the FDA, people/companies lobby government and that in turn influences its agencies. To not admit this, you dont live in the real world.

Congress writes laws including laws regarding the FDA. It is clear that Congress is being lobbied by special interests. I know about the influence of the film industry on the Copyright laws, and the pharmaceutical industry on the patent laws. I am sure pharmaceutical industry also has leverage in writing FDA laws.

Regulations are written by people inside the agency, but the notion that this reflects the will of the people does not stand up to any serious scrutiny.
   37. Sunday silence Posted: February 16, 2014 at 02:42 AM (#4657538)
SS, the really, really silly part is that you believe the USG is somehow apart from society. There's nothing more CENTRAL to a society than its government. It sets all it's laws and penalties.


I am not arguing about CENTRALITY or whatever the hell that word means.

There is a difference between a representational form of government and the form of democracy where the will of the people would be reflected in every decision and every institution. That's not what happens in a representational democracy, so all your hand waving and crying: "CENTRALITY" will not change that.

What, hiring a prostitute does not constitute cheating on your wife if you do it in Bogota?


If a player juices himself on steroids in a country where it is legal, than your argument falls. Your argument is based on US laws, but there are plenty of ball players who live in other countries at least in the off season.
   38. PreservedFish Posted: February 16, 2014 at 02:58 AM (#4657540)
Will any of us live to see the day that there is legitimate controversy over whether or not a famous player is actually a robot?
   39. Swedish Chef Posted: February 16, 2014 at 07:37 AM (#4657551)
Will any of us live to see the day that there is legitimate controversy over whether or not a famous player is actually a robot?

"UMPIRE, THEIR 2B UNIT LOOKS SUSPICIOUSLY HUMAN."
"CONCUR, TWO-MINUTE EXTERMINATION BREAK."
   40. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: February 16, 2014 at 08:17 AM (#4657555)
What, hiring a prostitute does not constitute cheating on your wife if you do it in Bogota?


If a player juices himself on steroids in a country where it is legal, than your argument falls.

Wait, so it's not cheating on your wife if you go to a hooker in Nevada?
   41. Publius Publicola Posted: February 16, 2014 at 08:44 AM (#4657560)
The Bush administration like probably all administrations put pressure on the FDA to not approve the RU480whatever abortion pill.


Your criticism was directed at the FDA. So, another non sequitor.

Your argument that decisions are made by career professionals is making my argument: that's not the view of society, that's some professional's view. And again, to think the FDA is not heavily politicized office is insane.


Wait, what? Health professionals aren't a part of society??? WTF??
   42. Joey B. Posted: February 16, 2014 at 11:30 AM (#4657623)
Doesnt this clever argument fall by the wayside once you consider third world countries that have allowed this sort of PED use?

So the United States should aspire to be a third world country. You're a genius.
   43. Publius Publicola Posted: February 16, 2014 at 12:32 PM (#4657669)
SS, you again have your facts wrong. An FDA advisory committee recommended approval but were unusually overruled by the Bush admin.

So your ire is misplaced and should be directed at Bush et al.
   44. Sunday silence Posted: February 16, 2014 at 01:36 PM (#4657716)
yes health professionals are part of society but one person's view does not reflect society's view on the whole. Your premise in your first post was that society had already "weighed in" on this issue. I dont see that at all, and certainly the FDA weighing in on something is not society as a whole.


Your criticism was directed at the FDA. So, another non sequitor.


Well your the one who brought up the FDA as some sort of arbiter in this, and as some sort of barometer of society. You want to defend these paragons of virtue or not?


Wait, so it's not cheating on your wife if you go to a hooker in Nevada?


What's your pt really? Whether prostitution is legal or illegal in a jurisdiction is irrelevant to whether someone is being unfaithful in his marriage.

I guess that's the same thing I am arguing. Whether steroids are legal/illegal in a country is irrelevant to whether they are breaking some sort of baseball contract. What happens in baseball, or more specifically what is cheating in baseball, is not based on the laws of the US or any other country.

