Vaughn: Could you resist the money that comes with cheating? -

Vaughn: Could you resist the money that comes with cheating?

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By John Bailey By John Bailey

Baseball StL) -- Ryan Braun’s reputation might be shot, but there’s nothing wrong with his bank account. Braun was suspended for the rest of the baseball season for a violation of baseball’s drug prevention and treatment program.

It’s the second time he’s been caught using performance enhancing drugs. Braun won’t get paid for the rest of this season, but he’ll be back next year to continue to cash in on the huge contract he signed in 2008. The Brewers are committed to paying Braun more than $145 million. 

Braun isn’t the only athlete who has profited in a big way with an assist from performance enhancing drugs. Mark McGwire made a total of $74 million in his career. Sammy Sosa made $124 million. Barry Bonds raked in $188 million in his career. Alex Rodriguez, who is likely the next current player who will be facing a suspension, has a contract in place that’ll push his career earnings to $353 million.

McGwire, Sosa and Bonds were all in the major leagues before the steroids era began. We’ve all seen the skinny pictures of them early in their careers before they bulked up on roids. It’s safe to assume those three reached the majors without taking performance enhancing drugs and would have made very nice incomes had they stayed clean. With the help of steroids later in their careers, they received contracts that made them mega-rich. 

Braun and ARod, for all we know, have always been on something. No way to know that for sure, but by the time they reached the big leagues the steroids era was well under way. We’ll never know with certainty how clean they were early in their careers, but it’s a safe assumption that PED’s played a big role in the monstrous contracts they were given. 

Not all the big winners among the steroid cheats have been baseball players. Cyclist Lance Armstrong earned a reported $218 while winning seven Tour de France titles. 

Is having your reputation destroyed when you’re caught using PED’s worth it? From a personal standpoint, probably not. But financially, absolutely!

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