Today, it seems as if fans are starting to accept performance-enhancing drugs in sports. Barnard believes we will certainly accept drugs in sport, just as we accept them in medicine, cosmetics or farming. In 1998, Mark McGwire hit the most home runs in a single season, breaking what is considered the most prestigious sports record in America. He later admitted to using a performance-enhancing drug, androstenedione, during his record-breaking season. But instead of dooming baseball, he was credited with "reviving interest in America's first game, giving it a renewed sense of value after the player strikes of 1994" (Barnard para. 3).
Increased educational resources are available to at least certain age groups and are now reaching larger numbers of children. The percentage of pre-adolescent athletes who have heard of steroids has increased significantly from 78% in 1989 to 88% in the current survey (p<.05). In 1989, only 50% of respondents had had steroid side effects explained to them. This significantly increased to 64% in the current study (p<.05). Currently, 60% of respondents felt that steroids, even if used carefully, would still harm the athlete compared to 56% in 1989 (p<.05). Furthermore, 65% currently consider steroid use a drug problem compared to 57% in 1989 (p<.05).
Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative (BALCO) first made headlines when journalists Lance Williams and Mark Fainaru-Wada reported the West-Coast facilities owner Victor Conte had been providing athletes an undetectable anabolic steroidal supplement Tetrahydrogestrinone known as THG; a designer steroid developed by chemist Patrick Arnold. With this steroidal hormone being administered, along with Human Growth Hormone (HGH) and other performance enhancing drugs, the public interest in steroids in sports reached new heights far beyond imagination.