TO use your marriage analogy: a husband and wife get married. The issue of fooling around comes up and both parties say nothing about it. Years later the H is caught cheating, W claims he's unfaithful. H says they agreed to an open marriage. W points out that prostitution is illegal in Georgia or wherever. What's the pt?

In fact this whole marriage analogy of yours is misplaced, because you dont have to go to a prostitute to be unfaithful. You could go to your next door neighbor, not be breaking any US law, and still be unfaithful. That's because the rules of marriage are presumably set by the parties not by a state or country.

So again bad analogy: the crime of prostitution is not synonymous with infidelity. Some infidelity is not prostitution; some prostitution is not infidelity.
   45. Sunday silence Posted: February 16, 2014 at 01:40 PM (#4657718)
An FDA advisory committee recommended approval but were unusually overruled by the Bush admin.


Right my bad; an FDA advisory committee really is the view of society.
   46. Publius Publicola Posted: February 16, 2014 at 01:42 PM (#4657720)
Well your the one who brought up the FDA as some sort of arbiter in this, and as some sort of barometer of society. You want to defend these paragons of virtue or not?


Sure I'll defend them. They do a great job. I'll defend the US military too, for the same reason.
   47. simon bedford Posted: February 16, 2014 at 03:31 PM (#4657743)
the way in which the FDA conducts itself has changed over the past decade, and the "new" improved process has actually led to a less effecient system and several very dangerous drugs ending up in the market place. not sure what great job you think they are doing but it doesnt jibe with their performance of late.
   48. Publius Publicola Posted: February 16, 2014 at 03:45 PM (#4657751)
the way in which the FDA conducts itself has changed over the past decade, and the "new" improved process has actually led to a less effecient system and several very dangerous drugs ending up in the market place.


What changes in review policies and procedures have led to dangerous drugs getting onto the market that wouldn't have otherwise gotten there?

I'm genuinely curious because I don't know of any.
   49. simon bedford Posted: February 16, 2014 at 03:50 PM (#4657755)
Baycol (cerivastatin)
Rezulin (troglitazone)
Raplon (rapacuronium)
Rofecoxib
Lotronex (alosetron)
Phenylpropanolamine
Valdecoxib
Natalizumab
Technetium fanolesomab
Palladone (hydromorphone)
Zelnorm (tegaserod maleate)
   50. simon bedford Posted: February 16, 2014 at 03:51 PM (#4657756)
and you can easily see how changes have made a difference in the last 10 years by doing a simple search of recalled drugs over the past 30 yers
   51. Publius Publicola Posted: February 16, 2014 at 03:59 PM (#4657759)
You didn't answer my question. What changes in review policies and procedures occurred that led to approval of those drugs, that they wouldn't have been otherwise? Likewise, are there any drugs that were under review that would have been approved but for these changes?
   52. Publius Publicola Posted: February 16, 2014 at 04:06 PM (#4657763)
and you can easily see how changes have made a difference in the last 10 years by doing a simple search of recalled drugs over the past 30 years


I don't understand your point. Are you saying that changes in post-marketing monitoring have increased the rate of drug approval recalls? If so, that's a good thing, right?

I'm also not getting your seeming cause and effect. IF more drugs are reaching the market/year, as has been happening, then you would expect more post-market recalls, no?
   53. Mendo Posted: February 16, 2014 at 04:57 PM (#4657780)
Elbow surgery is therapeutic and restorative. Society, which you seem to be blaming here, created an institution called "the FDA". This govermental agency was granted, by Act of Congress, sole regulatory authority on all drugs, therapeutics and medical devices. Regulatory authority is largely supervised by expert panels, constituted by physicians, medical scientists, academicians, statisticians and other subject matter experts.


