While former players who have admitted using steroids said they quickly put on lean muscle, it's impossible to extrapolate those anecdotal accounts to the entire population without knowing about each player's body composition.
"There's a big mass increase that occurs. Is it muscle? Is it fat? Is it a combination of the two? You don't know," Benardot said. "If it's mainly muscle then there are suspicions that there are anabolic hormones being used to aid that accrual. If it's predominantly fat, then they're just eating a lot more to increase."
The AP consulted on its methodology with George Shambaugh, a statistician and professor at Georgetown University.
"The outliers suggest there are some underlying factors that make these players different," Shambaugh said. "Sure, it could be steroids, or it could something else. But steroids are certainly a possible culprit, so it's worth opening up the box and taking a look inside."
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