The Mitchell Report

anabolic steroids. Dave McKay, a longtime coach for the St. Louis Cardinals and the Oakland Athletics, estimated that at one time 30% of players were using them. Within the past week, the former Cincinnati Reds pitcher Jack Armstrong estimated that between 20% and 30% of players in his era, 1988 to 1994, were using large doses of steroids while an even higher percentage of players were using lower, maintenance doses of steroids.182 There have been other estimates, a few higher, many lower, all impossible to verify.

The players who used performance enhancing substances bear an obvious share of the responsibility for the problem; but others, both in and out of baseball, share in that responsibility. Even before 1998 many in baseball were aware of the problem; indeed, several baseball officials talked publicly about it then. Those who knew about it should have insisted that something be done. The issue did not receive the same degree of attention that later followed the McGwire incident.

A. Jose Canseco and the First Public Speculation About Steroids in Baseball

In a widely reported incident during the Summer Olympics in September of 1988, the Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson was stripped of a gold medal in the 100-meter sprint for testing positive for stanozolol, an anabolic steroid sold under the brand name Winstrol.183 Days later, the first public speculation appeared about a player's use of steroids in Major League Baseball.

In an appearance on the CBS program Nightwatch on September 28, 1998, Washington Post baseball writer Thomas Boswell described Jose Canseco as "the most conspicuous example of a player who has made himself great with steroids." Boswell said he

182 See Wayne Coffey, Former All-Star Jack Armstrong Hoping to Set the Record Straight on Steroid Era, N.Y. Daily News, Dec. 9, 2007.

183 Michael Janofsky, Johnson Loses Gold to Lewis After Drug Test, N.Y. Times, Sept. 27, 1988, at A1.

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