Sports Illustrated is reporting that New York Yankee superstar Alex Rodriguez failed a steroid test in his Most Valuable Player season of 2003 while a member of the Texas Rangers. Given the events of the past half a decade nobody should be surprised.Any sports reporter or pundit who expresses surprise, dismay, incredulity, etc. in response to the latest info that Alex Rodriguez should be ignored and ridiculed. Ever since the BALCO Labs story broke legitimate journalists should have been on their guard and assumed the worst whenever any baseball player put up big numbers. ARod is no exception.As baseball players grew to look like football players - before the BALCO wake-up call - it was apparent that it was "medicine," not medicine balls, pharmaceuticals and not biceps curls that were responsible for massive physiques in major league baseball. The details that were revealed about the workout programs of these players made the claims of the baseball players and their train more suspicious.Workouts that would be substandard for your average junior varsity baseball player were given the credit for building massive, adult physiques. Baseball players were working out five or six days per week, during the season and during the off-season, and people thought this was a reflection of their superhuman genetics and work ethic. ARod had a reputation of being a weight room animal and kept up a prodigious pace during the season, including an extensive, pre-game medicine ball routine.Now we know it has all been nonsense, lies and cheating. Since ARod has been such a target of fan hatred over the years, it will be interesting to see if all of the "no-big-dealers" - fans who say that they love home runs and that baseball is just entertainment - will change their tune.The body has a finite ability to grow and there are limits to how much natural energy people have, no matter how genetically gifted. Baseball players - and other athletes - have been pushing an envelope that couldn't be budged without the aid of banned, performance-enhancing drugs. There's no way a natural athlete could keep up a pace where they could exercise with the same frequency and intensity during a competitive phase - during the season - as they could during the non-competitive phase. These athletes were able to maintain size and strength during the season while keeping up this off field pace, which raised more red flags.Since the Radomski confession I've been saying and writing that federal investigators have known much more than they were telling the rest of us, and this latest revelation gives credence to my belief. There are over 100 names on this list of drug test failures but these guys will have a lot of cover since ARod will garner the most attention and derision.The ARod failed drug test is just another reason to be suspicious of any great individual sports achievement and unfortunately this story won't be the last of its kind.
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