News Home
Quick Bites
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
On AirNewsClassical
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Hospice of the Western Reserve

Akron Children's Hospital

The Holden Arboretum

For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )

Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us

Pluto: Finally, sports admits it has a drug problem

Commmentator Terry Pluto says he isn't buying the excuses of players like Ryan Braun and Josh Gordon caught by drug tests

Morning Edition Host
Amanda Rabinowitz
Brewers slugger Ryan Braun has been suspended for the rest of the 2013 season without pay, after admitting to using performance-enhancing drugs.
Courtesy of Creative Commons
Download (WKSU Only)

Some pro athletes are facing a harsh reality this week, as Major League Baseball and the NFL handed down lengthy suspensions for drug use.... And it’s making WKSU commentator Terry Pluto grumpy. But, he says, it's not so much the suspensions themselves that bother him, it's what he describes has become the new normal that sports is finally recognizing publicly. 

LISTEN: Terry Pluto on drug use in sports

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (3:26)

Fans now need a pharmaceutical degree
Commentator Terry Pluto says following sports was a lot easier when he was a kid. “I just worried about batting averages and home runs. … I didn’t need a pharmaceutical degree to follow sports.”

Braun, Peralta and others
No more. The National League’s 2011 MVP, Ryan Braun, has been suspended and fined for the rest of the season after his name was one of 20 linked to a clinic in Miami accused of peddling human growth hormone, steroids and “a total laundry list” of performance enhancers. Another of those names is former Indian and now Detroit Tiger shortstop Jhonny Peralta.

“Actually, that could alter the pennant race because they (Detroit) don’t really have some good backup infielders if he were to be suspended for the rest of the year,” Pluto notes.

It’s not just the use of performance enhancers that bothers Pluto. Braun, he notes, failed a drug test before, though he denied steroid-use and was exonerated.

This time, Pluto says, “I gagged” when he heard Braun’s statement.

Too many excuses
“’Well, if I offended anyone…’ or ‘This has been very hard on my family…’ What, someone put a gun to your head and intravenously injected these steroids into you so you could be MVP of 2011?”

Braun and others have their defenders. And Pluto says some of them raise Babe Ruth – whose substance of abuse was alcohol. But Pluto says that was certainly no performance enhancer. “What they were trying to do is sober up Babe so he could play.”

Likewise with the cocaine Pluto says many players were abusing when he first started covering baseball in the 1970s.

“Nobody got physically stronger doing a whole lot of cocaine.” 

Browns' Josh Gordon and codeine 
And baseball isn’t the only sport with a drug problem. The Browns Josh Gordon flunked a drug test. His explanations have included a claim that he had strep throat and took codeine that he didn’t realize would be a problem.

Pluto says that runs counter to the reality of major sports.

“You have a sniffle, you have a phone number to call. They will have will have three doctors looking at your nose in two hours. … and giving you drugs that will pass any NFL, NBA drug test.”

Bigger name players going down
Pluto says the major sports appear to be taking testing and discipline more seriously.

“A lot of the guys who were busted early were no name players. (But) you just sat down the MVP from 2011 for the National League, Ryan Braun. That should get people’s attention.”

Meanwhile, Pluto says he’ll continue to regard two players as single-season and lifetime homerun champs – untainted by performance enhancers.

“It’s still Hank Aaron and it’s still Roger Maris. It’s not Barry Bonds and it’s not Mark McGuire.” 

Listen: Pluto on questions facing Browns as training camp opens
Other options:
MP3 Download
Add Your Comment


E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook

Stories with Recent Comments

Backers of legalizing marijuana in Ohio promise to be back in 2016
We should be aloud to grow more than 4 plants and not have to register with the state considering it will be a free market.

Akron says it's had no second thoughts about welcoming refugees
What business does Councilman Neal own on North Hill? I'd love to support him. I am so glad to have the refugees in our neighborhood. I have lived here for 25 ...

Scarborough says the University of Akron is trying to rebuild relationships
In order for the University of Akron to grow and become a desirable place for students across Ohio and elsewhere, it must address the crime problem in the Akron...

Ohio Sen. Cliff Hite wants to end pay-to-play sports fees at Ohio's schools
You can bet Hite and Husted will also rush to the rescue of the Academic Challenge team, the speech-and-debate squad, the Science Olympians and the chess club. ...

Ohio lawmakers consider new gun bills
States that have gun restrictions/cities have reduced gun violence is false. CHICAGO has some of the toughest gun laaws/restrictions but yet fun violence is off...

Cleveland's public transit system considers fare increase for 2016
I work with individuals with disabilities. Yes some of my folks need more help than the average person. As a whole, the group I work with however can manuver ju...

Community group sues to re-open part of Wadsworth hospital
My father was part of the founding group of citizens which started the "new" Wadsworth/Rittman Hospital. For some reason the leadership for the future of the ho...

The Cleveland Museum of Art presents painters who loved their gardens
brilliant masterpiece, Greetings from

Ohio Sen. Tom Patton proposes bill for firefighter cancer benefits
Thank you Senator Patton. On behalf of all of those who love our firefighters; we appreciate that someone is standing up for them and their continued health. ??...

Copyright © 2015 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University