The caveats don’t outweigh the justifications, which easily can be twisted into promotions. Jay’s book, “Mark and Me: Mark McGwire and the Truth Behind Baseball’s Worst-kept Secret,” contradicts its cautionary tales so often that it won’t deter anyone from doping. It might prevent famous athletes from relying on a lost-soul little brother as a guide through the world of synthetic hormones, but that’s about it.
He brags that bodybuilders know more about steroids than any other athletes or, for that matter, doctors. He says of Mark’s confession to trying the drugs in 1989, five years before Jay claims to have been counseling him on doping: “Obviously, he had no idea what he was doing!”
Jay describes receiving a 1998 Ford Explorer from his big brother shortly after Mark took Roger Maris’ home run record in 1998. “I believe this was Mark’s way of saying thank you for being a part of his success. I had helped him save his career by getting him into the right lifestyle and helping him to heal by prescribing the right stuff for him.”
Jay also talks about a “not very toxic” steroid that a mature bodybuilder recommended to him and other teenagers. “He knew that it would help us gain strength, but that it wouldn’t hurt us,” the book says.
The brothers probably don’t even realize that they’re making a case for steroid use, presenting it as medicinal and enabling people who want to rationalize or trivialize it. They’re simply playing sloppy defense, which appears to run in the family. They’re both naturals.