From wikipedia:

During deliberations, the American Medical Association (AMA), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as well as the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) all opposed listing anabolic steroids as controlled substances,[citation needed] citing the fact that use of these hormones does not lead to the physical or psychological dependence required for such scheduling under the Controlled Substance Act. Nevertheless, anabolic steroids were added to Schedule III of the Controlled Substances Act in the Anabolic Steroid Control Act of 1990


There's a "citation needed" tag there, so tbh I don't know whether this view of the act's creation is fully accurate. But it's obvious that a drug's classification can very much be a political decision rather than one driven by expert opinion. The classification of marijuana should be the most obvious example.

So to say that TJ surgery is therapeutic and restorative and that steroids are not, because the FDA says so, doesn’t seem very compelling to me.
   54. Publius Publicola Posted: February 16, 2014 at 06:04 PM (#4657805)
So to say that TJ surgery is therapeutic and restorative and that steroids are not, because the FDA says so, doesn’t seem very compelling to me.


You're confusing the scheduling of them with the approval process. Every drug has a label which states the dose, the indication, under what circumstances they should be used and any side effects or safety concerns, amongst other things. In order to get approval for steroids as a PED, you would have to go through the clinical/regulatory process to broaden the label to include that as an indication and that hasn't happened yet, nor is it likely to.
   55. Sunday silence Posted: February 17, 2014 at 02:03 AM (#4657905)
That's right keep defending the FDA, this argument is like putting it on auto pilot.



Hey dont forget to wrap yourself up in the flag, so we all know who's on the side of righteousness.
   56. Publius Publicola Posted: February 17, 2014 at 07:17 AM (#4657914)
I'll translate that answer as "I got nuthin'. Just throwing #### against a wall."
   57. Ron J2 Posted: February 17, 2014 at 09:47 AM (#4657953)
#32 While you were banned there was a discussion on the legal status. I've posted the relevant language many times before. The basic issue is that there's a general description and then a list of all the known compounds. THG was not included then. It is now.

And the list is not prefaced with something like, "including but not limited to".

Now the fact that THG is now listed suggests strongly that somebody in authority felt the need to update the list (last time I checked 8 had been added since the days of Bonds/BALCO)

That's the argument and to my knowledge it's never been tested in the US (it has in New Zealand and basically the courts have ruled that any designer recreational drug is legal). It's a theory that's been around for a long time (first encountered it in Doonsebury of all places)

My take though is and always has been that it's not a proposition I'd want to be defending. The US courts (Shoemaker in particular being the big one) have been bending over backwards to find these kind of laws enforceable.

And that's why I brought up legislative intent. It turns out to be pretty hard to write an enforceable law against designer drugs. As I understand it, they've simply given up in New Zealand.

But you are at least partially correct. It would be pretty clearly illegal to distribute a non approved drug. Consume it? As I said, I'm not aware of any successful prosecutions for the use of something not specifically mentioned on the relevant schedule.
   58. Publius Publicola Posted: February 17, 2014 at 12:02 PM (#4658028)
I've posted the relevant language many times before. The basic issue is that there's a general description and then a list of all the known compounds.


You're confusing banned WADA substances/testing procedures with legal status. They are different things.

You can pass a drug test if the substance you test for hasn't been listed, or the substance you are eventually busted for isn't listed. But in the US, drugs themselves are illegal until approved. If you sell them without a license, the law will come down on you- hard. Look what happened to Conte and Bosch. If what you say is true, there would be no basis for criminal action against them.
   59. Publius Publicola Posted: February 17, 2014 at 12:04 PM (#4658030)
My take though is and always has been that it's not a proposition I'd want to be defending. The US courts (Shoemaker in particular being the big one) have been bending over backwards to find these kind of laws enforceable.


