PR - Crisis and Management

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Barry Bonds and the steroid scandal

Barry Bonds is a left fielder for the San Francisco Giants best known for his tremendous talent and his home-run hitting ability having hit 708 home runs in his career by 2005 (ESPN.com). While Bonds is usually praised for his outstanding performances, in recent news, Bonds has been under attack for allegedly using steroids and performance enhancing drugs throughout his career.

According to Sports Illustrated.com, "Beginning in 1998 with injections in his buttocks of Winstrol, a powerful steroid, Barry Bonds took a wide array of performance-enhancing drugs over at least five seasons in a massive doping regimen that grew more sophisticated as the years went on", according to Game of Shadows, a book written by two San Francisco Chronicle reporters at the forefront of reporting on the BALCO steroid distribution scandal. In addition to detailing the drug usage, the excerpt portrays Bonds as a menacing fool, a tax cheat and an adulterer with sexual dysfunction, hair loss and wild mood swings that included periods of rage.

Barry Bonds has come out with his argument. Bonds testified to a grand jury that he used a clear substance and a cream given to him by a trainer who was indicted in a steroid-distribution ring, but said he didn't know they were steroids. Bonds told a U.S. grand jury that he used undetectable steroids known as "the cream" and "the clear," which he received from personal trainer Greg Anderson during the 2003 season. According to Bonds, the trainer told him the substances were the nutritional supplement flaxseed oil and a pain-relieving balm for the player's arthritis.

Major League baseball has been greatly affected by the steroid scandal as a whole in terms of public relations. Baseball's public image has taken a hit over the past two years, because of suspicions of performance-enhancing steroids. Big-name players like Jason Giambi, Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire and Barry Bonds have all been accused of steroid use. This type of negative publicity has lessened fans trust in the sport as a whole and has greatly influenced the integrity of baseball.

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