Baseball Steroids Timeline Print
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Friday, 14 December 2007 00:26
MLB Headline News

 October, 1988 - Washington Post baseball writer Thomas Boswell claims Jose Canseco is ``the most conspicuous example of a player who has made himself great with steroids.'' Canseco, coming off the first 40 home run-40 steal season in baseball history, denies using steroids before Game 1 of the ALCS at Fenway Park. The Athletics slugger wins the MVP award.
Nov. 18, 1988 - The Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988 creates criminal penalties for those who ``distribute or possess anabolic steroids with the intent to distribute for any use in humans other than the treatment of disease based on the order of a physician.''
Oct. 5, 1990 - Congress toughens its stance with the Anabolic Steroids Control Act, which places steroids in the same legal class as amphetamines, methamphetamines, opium and morphine.
June 7, 1991 - Commissioner Fay Vincent sends a memo to each team announcing that steroids have been added to the league's banned list. No testing plan is announced.
May 7, 1992 - Trainer Curtis Wenzlaff is arrested for steroids distribution. Wenzlaff later publicly admits helping Canseco and 20 to 30 other major leaguers obtain steroids, but refuses to discuss another former client, Mark McGwire.
July 15, 1995 - In an article by Los Angeles Times sports writer Bob Nightengale, Padres general manager Randy Smith is quoted as saying ``we all know there's steroid use, and it is definitely becoming more prevalent.'' Also in the article, Tony Gwynn states: ``It's like the big secret we're not supposed to talk about.''
1996 - Three teams - Baltimore, Seattle and Oakland - break the single-season home run record. Seventeen players hit at least 40 home runs. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the previous high for a season was eight, back in 1961.
Aug. 22, 1998 - A jar of androstenedione is discovered in the locker of Cardinals slugger Mark McGwire, who, along with Sammy Sosa, is chasing Roger Maris' single-season home run mark of 61. McGwire admits using the drug and goes on to hit a record 70 home runs. The precursor to steroids is not yet illegal in Major League Baseball.
April, 2001 - Baseball implements its first random drug-testing program in the minor leagues. All players not on a team's 40-man roster are subject to random testing for performance-enhancing drugs. The penalty for a first positive test is 15 games. Players testing positive five times will receive a lifetime ban.
Oct. 5, 2001 - Barry Bonds breaks McGwire's mark with his 71st home run off Chan Ho Park of the Dodgers. The 37-year-old, who has never hit 50 in a season before, goes on to hit 73.
May 28, 2002 - Ken Caminiti is quoted by Sports Illustrated as saying he used steroids during his MVP season in 1996 with the San Diego Padres, when he hit a career-high .326 with 40 home runs and 130 RBIs. He estimates half the players in the big leagues were using them.
Aug. 7, 2002 - Players and owners agree to their first joint drug program since 1985, calling for anonymous testing to begin in 2003. If more than five percent of the steroid tests are positive in 2003 or 2004, players would be randomly tested for a two-year period. Players won't be punished for testing positive.
Feb. 17, 2003 - Baltimore Orioles pitcher Steve Bechler collapses on the field during a workout in Florida and dies from heat exhaustion. The medical examiner finds ephedra in his system. The league places ephedra on the list of banned drugs at the minor league level.
Oct. 29, 2003 - Less than two weeks after the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency says several track athletes tested positive for tetrahydrogestrinone (THG), baseball places the drug on its testing list for 2004. The league is barred from retroactively retesting 2003 urine samples by its own agreement.
Nov. 13, 2003 - The league announces that of 1,438 anonymous tests in the 2003 season, between five and seven percent were positive, triggering the start of random testing with penalties in 2004. A first offense will lead to counseling and a second offense to a 15-day suspension.
December 2003 - Ten players, including Bonds of the Giants and Jason Giambi and Gary Sheffield of the Yankees, are called to testify in front of a grand jury investigating the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative (BALCO), founded by Victor Conte.
