The Times West Virginian

August 6, 2013

Cheaters continue to win

By Mike DeFabo
Times West Virginian

FAIRMONT — No one was surprised.

But still, the news hurt.

One of baseball’s biggest stars, a man who ranks in the top 10 in all-time home runs along with names like Robinson, Griffey, Mays, Ruth and Aaron, is a cheater. A fraud.

In the midst of the scandal, I spoke with Mark Fainaru-Wada, an investigative journalist who along with colleague Lance Williams wrote “Game of Shadows.” In the 2006 tell-all best-seller, Fainaru-Wada and Williams exposed the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative and owner Victor Conte for supplying performance-enhancing drugs to some of the world’s top athletes, most notably disgraced home run king Barry Bonds.

So I asked Fainaru-Wada, what do you make of the latest scandal?

“I think people are completely kidding themselves if they think the era is over,” he said over the phone. “The whole point of BALCO was these athletes were using a range of drugs that they could use without getting caught.”

It occurs to me now that I left out a key detail. The man we were talking about in the interview wasn’t Alex Rodriguez, as you might believe after his 211-game suspension was announced Monday. You see, this conversation took place in 2010 when Mark McGuire admitted that he dabbled in PEDs during his playing days.

The sad, stark reality is Fainaru-Wada’s words are as true today — after Major League Baseball suspended 13 — as they were more than three years ago.


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