Most Americans think that steroid use is a major problem in baseball, according to a new HuffPost/YouGov poll conducted after reports that Major League Baseball planned to seek suspensions of players associated with a lab accused of distributing performance-enhancing drugs.
But many Americans think players who don't actually test positive for drugs should not be suspended.
According to the new poll, 55 percent of Americans think steroid use is a major problem in baseball, while another 19 percent said they think it's a minor problem. Only 7 percent said they think it's not a problem, and 19 percent weren't sure.
But many Americans expressed uncertainty over whether MLB should suspend players based on evidence connecting them to performance enhancing drugs if the player has not tested positive. Forty percent of respondents said those players should not be suspended, compared to only 29 percent who said that they should be. Another 30 percent said they weren't sure.
For players who do test positive for steroids and other performance enhancing drugs, a significant 74 percent to 11 percent majority said that they should be suspended.
Asked to estimate how many players in MLB now use steroids and other performance enhancers, 41 percent said half or more than half -- including 12 percent who said all or almost all players are using, 14 percent who said that more than half but not all are, and 15 percent who said about half are using. Twenty-nine percent said that some players are using drugs, but less than half. Another 7 percent said that no players or almost no players are using steroids and other performance enhancers.
The poll was conducted June 5-6 among 1,000 adults using a sample selected from YouGov's opt-in online panel to match the demographics and other characteristics of the adult U.S. population. Factors considered include age, race, gender, education, employment, income, marital status, number of children, voter registration, time and location of Internet access, interest in politics, religion and church attendance. Additional crosstabs from the poll are available here.
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