Do you know who made a lot of money off Mark McGwire? Drug companies.
Darren Rovell is the best sports business writer in the country. He has an interesting post on his CNBC “Sports Biz” site. Rovell recalls the 1998 incident where an AP writer named Steve Wilstein spotted a bottle of the drug Androstenedione in the locker of then St. Louis Cardinals slugger McGwire. Wilstein wrote about McGwire’s use of the drug and the result was a mini scandal. It was a minor speed bump on the first baseman’s road to a record-setting 70 home run season.
“Andro” was a quasi-illegal drug that was banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency and most sports organizations throughout the world. It is a steroid precursor that helps the body manufacture testosterone. However, at the time, Andro was NOT banned by Major League Baseball. It was also available for sale over the counter in the U.S.
Rovell points out that after news of McGwire’s Andro use, sales of the drug rose 1,000 percent in the United States in 1999. That amounted to $50 million in one year for the drug’s manufacturer. One retailer attributed “99 percent of the sales” specificially to McGwire.
Much like McGwire himself, it was a fraud. We now know Andro wasn’t the reason that Mark McGwire hit 70 home runs in 1998. McGwire was also taking anabolic steroids (by his own admission) and HGH. He was also taking HORSE STEROIDS. We know this because of a previous article written by T.J. Quinn when he was with the NewYork Daily News.
The next time you hear Mark McGwire say he took steroids for “health reasons,” keep in mind that most people don’t take horse steroids for their health. One final note: sale of Androstenedione in the U.S. was banned by the Food and Drug Administration in 2004. Androstenedione is now on the Controlled Substance list and has also been banned by the U.S. Military.
MARK MCGWIRE: DO CHICKS STILL DIG THE LONGBALL?