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Last week, the fine people at TMZ were hanging outside the BOA Steakhouse in Hollywood. We’re assuming they were waiting like vultures for any sort of celebrity to leave, when they happened to come across Barry Bonds. They asked the former San Francisco Giant what he thought about the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency’s ruling on Lance Armstrong. Bonds responded by saying:
“I think if it wasn’t for him, U.S. cycling wouldn’t even be here. He was the greatest cyclist of all.”
Normally, this would be a great honor. A great athlete giving props to another great athlete, but we’re talking about Barry Bonds. He’s essentially the face of steroid use in baseball, even if he wasn’t found guilty in any court, so it’s a bit ironic that he’s coming to the defense of Lance Armstrong.
Plus, the timing couldn’t be any worse, since via the Brownsville Herald, the “world cycling’s governing body is considering an amnesty for riders and officials to confess to doping offenses, and says there is no plan to challenge the decision to strip Lance Armstrong of his seven Tour de France titles.”
So, this got us thinking. What other famous athletes who have used steroids could defend Mr. Livestrong? Of course, there are a lot of them—probably more than any of us are aware of—but some are worse offenders than others. So, here are 11 steroid-using athletes that Lance Armstrong wouldn’t want support from.
11. Doug Barron
This was a real stunner to the sports world. In 2008, Barron became the first golfer banned from the PGA after failing a drug test.
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10. Rafael Palmeiro
During his 20 year baseball career, Palmeiro became one of only four players to be a member of both the 3,000 hits and 500 home run clubs. Despite denying he used steroids in front of Congress in 2005, in the same year, he was suspended 10 games for testing positive for the anabolic steroid stanozolol. He was later mentioned in the Mitchell Report and went on to write a book on his steroid use while also mentioning other players who did so as well.
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9. Wang Jing
The former Chinese 100-meter champ received a lifetime ban from the Chinese Athletics Federation. She was also stripped of her National Championship 100 meter title.
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8. Sureyya Ayhan
Ayhan was a Turkish 1,500-meter racer who received a lifetime ban after failing two separate drug tests.
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7. Antonio Colom
Right before the Tour de France, Colom tested positive for EPO (a peptide hormone). The Spanish cycling champion was later suspended from the competition.
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6. Kostas Kenteris and Ekaterini Thanou
Here was a decorated Greek sprinter who had won the gold medal in the 200 meters at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, as well as, the gold at the 2001 World Championships and 2002 European Championships. On the day before testing for the 2004 Olympics, which were in Athens, Kenteris and his training partner Ekaterini Thanou (also an Olympic sprinter) failed to show up. The two said they were in a car accident, which was actually staged, and they were forced to withdraw.
Image Source: 2012 Olympics Blog
5. Ben Johnson
Ben Johnson was a Canadian sprinter who dazzled the world in the 1984 and 1988 Olympic Games. However, three days after winning Olympic Gold in 1988, he tested positive for the anabolic steroid stanozolol. He was quickly stripped of all his accomplishments and was hired by former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi to act as a football coach for his son.
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4. Jose Canseco
Canseco will no longer be remembered for his 16-year baseball career in which he had 462 home runs. Instead, he will be remembered as the first MLB baseball to admit to taking steroids, writing a tell-all book, and starting this whole steroid frenzy.
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3. Marion Jones
In 2000, Marion Jones won five Olympic Medals. By 2007, after decades of speculation, Jones admitted that she had used steroids. After years of lying to her loved ones, the media, and two grand juries, she was stripped of all her accomplishments since 2000 and served a six-month prison term.
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2. Alex Rodriguez
The Yankees 12-time All-Star admitted to using steroids during the 2001-2003 seasons after numerous denials. While there wasn’t a steroid policy until 2004, he makes you wonder if A-Rod’s accomplishments and being the highest paid baseball ever, were actually from his ability or from performance enhancing drugs.
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While there are too many baseball players to name on this list, Clemens has to be listed and at our top spot. He was regarded as the best pitcher in baseball with 354 career wins, a career ERA of 3.12, 4,672 strikeouts, and a record 7 Cy Young awards. Yet, he was named in the Mitchell Report 82 times and denied using steroids for years. He was indicted by the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. on six felony counts involving perjury, false statements, and obstruction of Congress in 2010, where he was eventually found not guilty. Still, he became the face of steroid use along with Barry Bonds for many fans.
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