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The "Admitting to Use of Performance Enhancing Drugs Checklist"

We knew it would have to come sometime before Mark McGwire stepped onto the field as the new hitting coach of the St. Louis Cardinals, but today McGwire surprised nobody by admitting that he had used steroids in the '90s. McGwire claimed to have used them for parts of 10 years, including his record-setting chase of MLBs single-season home run record.

So how did Mark McGwire do? Well, let's compare his statement and phone interview with reporters to our trusty "Admitting to Use of Performance Enhancing Drugs Checklist."

McGwire scored points for hitting a number of the common sympathy-searching mechanisms such as:

  • Tears - "During a 20-minute telephone interview shortly afterward, his voice repeatedly cracked."
  • For injury-related use only, of course - "I did this for health purposes. There’s no way I did this for any type of strength use."
  • Teammate/Manager support - "La Russa immediately praised McGwire’s decision to go public."
  • Claiming that the steroid era is a thing of the past - "Baseball is really different now - it’s been cleaned up."

While these points allowed McGwire to score relatively well on the checklist, he did miss out on some techniques that others have successfully used. For instance, Andy Pettitte won many over by claiming he had only used HGH on a couple of occasions, and Alex Rodriguez managed to bring others down with him by blaming the whole thing on his cousin.