Victor Conte Says Half of Baseball Using Anabolic Steroids

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Victor Conte, the infamous founder of the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative (BALCO), continues to stay in the news with his estimates of steroid use in Major League Baseball (MLB). Conte recently told USA Today that as many as fifty percent of MLB players are using the anabolic steroid testosterone. Of course, such widespread use of steroid would blow the lid off any conjecture that baseball’s “steroid era” ever ended.

“I’m not going to name names, but I’ve talked to a lot of top players in Major League Baseball, and they tell me this is what they’re doing,” Conte said. “There is rampant use of synthetic testosterone in Major League Baseball.”

Many sportswriters have bought the talking points  put forth by MLB and the MLB Players Union that contemporary steroid testing has effectively put an end to the “steroid era”. Supposedly, MLB’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program steroid testing program has done what no other anti-doping program could accomplish. It has cleaned up the professional sport of baseball.

Of course, the endless steroid witch-hunts and tireless speculation about which high-performing player may be using performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) has seriously diminished the average fan’s enjoyment of the game. Sportwriters are, without a doubt, tired of writing about steroid positives and steroid scandals. They are tired of debating whether or not steroid users (or even suspected steroid users) should be inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Make no mistake. Everyone wants the steroid era to end.

It won’t. But fans and writers can do the next best thing: pretend it has ended and ignore the widespread use of steroids or at least stop talking about it.

Even Travis Tygart, the CEO of the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), has begrudgingly agreed with Conte that the drug of choice for athletes who want to avoid detection of their steroid use is testosterone.

“We’ve known for a period of time that fast-acting testosterone is a logical choice for athletes who are willing to break the rules in order to win,” said Tygart. “To some extent it’s a performance-enhancing drug of choice because it significantly reduces the risk of being caught.”

USADA and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) have long refused to take advice from Conte because of his infamous role in helping athletes avoid detection with the use of designer steroids such as THG and fast-acting testosterone gels.

Conte has been right many times in the past when it comes to questions of steroid use in sports. Could he be uncomfortable close to the truth about the current level of steroid use in baseball?



Nightengale, B. (August 15, 2012). Column: Melky Cabrera latest to attack our innocence. Retrieved from