McGwire was known to be on androstenedione, a then-legal performance-enhancing supplement, in 1998 but denied using any illegal substances. In 2003, the publication of retired baseball star Jose Canseco’s book Juiced , in which he pointed fingers at a number of well-known baseball players and alleged that he and McGwire had used steroids together, resulted in a firestorm of steroid-related controversy. The . Congress responded by holding a hearing on the subject. By then retired, McGwire’s eyes welled with tears as he repeatedly stated to the committee, “I’m not here to talk about the past.” Many disappointed fans saw his refusal to deny outright that he had used performance-enhancing drugs as tantamount to an admission of guilt.
Due to the infrequent addition of members into the 50 home run club, Baseball Digest called it "a restrictive fraternity comprising slugging elite"  in 1954, when there were only six members. Of the seventeen members eligible for the Baseball Hall of Fame , eight have been elected and three were elected on the first ballot. Eligibility requires that a player has "been retired five seasons" or deceased for at least six months,  disqualifying four active players and five players who have been retired for less than five seasons. Some believe the milestone has become less important with the large number of new members;   fifteen players joined the club on a total of 24 occasions from 1995 to 2010.  Additionally, several of these recent members have had ties to performance-enhancing drugs .