Why I doped

Retired major-league pitcher Jim Parque confesses to using human-growth hormone, and explains why

It doesn’t get much more raw than this. Jim Parque, a former pitcher with the Chicago White Sox, has written a brutally frank op-ed piece for the Sun-Times which provides a fascinating glimpse at the pressures that drive an athlete to juice. This is no José Canseco tell-all, with the author revelling in his own notoriety. Parque was a journeyman showing a certain amount promise when he shredded his shoulder in 2000; he turned to human growth hormone to rescue his career. He indulges in a certain amount of self-justification, but the forces Parque describes sound real, and if sports leagues are really interested in stopping doping, they should pay attention. “My career was shattered, and I had no real-world job skills,” Parque says. “What was I going to do? I had a family to provide for, a young daughter to raise and no future. For those of you who think all baseball players make bank, the media concentrates on the large salaries marquee players make. Trust me, if I was good enough to make that upper-echelon salary, I would have said, ‘See ya,’ but I needed baseball for my family and for myself. Work harder, you say? Take vitamins and get in better shape? Did it, and I was rewarded with pathetic Triple-A stats, a fastball now in the low 80s and an average high school curveball.”

Sun Times