Ex-slugger David Segui bemoans 'demonizing' of PED users, but 'protecting' 'street drug' users

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David Segui, a longtime <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/mlb/teams/baltimore/" data-ylk="slk:Baltimore Orioles">Baltimore Orioles</a> player, spoke out against 'demonizing' PED users. (Getty Images)
David Segui, a longtime Baltimore Orioles player, spoke out against 'demonizing' PED users. (Getty Images)

David Segui, the former slugger who admitted steroid use more than a decade ago, believes baseball players caught using performance-enhancing drugs are “demonized” while those using drugs of abuse are “protected.’

Segui’s comments are part of a trio of articles published by USA Today the morning of the Home Run Derby looking at steroids in baseball.

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Segui: Steroid users ‘demonized’

Segui views it as hypocritical the way MLB treats steroid users and those who do “drugs of abuse,” which includes marijuana and heroin.

Segui told USA Today:

“You can smoke weed, crack, or shoot heroin and we’ll protect that guy and his right to privacy, but God forbid you take something to heal or benefit your body and become a better athlete or player. Then, they portray you as taking an evil substance.

“I should have put myself in therapy and told baseball I have a disease. My disease is that I’m addicted to steroids. Then I could have had a press conference, and cried, and they could have had a GoFundMe for pitiful David.

“I don’t smoke weed, smoke crack, shoot up heroin, or take any of the street drugs, but because I used steroids, I’m demonized.’’

Players who tests positive for banned drugs, including anabolic steroids, are suspended without pay for 80 games per MLB’s drug policy. A second positive test will get an 162-game suspension and third tests result in a lifetime ban from the league.

In comparison, players are not subjected to testing for “drugs of abuse” — marijuana, opiates, ecstasy, as examples — unless there is a reasonable cause notification. Those who test positive are evaluated and entered into a treatment program with certain salary entitlements.

A small percentage of users develop a dependence on anabolic steroids, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Segui: Morality isn’t part of pro sports

Segui, 52, admitted to using human growth hormone with a prescription and experimenting with anabolic steroids in advance of the 2007 Mitchell Report. The veteran had a 15-year career with seven teams, spending eight of those years with the Baltimore Orioles. He retired in 2004.

PED use is viewed as cheating and therefore violates moral ethics, though Segui said he sees it as a recovery tool and a pick-me-up. And even if it were about morality, Segui’s defense turns on the “what about” argument by looking around the professional sport landscape.

Via USA Today:

“People talk about morality. Well, when has morality been part of professional sports? When has morality been part of baseball? Find me the era. This doesn’t take away from the game. Tell me one sport that’s clean?

“Do I think we have a responsibility to be good humans and citizens? Absolutely. But when I die, and they say at the pearly gates that the worst thing I did was take medicine to be stronger and faster and be a better ballplayer, I like my chances.’’

Segui told the Baltimore Sun in 2007, when he admitted to occasional anabolic steroid use, that his success was not due to the drugs. He hit .291/.359/.443 in nearly 5,000 at-bats with 139 home runs.

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