Today's Major League Baseball athletes are not restricted from the use of any performance enhancing drug on the market. That statement might no longer be true in the future. Doctors have recently reported that they have positively identified traces of the herb ephedra in the body of Baltimore Oriole's pitcher Steve Bechler. Bechler collapsed of a heatstroke and died shortly thereafter, while attending a routine spring training practice with his fellow teammates. His temperature at the time of his collapse was 108, and that was contributed to by the Florida heat, and amounts of ephedra, pseudoephedrine, and caffeine he was taking at the time. The analysis read that the amounts of these contributors in Bechler's blood was strikingly consistent with the amount inside three tablets of the weight-loss supplement Xenadrine.
Teammates said that Bechler was taking these weight-loss pills to lose weight during the beginning stages of the season when he collapsed on February 16. Both Bud Selig, the commissioner of baseball, and the player's union are awaiting these results before deciding on what to do with the legality of the substance ephedra. The union is strongly urging its players to stay away from the drug until further steps are taken to see if the supplement is harmful or not. The NCAA, NFL, and International Olympic Committee have taken stances against the drug, and no longer allow athletes to take the ephedra because of its strong links to heatstroke and heart trouble.
I feel that the research put into the current death of Steve Bechler should be incriminating enough to get the drug ephedra banned from baseball, and hopefully taken off the shelves of the drugstores across the nation. Evidence seems overwhelmingly against the drug when you see the situation and put it together with other events that have taken place in the past. Many athletes have died, or been severely hurt by abusing the drug and taking it for quick weight-loss and in too hot of conditions.