Feb. 12, 2004 - Bonds' personal trainer, Greg Anderson, Conte, BALCO vice president James Valente and track coach Remi Korchemny are charged in a 42-count federal indictment of running a steroid-distribution ring that provided performance-enhancing drugs to dozens of athletes.
April 12, 2004 - The Food and Drug Administration bans the sale of androstenedione, the steroid precursor used by Mark McGwire while setting the home run record in 1998. The FDA action automatically triggers a ban by baseball.
June, 2004 - The league begins testing major leaguers. Punishment for a first offense includes counseling, and names of offenders are to be kept anonymous.
Oct. 22, 2004 - President Bush signs the Anabolic Steroid Control Act of 2004 into law. The bill adds many steroid-based drugs such as androstenedione to the list of steroids classified as Schedule III controlled substances. All drugs banned by Congress are added to baseball's banned list.
Dec. 2, 2004 - The San Francisco Chronicle reports Giambi testified to a federal grand jury on Dec. 11, 2003, that he had used steroids for at least three seasons and had injected himself with human growth hormone in 2003.
Dec. 3, 2004 - The San Francisco Chronicle reports Bonds testified to a federal grand jury on Dec. 4, 2003, that he used a clear substance and a cream given to him by Anderson, but said he didn't know they were steroids.
Jan. 13, 2005 - Players and owners reach new drug-testing agreement calling for more banned substances and for a 10-day penalty for first-time offenders. Under the agreement, players failing drug tests will have their names released to the public.
Feb. 6, 2005 - The New York Daily News reports Canseco says in his book, ``Juiced: Wild Times, Rampant 'Roids, Smash Hits, and How Baseball Got Big'' that he injected McGwire with steroids and introduced several other sluggers to the drugs.
March 5, 2005 - Commissioner Bud Selig announces that between one and two percent of the 1,183 drug tests done in 2004 were positive for performance-enhancing drugs. Per the old agreement, no names are released because no player tested positive twice.
March 17, 2005 - At a hearing of the House Government Reform Committee, McGwire evades questions about steroid use as he testifies alongside Canseco, Sosa and Rafael Palmeiro, who denies having used steroids. Lawmakers scold commissioner Bud Selig and union leader Donald Fehr, saying baseball's penalties are too lenient. Some congressmen say legislation could be necessary.
April 3, 2005 - Tampa Bay outfielder Alex Sanchez becomes the first player suspended for steroids under the major league program.
April 4, 2005 - The league announces 38 minor leaguers tested positive for steroid use. By the end of the month, more than 50 minor leaguers have been suspended.
April 25, 2005 - Selig asks players to agree to a 50-game suspension for first-time steroid offenders, a 100-game ban for second offenders and a lifetime ban for a third violation.
July 15, 2005 - Conte and Anderson plead guilty to steroid distribution and money laundering, and Valente pleads guilty to one count of distributing illegal steroids.
Aug. 1, 2005 - Palmeiro is suspended for 10 days for testing positive for stanozolol, becoming the most prominent player to be penalized for steroids. Twelve players in all were suspended in 2005, each for 10 days.
Sept. 26, 2005 - Fehr counters Selig by proposing a 20-game suspension for first offense, a 75-game penalty for second and leaving the penalty for a third positive up to the commissioner.
Oct. 18, 2005 - BALCO's Conte is sentenced to four months in prison and four months' home confinement. Anderson receives three months in prison and three months in home confinement, and Valente gets probation.
Nov. 2, 2005 - Yankees outfielder Matt Lawton becomes the 12th and final player to be suspended 10 games after testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug. ``I made a terrible and foolish mistake that I will regret for the rest of my life,'' he tells The Associated Press.
Nov. 15, 2005 - Players and owners agree, subject to ratification, to Selig's 50-game, 100-game, lifetime structure for penalties.
March 23, 2006 - Lance Williams and Mark Fainaru-Wada's book Game of Shadows is released. Citing BALCO transcripts and court documents, the book details a massive steroid conspiracy in the game of baseball.
