Juice stains everywhere in sporting world

TIM DAHLBERG

, Last Updated: 8:57 AM ET

I began suspecting it while hanging around the San Francisco Giants' clubhouse this summer on the off-chance Barry Bonds might say something profound.

Even though not many of them could pitch or hit very well, it sure seemed like there were an awful lot of big guys hanging around in there.

Bonds was the biggest, of course, thanks to hard work and the benefits of flaxseed oil. Still, I couldn't help wondering if there was a reason his trainer preferred sitting in a federal jail rather than talk about the possibility Bonds lied about using steroids.

Now comes word Greg Anderson isn't the only one keeping his mouth shut. Baseball's steroids investigator wants to talk to 45 mostly current players about the stuff they use, but none of them want to talk to him.

That likely includes Troy Glaus of the Toronto Blue Jays, who hit seven home runs in the 2002 playoffs and was the World Series MVP. According to SI.com, he celebrated the next year by ordering multiple shots of nandrolone and testosterone.

And then there's the feel-good story of the year that suddenly doesn't feel so good any more. Rick Ankiel was Babe Ruth without a belly, but the Babe wouldn't have known what human growth hormone was if it was slathered on his pre-game hot dog.

So many athletes, so many stories. A reasonable person can draw only one conclusion: Everyone is juiced.

That's right. Everyone.

And not just in ball. Cycling has pretty much imploded as a sport, the defending Olympic 100-metre champion faces an eight-year suspension after testing positive, and it seems like a weightlifter is caught every week.

The NFL usually starts its season with at least one star player on suspension, and this year is no exception with Rodney Harrison sitting out four games. As added bonuses this year, the quarterback coach for the Dallas Cowboys was also suspended, and a team doctor was fired from the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Gary Player believes golfers are using, and things have gotten so bad that even guys in fake sports or guys who fake being in sports are being busted. Ten WWE wrestlers were recently suspended, and Sylvester Stallone was caught bringing HGH and testosterone into Australia.

If Rocky's using, it figures everyone else must be, too.

So if Ankiel used HGH, what does Albert Pujols use? How does Alex Rodriguez hit so many home runs, and how can Roger Clemens still hit low 90s with his fastball at an age where most former pitchers can't even get their arm above their shoulder?

The point is we can't believe anyone anymore. It's going to be a long time before we can.

It's not fair for those who really are clean, but they're part of the problem, too. They could say something, but the code of silence among players is deeper than the one employed by the Mafia.

In Ankiel, we finally had a story we thought we could believe. Hollywood couldn't come up with a better script.

Failed pitcher goes back to the minors, works like a dog and returns reborn as a slugger. The same team he left in tears when he kept throwing the ball to the backstop welcomes him back, and he rewards them by hitting nine home runs and helping put the Cardinals back in the middle of the pennant race.

Turns out the joke is on us. Sure, Ankiel has an excuse, but after a while the excuses all seem the same. No one ever did anything on purpose, no one ever knows what they were taking, and no one ever admits anything.

Everyone cheats, or so it seems. The ones who don't are guilty by association.


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