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Ryan Braun has proven his power outburst last year was no fluke by already equalling his home run total from last season.
Ryan Braun has proven his power outburst last year was no fluke by already equalling his home run total from last season.

MLB: Steroid era over but integrity is still an issue

With two high-profile players caught cheating recently, if the clubs can spend millions for players, it's time they pay to protect what is left of the integrity of the game, writes Carroll Rogers.

 

Two months ago, Roger Clemens was found not guilty of perjury, exonerated of charges that he lied to US Congress about steroid use. This week, Clemens signed with an independent league team in Texas in hopes of showing not only did he pitch clean but he can pitch at age 50.

On Wednesday, reigning National League Most Valuable Player Ryan Braun hit his 34th home run for the Milwaukee Brewers, one more than he hit last season before getting suspended for 50 games. Although his ban was overturned, Braun's bat may have done a better job of making his case.

Major League Baseball has been moving on from the steroid era, or at least it is trying.

Melky Cabrera, of the San Francisco Giants, and Bartolo Colon, of the Oakland Athletics, two prominent players, have both been slapped with 50-game bans after testing positive for elevated levels of testosterone, suggesting they used a synthetic version of the hormone, which might be MLB's newest challenge to police.

Victor Conte, an admitted former producer and distributor of steroids for BALCO laboratories, told ESPN that synthetic testosterone is the new drug of choice because it can leave a player's system in six to eight hours, and warned that more elaborate tests are required to catch those players using the substances.

Such advances come with high costs. But if the clubs can spend millions for players, it's time they pay to protect what is left of the integrity of the game.

sports@thenational.ae

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