Sports
2:23 pm
Wed June 5, 2013

Do You Care If Ball Players Use Steroids? Polls Say Fans Do

Originally published on Wed June 5, 2013 8:58 pm

ESPN's big scoop of the day — that Major League Baseball "will seek to suspend about 20 players connected to the Miami-area clinic at the heart of an ongoing performance-enhancing drug scandal" — raises a logical question:

Do fans care?

PollingReport.com has collected the results of some surveys, including:

-- A February 2009 CBS News/New York Times poll in which 60 percent of those surveyed said it matters to them "a lot" if baseball players use steroids or other performance-enhancing drugs. Of the rest, 29 percent said it matters to them "a little." Only 9 percent said it matters "not at all."

That poll also asked, "if it is proven that an athlete used steroids at the time he or she set a major record in a sport, what do you think should happen to that record?" The responses: 32 percent said the record should be eliminated; 47 percent said that it should be kept, but with a note attached saying it was set when steroids were in use; and 18 percent said it should be "kept like any other" record.

-- A February 2009 Associated Press/GfK poll in which 62 percent said they take baseball records less seriously than they used to because of allegations about performance-enhancing drugs. Only 35 percent said the allegations had no effect on their view of baseball records.

-- A March 2005 ABC News/ESPN poll that showed 62 percent of those surveyed said players' records should be erased from the record books if they used performance-enhancing drugs.

We've got two questions (not scientific surveys of public opinion) for Two-Way readers:

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.