March 30, 2006 - Conte is released from prison and insists he never gave performance-enhancing drugs to Bonds, says the book Game of Shadows is ``full of outright lies.''
April 13, 2006 - According to media reports, Bonds is under investigation by the U.S. government for perjury and tax evasion.
April 28, 2006 - Scientist Patrick Arnold pleads guilty to supplying BALCO with the performance-enhancing drug ``the clear,'' the once-undetectable substance tetrahydrogestrinone that Bonds allegedly told a grand jury he'd unknowingly used.
May 6, 2006 - Fainaru-Wada and Williams are called to testify before a federal grand jury investigating who leaked them the secret testimony of Bonds, Giambi and others. The authors fight the subpoenas.
June 7, 2006 - Federal IRS agents raid the home of relief pitcher Jason Grimsley, who admits using performance-enhancing drugs. According to a federal agent's affidavit, Grimsley gives up the names of players who also have used the drugs.
Sept. 21, 2006 - Fainaru-Wada and Williams are ordered jailed for up to 18 months for refusing to comply with a subpoena ordering them to disclose their source. Jailing is stayed pending an appeal.
Oct. 1, 2006 - Roger Clemens, Andy Pettitte and Miguel Tejada are among the players that Grimsley accused of using performance-enhancing drugs, according to a federal agent's affidavit, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Nov. 1, 2006 - Mets relief pitcher Guillermo Mota is suspended 50 days for violating the league's drug policy, becoming the third and final suspended player of '06. Grimsley and Mets minor leaguer Yusaku Iriki are the others.
Dec. 27, 2006 - Federal appeals court rules the names and urine samples of about 100 Major League Baseball players who tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs in 2003 can be used by investigators.
Feb. 15, 2007 - Troy Ellerman, who once represented Conte and Valente, pleads guilty to being the Chronicle's source of secret grand jury testimony and faces up to two years in prison. The government withdraws its subpoenas of Fainaru-Wada and Williams.
April 26, 2007 - Former New York Mets clubhouse worker Kirk Radomski pleads guilty to selling performance-enhancing drugs to major leaguers. He cooperates with authorities, testifying before the same grand jury investigating Bonds.
Aug. 4, 2007 - Tigers shortstop Neifi Perez is suspended 80 games after testing positive a third time for stimulants. The harshest penalty handed out yet for drug use is not for a steroid, but the harsh penalty is due to the league's crackdown on performance-enhancing drugs.
Oct. 31, 2007 - Outfielder Mike Cameron is suspended 25 games after testing positive a second time for a banned stimulant. ``No steroids,'' Cameron tells a radio station. ``I never took nothing like that before in my life. That would be 50 games, and that would affect me a whole lot more.''
Nov. 1, 2007 - Bonds tells MSNBC he will boycott Cooperstown if the Hall of Fame displayed his record-breaking home run ball with an asterisk. ``There's no such thing as an asterisk in baseball,'' Bonds said.
Nov. 15, 2007 - Bonds is indicted on five felony counts of perjury and obstruction of justice for allegedly lying when he testified he never knowingly used performance-enhancing drugs. If convicted, legal experts say Bonds could spend up to 2 1/2 years in prison.
Nov. 27, 2007 - Relief pitcher Dan Serafini becomes the second player suspended in '07 specifically for performance-enhancing drug use. Tampa Bay pitcher Juan Salas was the first. Serafini, formerly with the Rockies and now a free agent, will miss the first 50 games of the 2008 season.
Dec. 6, 2007 - Outfielders Jose Guillen and Jay Gibbons, linked in media reports to receiving human growth hormone, are suspended for the first 15 days of the 2008 season.
Dec. 7, 2007 - Bonds pleads not guilty to four counts of perjury and one of obstruction of justice.
Dec. 10, 2007 - The players' association files a grievance to overturn Guillen's 15-day suspension. Gibbons has chosen not to contest his penalty.
 

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