Congress’ Dirty Little Secret…How They Have Allowed Illegal Drugs In This Country

By Gregory Moore
Updated: February 17, 2005
The U.S. Government says it trusts MLB to do things ‘respectibally’ but the truth is that Bud Selig and his cronies have allowed illegal drug pushing and use happen for far too long.

SAN ANTONIO – Capitol Hill has a dirty little secret that nobody has ever truly examined and thanks to José Conseco’s book, that secret has come to light. For over 20 years Congress and the Presidential administrations that were in office have kept running “Just Say No to Drugs” campaigns at the American public when all the while they have allowed the biggest drug pushers and users operate right up under their nose. These individuals are bigger than any Columbian drug cartel could ever be and they are more loveable than that purple dinosaur or the sponge guy. They do something that millions of us see little kids do every day during the spring and summer in parks and playing fields and it is supposed to be America’s pastime. Yes the very people who we have grown to love since kids have been peddling poison on our society and our very government has not done anything about it. The United States Government has lost the war on fighting steroids use because they have allowed Major League Baseball to operate with impunity to regulation and enforcement. It’s a situation that must be dealt with but can anything be done now?

Over the past few years I have written stories about steroid use on this site. Everyone knows that steroids are illegal and I am not about to argue that we need a level playing field in sports. I have had a long conversation with my significant other on the importance of writing this story. In her eyes I’m beating a dead horse to death. From her vantage point nothing can be done since nobody complained about it before. For someone who really isn’t into any other sport but football, she made some valid points. One of her best points is the fact that cheating in baseball isn’t anything new nor is cheating in sports. She is 100% correct in that regards because there is no such thing as a level playing field. There are two types of players: those that have and those that have not. Now I could go into great detail with her point on that topic but I won’t. What I will say is that while she is correct on numerous points, when it comes to steroids there has to be a line drawn to where ‘no means no’.

So why would I want to hold the government accountable for something that really Bud Selig and others should be dealing with? Because they refuse to deal with the issue on any level. When Selig, who is the commissioner, tries to sweep the matter under the rug, I have a problem with it. When you can look t ballplayers and tell that they have gotten an unfair advantage over their competition but nothing has been done about it, I have a problem with it. When an industry wants to say that one of their own is a snitch and a leach, that the only reason why the book was written was to bring the game down, I have a problem with it. I have a problem because all of this could have been avoided so many years ago by the league and the union wanting to make sure that America’s pastime is pristine, pure and free from any outside influence. I blame our government for this mess because they are afraid to do the one thing that could actually get this industry back on track. All Congress has to do is actually pull the anti-trust exemption away from baseball and make them conform to the standards the other major sports leagues are already operating up under.

GOVERNMENT COULD CARE LESS ABOUT CHEATERS It’s ironic that the government cares about so many different other situations but that when it comes to the fact that baseball has been pushing illegal drugs, they have turned a blind eye. Think about how this looks to the rest of the world. Our government is zero tolerance on all illegal drugs and yet they have allowed an industry to operate under the auspices of an anti-trust exemption AND have blatantly ignored warnings from various federal agencies on their practices. If Microsoft took that same stance, the current administration would be sending every legal soldier they have after them. The IRS would be turning over financial records. The Justice Department would be conducting interviews and investigations on anti-trust and other illegal business practices. Funny thing is that in the business world the government has done such maneuvers. It wasn’t the long ago when they took on Microsoft and won. They are winning the battle against Enron and other big time corporations. On the battlefront in Iraq they are even winning here and there and ultimately they will achieve their objective. As far as the current war on drugs, the government is doing a pretty good job. So one would think that when this steroids scandal broke, the government was all over it and handling it with the cooperation of Major League Baseball. Well the truth has to be told and the simple fact of this matter is that for the government, the fact that Major League Baseball has allowed players to use illegal substances with their full knowledge is not a priority now and it wasn’t one in the past.

That’s a hard pill to swallow for baseball purists. It’s a hard pill to swallow for any true sports fan. I’m a fan of sports and I like watching these athletes do what they do best but I do not want them to be able to do so if they are chemically enhancing their physiques and gaining an upper hand on their competition. Better equipment when you are younger is one thing but to actually be using anabolic steroids is something totally different. When it comes to playing at the professional level of Major League Baseball, everyone should be on an equal playing field. However we know that is not the case and we can tell by the records that have been set within the past decade. Should the government care about such abnormalities if they exist? They should but as it stands right now, it doesn’t seem to be that big of a deal.

SOME OF THE BIGGEST STARS ARE CHEATERS – POINT BLANK Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Jason Giambi, Raphael Palmero, Barry Bonds. These are just a few of the sluggers who have massive body frames in baseball and not all of that mass came from proper nutrition and tenuous workouts. As any sports medicine professional will tell you, as your body gets older, it’s harder to work out and keep the same muscle tone. Yes you can change your diet and you can take vitamin supplements to help your body produce the natural enzymes and other molecular material needed to feed the muscles used in playing the game. Yet it is a known fact that steroids helps your body maintain the physical make up longer because it stays in the system longer. While that may be good for recuperating after a workout, the effects are life changing. I keep looking at photos of these players’ heads from when they first got in, to maybe five to seven years while in the league, and to the current time if they are still in the game. As they put on more muscle, their ‘hat’ size seems to grow exponentially. Photographs don’t lie unless they are altered but I seriously doubt that photos from the Associated Press, Getty and other reputable photo houses that cover sports would doctor such photos. No amount of workout on your lower extremities, meaning anything below the neck, would swell your head to the size that some of these guys have. I am not convinced that there is such a workout available without taking something illegal in the process.

Players like Bonds can deny their involvement in taking steroids all they want. They can continue to say that the only thing they have done was eat a special diet and worked out. Well that’s fine for those of us who know but what these players need to realize is that sports fans of today aren’t idiots. Somewhere in the midst of all of that training, they were offered something to help accelerate the building process during some time in their career. If and when the grand jury testimony in the BALCO case comes to light, there will be more questions asked than ever before and you would think that guys like Bonds would just come clean. Ah but they are egotistical as well and that is the main reason why facing the truth could be such a hard proposition.

THE GOVERNMENT NEEDS TO INVESTIGATE AND TAKE ACTION So what could this government do about this situation in Major League Baseball? To be perfectly frank it is time for the Congress to take action and truly investigate why this league didn’t ban steroid use when it was first reported. It is time for the Congress to not only open up the anti-trust issue on this league but to pull it all together. What reason does a $1 billion industry need to have such an exemption in this day and age? When billionaires are playing millionaires a whole ton of money, that exemption is moot in my opinion.

Now some folks may think I’m piling on an issue that is already being talked about. Maybe I am. According to the significant other, I am barking up a tree that has already been chewed on. I’m not saying I have the answer to this problem because that ship has already sailed. However I just think it is quite ironic that when it comes to illegal drugs or business practices, our government dons on the cape and goes after the violators of those segments. So why won’t the government pick up this torch and do the same thing? Because it simply isn’t on the radar screen and that is why Conseco can boast and brag about his illegal use of steroids and how he was the biggest pusher in the game of baseball. He can do so because the government looked the other way.