The law is plain as day and needs no bending over. You sell drugs without a license, you go to jail.
   60. Ron J2 Posted: February 17, 2014 at 01:49 PM (#4658081)
#58 No I'm not. I'm talking about the language in schedule III

It wasn't listed in Schedule III at the time Bonds was (almost certainly) using it (how could it have been, it was unknown to regulators)

At the time the language of the introduction read:

Anabolic steroids. Unless specifically excepted or unless listed in another schedule, any material, compound, mixture or preparation containing any quantity of the following substances, including its salts, esters and ethers:

In 2006 the language was changed to:

Anabolic steroids. Unless specifically excepted or unless listed in another schedule, any material, compound, mixture, or preparation containing any quantity of the following substances, including its salts, isomers, and salts of isomers whenever the existence of such salts of isomers is possible within the specific chemical designation:

And the subsequently:

Any salt, ester, or ether of a drug or substance described in this paragraph. Except such term does not include an anabolic steroid that is expressly intended for administration through implants to cattle or other nonhuman species and that has been approved by the Secretary of Health and Human Services for such administration. If any person prescribes, dispenses, or distributes such steroid for human use, the person shall be considered to have prescribed, dispensed, or distributed an anabolic steroid within the meaning of this paragraph.

And then

Any salt, ester, or isomer of a drug or substance described or listed in this paragraph, if that salt, ester, or isomer promotes muscle growth. Except such term does not include an anabolic steroid which is expressly intended for administration through implants to cattle or other nonhuman species and which has been approved by the Secretary of Health and Human Services for such administration. If any person prescribes, dispenses, or distributes such steroid for human use, such person shall be considered to have prescribed, dispensed, or distributed an anabolic steroid within the meaning of this paragraph.

This is followed by a list: Currently 64 of them. Back when Bonds testified the list was somewhere around 48.

It's reasonably clear that there were concerns about the ability to successfully prosecute as you can see by ever more specific language.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Guts
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogDo MLB Owners Wield Sabermetrics as a Hammer? – The Hardball Times
(1 - 9:26am, Dec 19)
Last: SoCalDemon

NewsblogPadres Acquire Derek Norris – MLB Trade Rumors
(19 - 9:26am, Dec 19)
Last: Pops Freshenmeyer

NewsblogOT: Politics - December 2014: Baseball & Politics Collide in New Thriller
(4893 - 9:26am, Dec 19)
Last: The Id of SugarBear Blanks

NewsblogOT: NFL/NHL thread
(9160 - 9:20am, Dec 19)
Last: Pops Freshenmeyer

NewsblogAre Wil Myers' flaws fixable? | FOX Sports
(107 - 9:19am, Dec 19)
Last: vivaelpujols

NewsblogOT: Monthly NBA Thread - December 2014
(710 - 9:17am, Dec 19)
Last: Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman

NewsblogMax Scherzer not a realistic option, New York Yankees' Randy Levine says - ESPN New York
(9 - 9:09am, Dec 19)
Last: BDC

NewsblogThe 2015 HOF Ballot Collecting Gizmo!
(66 - 9:04am, Dec 19)
Last: flournoy

NewsblogThe 4 surprisingly quiet teams of the MLB offseason
(12 - 9:03am, Dec 19)
Last: Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site

NewsblogOT: NBC.news: Valve isn’t making one gaming console, but multiple ‘Steam machines’
(1353 - 8:24am, Dec 19)
Last: Random Transaction Generator

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-19-2014
(1 - 8:10am, Dec 19)
Last: Dan Lee is some pumkins

NewsblogJerry Crasnick on Twitter: "Jake Peavy has agreed on 2 yr deal with
(4 - 8:04am, Dec 19)
Last: Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site

NewsblogRoyals sign Kris Medlen to two-year deal - MLB Daily Dish
(26 - 3:58am, Dec 19)
Last: Harveys Wallbangers

NewsblogThe Dan Shaughnessy Hall Of Fame Ballot
(59 - 2:45am, Dec 19)
Last: Gonfalon Bubble

NewsblogSaint Pete City Council Tells Rays NYET!
(3 - 1:57am, Dec 19)
Last: Dale Sams

Page rendered in 0.5304 seconds
48 querie(s) executed