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Thread: Deniers in the steroid era

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    Default Deniers in the steroid era

    The list of athletes who were accused and subsequently denied using performance-enhancing drugs is lengthy and includes some of the biggest names in their respective sports. Here is a sampling of those who claimed innocence in the face of drug allegations:
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    "I have never, ever knowingly taken illegal drugs and I would never embarrass my family, my friends and my country, and the kids who love me." – Ben Johnson at a press conference following a failed drug test at the 1988 Olympic Games. In 1989, Johnson admitted to using steroids.










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    The International Olympic Committee revealed during the 2000 Olympic games that C.J. Hunter had failed four drug tests that summer. "I'm going to defend myself vigorously. We've put together a great team and I'm quite positive that when everything is said and done, I'll be exonerated." – Hunter at a press conference during the 2000 Olympic Games after it was revealed he'd failed several drug tests



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    "I have always been unequivocal in my opinion, I am against performance-enhancing drugs. I have never taken them and I never will take them." – Marion Jones in her 2004 autobiography. In 2007, Jones admitted to using steroids as she prepared for the 2000 Olympic Games.




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    Tyler Hamilton denied using PEDs for years, even clinging to a "vanishing twin" explanation when he tested positive for injecting someone else's blood. Hamilton has since moved to the forefront of the whistleblowing, appearing on "60 Minutes" and writing a book detailing his and Lance Armstrong's use of PEDs.




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    "No. I don't have to [use steroids]. I mean, I'm a good enough ballplayer as it is. I don't need to be any better. I can't get any better at this age." – Barry Bonds to Bob Costas in 2002. Bonds was implicated in the infamous BALCO scandal and was later indicted for lying to a grand jury about his use of steroids. He still maintains his innocence.





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    Guys that work their butts off and they're hitting home runs, now it's because they're on steroids. Even injuries, a guy gets hurt, 'Oh, he's on steroids.' It's a little sickening to me." – Jason Giambi to ESPN in 2002. Giambi admitted to a federal grand jury in 2003 to taking steroids and HGH.




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    "Asking me or any other player to answer questions about who took steroids in front of television cameras will not solve the problem... My lawyers have advised me that I cannot answer these questions without jeopardizing my friends, my family and myself. I intend to follow their advice." – Mark McGwire at a federal hearing in 2005. McGwire admitted in 2010 to using steroids.




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    I have never used steroids, period. I don't know how to say it any more clearly than that. Never." – Rafael Palmeiro at a federal hearing in 2005. Months after his Capital Hill testimony, Palmeiro tested positive for steroids and was suspended for 10 days for violating baseball's anti-drug policy. Palmeiro still maintains his innocence.




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    "I have never taken illegal performance-enhancing drugs. I have never injected myself or had anyone inject me with anything. I have not broken the laws of the United States or the laws of the Dominican Republic. I have been tested as recently as 2004 and I am clean." – Sammy Sosa at a federal hearing in 2005. Sosa is one of 104 players who reportedly tested positive for steroids in 2003. He's never admitted to using steroids





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    'm angry that that what I've done for the game of baseball and the personal, in my private life, what I've done, that I don't get the benefit of the doubt. The stuff that's being said, it's ridiculous. It's hogwash for people to even assume this." – Roger Clemens in a 2009 interview on "60 Minutes". According to the Mitchell Report, released in 2007, trainer Brian McNamee first injected Clemens with steroids in 1998. Clemens still maintains his innocence.




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    Days after winning the 2006 Tour de France, it was revealed Floyd Landis failed a drug test. "I put in more than 20,000 kilometres of training for the Tour. I won the Tour of California, Paris-Nice and the Tour de Georgia. I was tested eight times at the Tour de France, four times before that stage and three times after, including three blood tests. Only one came back positive. Nobody in their right mind would take testosterone just once. It doesn't work that way." – Landis to USA Today in 2006. He maintained his innocence for years, until finally admitting guilt in 2010.





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    When asked by Katie Couric in a "60 Minutes" interview in 2007 if he'd ever used performance-enhancing drugs, Alex Rodriguez responded, "No." Has he ever been tempted to try PEDs? "No." In 2009, after it was revealed he'd tested positive for steroids in 2003, Rodriguez admitted he used a "banned substance" when he was with the Texas Rangers in the early 2000s.





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    n 2009, Manny Ramirez was suspended 50 games after a test revealed he had artificial testosterone in his body. "Recently I saw a physician for a personal health issue. He gave me a medication, not a steroid, which he thought was okay to give me. Unfortunately, the medication was banned under our drug policy. Under the policy that mistake is now my responsibility. I have been advised not to say anything more for now. I do want to say one other thing; I've taken and passed about 15 drug tests over the past five seasons." – Ramirez in a statement following his suspension for failing a drug test.




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    Melky Cabrera denied he'd failed a drug test in 2012, only to be suspended by Major League Baseball a few weeks later for … failing a drug test. Cabrera tried to cover up his steroid use by creating a fictitious website and a nonexistent product that he claimed triggered his positive test. He even used the fake website in his defense before he was suspended. Alas, the website story crumbled and Cabrera was suspended




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