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Thursday, May 23
The Indiana Daily Student

Must have been that flaxseed oil

Keep trying, baseball. Keep denying and lying about steroid use in the league. It's your best disguise and will continue to make some fans believe that players weren't on the juice. Had you asked me a few months ago, I would have still given the game the benefit of the doubt. But now, I just can't buy into that anymore.\nThere's too much evidence for me to believe that in the last 15 years of baseball just Ken Caminiti, Jason Giambi and Jose Canseco, who admitted to using steroids, were the only ones actually sticking the needle into their bloodstream.\nWhen Barry Bonds went before a federal grand jury during the BALCO case in December of 2003, he told them that he "unknowingly" took steroids. The now famous and undetectable "cream" (a testosterone balm that can be rubbed into the skin) and the "clear" (a liquid that is dropped under the tongue) were both taken by Giambi and Bonds. But while Giambi admitted to using the steroids, Bonds took another approach. He claimed he was under the impression that the substances were flaxseed oil and arthritis balm. Give me a break, Barry. I'll believe that bull malarkey when ... well, never. I won't ever believe it. \nTo further Bonds' troubles, his former mistress, Kimberly Bell, told Fox News Saturday that he took steroids during the 1999 and 2000 seasons to help recover from injury. Hmm, interesting how Bonds home run production went from 34 in 1999 to 49 in 2000 and then to 73 in 2001, the current major league record. Must have been that flaxseed oil. Once disciplinary actions were placed on steroid use in 2002, Bonds' homers decreased back down to a modest 46.\nPerhaps the most controversial story to come out of the steroid scandal is Canseco's new tell-all book. Canseco claims to have introduced steroids to Ranger teammates Rafael Palmeiro, Ivan Rodriguez and Juan Gonzalez and believes steroid use is a positive thing that can bring excitement to the game.\nMany are quick to discredit Canseco's claims because he hasn't exactly had the best criminal record and seems to always be looking to make a quick buck. \nSo do I believe Canseco's accusations? While I think some of his accounts have been embellished, I actually believe most of the players he named were users. \nNeed proof?\nCanseco joined the Rangers during the 1992 season. The same year Gonzales' home runs spiked from 19 in 1991 all the way up to 43. He then went on to hit 46 home runs in 1993 to lead the majors. George W's leadership from the owner's box must have been the inspiration for Gonzales' increased productivity. Palmeiro's statistics are similarly striking. From 1992 to 1993 Palmeiro increased his home-run production by 15.\nThe thing that troubles me the most is that a new report has surfa ced in the New York Daily News. The paper claims that the FBI warned baseball 10 years ago that players were using steroids, but the league decided not to act on it.\nPerhaps it was because after baseball's strike shortened the season of 1994, the game knew the only way to win back fans was with the long ball. It seems to have worked. But as the allegations continue to roll in, I can't help but believe when in 20 years or so when people look back to the late '80s, '90s and early oughts in baseball history this period will be referred to as the 'Steroid Era.' \nCanseco wouldn't have it any other way.

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