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By Fred C. Pampel

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Arnold Mandell, a psychiatrist who served as team physician for the San Diego Chargers from 1972 to 1974, observed the use of amphetamines firsthand. 61 Linemen tended to take the largest doses as a way to encourage fearlessness, while receivers and quarterbacks used lower doses as a way to encourage creativity and quick thinking on the field. Some players went a step further, using cocaine rather than amphetamines during games. According to Vic Washington, a star running back with the San Francisco 49ers in the 1970s, “We were in a war out there.

Despite efforts of at least one team member to throw used medical equipment out the window, the police discovered doping-related equipment. In a bizarre twist, Mayer escaped but was later found asleep in his car on a road in Austria and when awoken tried to escape police by crashing through a roadblock. Austrian authorities complained bitterly about being treated as criminals during the raid, and 10 Austrian athletes underwent and passed urine tests. Still, the IOC promised to investigate the use of drugs by the Austrian team more fully.

The drug taking involved injections as well as pills, cream, and liquid taken orally, and Bonds was using drugs in 2001 when he broke the home run record. In response, Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig appointed former Senator George Mitchell to lead an investigation into the allegations and past use of steroids by MLB players. Given evidence of its benefits, steroid use spread well beyond a few stars during the late 1990s to the early 2000s. Pitchers found that steroids gave them extra strength needed for faster pitches and a longer career, while smaller and faster players who hit few home runs found that steroids improved their batting average.

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