So baseball legend Mark McGwire has admitted to taking steroids in 1998; the year in which he broke the single-season home run record, previously held by Richard Maris.

As ESPN reports:

McGwire said in a statement sent to The Associated Press on Monday that he used steroids on and off for nearly a decade. During a 20-minute telephone interview shortly afterward, his voice repeatedly cracked.

“It’s very emotional, it’s telling family members, friends and coaches, you know, it’s former teammates to try to get a hold of, you know, that I’m coming clean and being honest,” he said. “It’s the first time they’ve ever heard me, you know, talk about this. I hid it from everybody.”

Is nothing sacred? Well when it comes to baseball, probably not. Fellow major league big hitters Sammy Sosa and Barry Bonds have both had the speculation of drug use hang over their heads in recent years.

USA Today reports:

Fans have a right to feel cheated by McGwire. Numbers are such a big part of baseball lore that McGwire, in effect, changed the course of history. The question is: what’s really different now?

So does drug use taint the image of Mark McGwire? And does it taint baseball fans’ memories of his achievements? His 62nd home run in the 1998 season to break Richard Maris’ record, for instance?

Similarly, did tennis great Andre Agassi’s confession in October last year that he had taken meth amphetamines during his career tarnish tennis fans’ opinion of him?

If Richie Benaud comes out and says he used to binge on cocaine during the the 1960 tied Test between Australian and the West Indies then I’m giving up.

Get Crikey for $1 a week.

Lockdowns are over and BBQs are back! At last, we get to talk to people in real life. But conversation topics outside COVID are so thin on the ground.

Join Crikey and we’ll give you something to talk about. Get your first 12 weeks for $12 to get stories, analysis and BBQ stoppers you won’t see anywhere else.

Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
12 weeks for just $12.