American Baseball Players Banned for Doping

September 28, 2013

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. allegation [al-i-GEY-shuh n] (n.) – a statement claiming that someone has done something illegal or wrong
ExampleDue to allegations of cheating, sports officials are investigating the basketball player.

2. obstruct [uh b-STRUKHT] (v.) – to block or slow down the movement or progress of something
ExampleThe police accused the coach of obstructing their investigation.

3. doping [DOH-ping] (n.) – the use of banned drugs and other substances in order to improve an athlete's performance
ExampleDoping is illegal and can be punishable by suspension from the sport.

4. appeal [uh-PEEL] (v.) – (in law) to make a request to a higher court or person of authority to review a decision
ExampleNeil was found guilty by a local court but he will appeal the decision to the Supreme Court.

5. lay bare [ley bair] (idiom) – to reveal something that was not previously known, like a secret
ExamplePeople were shocked when the star athlete laid bare all the dishonest acts his team does to win.


Read the text below.
New York Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez, the highest paid baseball player in the US, has been banned in 211 games due to his use of performance-enhancing drugs for several years.

Aside from Rodriguez, twelve other baseball players have been suspended in 50 games. Allegations against Rodriguez and the other athletes were made when Major League Baseball, the organization that governs the sport, conducted an investigation into a Florida drug clinic.

The clinic supposedly supplied performance-enhancing drugs, including testosterone and human growth hormone, to several professional baseball players.

Major League Baseball said Rodriguez obstructed the investigation, in his attempt to hide his violations. Thus, the officials gave him a harsher penalty.

Rodriguez, who has been awarded Most Valuable Player three times by the American League, did not deny doping but plans to appeal the penalty. In a news conference, he said that mistakes have been made but he is a human being who has to defend himself.

American baseball has had a lot of doping scandals. Even baseball legends have been accused in the past of using steroids and other illegal substances.

However, in a 2007 report, former Senator George Mitchell laid bare the extent of doping in baseball. As a result, sports officials made stricter drug-testing rules and created a branch to investigate and punish violators. Many people had hoped that the changes would bring about a drug-free era in baseball.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you think Alex Rodriquez’ penalty is appropriate for his offense? Why or why not?
·         Why do you think some athletes continue to take performance-enhancing drugs despite the risks?

Discussion B

·        In your opinion, should famous people behave well and be good role models to other people? Why or why not?
·         Why do you think some famous people tend to get involved in scandalous activities?


September 28, 2013