Who Cares About Steroids?

The steroid issue has been at the forefront of baseball for awhile now and it doesn’t look like it will soon change with Barry Bonds on the cusp of passing Hank Aaron for the all-time homerun record. Finding steroid users (or users of any sort of “performance enhancing drug”) in baseball has become a massive witch-hunt. One thing that fans and media members seem to overlook is that the difference between substances that are performance enhancing drugs and provide an “unfair” advantage versus substances that are “fair” is not (and should not be) clear.

What exactly is an “unfair” advantage? Why are steroids, a drug with a myriad of health risks, unfair? People are quick to site all of the players who have broke down (or worse) because of steroid use. So exactly what advantage do steroid users have? How often does it produce a better baseball player? I’m not necessarily saying that it doesn’t… I’m just asking if this is a question that anyone has bothered to explore.

The government, along with MLB, is launching a series of investigations (most noticeably the Mitchell investigation) regarding steroid use in baseball. So essentially, millions of taxpayer’s dollars are being spent to try to find out whether some players of a GAME did something that MAY be cheating despite the fact that this information is generally assumed to be unprovable. Millions of taxpayer dollars. I repeat that… because, well, it warrants repeating.

In the NFL this year, star linebacker Shawne Merriman was suspended for steroid use. (Ironically enough, the week following ESPN aired a nauseating puff story on his miraculous rise from homeless person to NFL star.) No one seems to care that we know, concretely, that a star player in football IS USING STEROIDS. If Albert Pujols failed a steroid test he would be reviled and declared a cheater. Shawne Merriman? Well he’s just a good football player apparently.

These sportswriters, fans, and government officials need to step down off their high horses. How about the MLB player who grew up in a privileged environment and always had access to the best equipment, trainers, and supplements? This is a fair advantage? For the record, I think it is unfair- because ALL advantages are unfair. Otherwise they wouldn’t be advantages.

I know in America we like to live by certain ideals when it comes to sports. We think there is a distinct difference between “God given talent” and… well… anything else. Our bodies consist of numerous chemical reactions. We manipulate these every day, with what we put into our bodies, be it food, vitamins, drugs, etc. It is naive to think that some ways of changing our bodies is clearly right while others are clearly wrong.

So am I rooting for Bonds to pass Aaron? No. But not because Bonds took steroids. But because Bonds is an asshole.

I am, however, rooting for Giambi to hit 74 homeruns this year.

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3 responses to “Who Cares About Steroids?

  1. no .. i should care about usage of steroids ..

  2. Good point. I guess you should care.

  3. Agree 5000% percent. People turn issues with TONS of grey area into an abortion-like or church vs. state or gay marriag polarizing issue. People are so quick to persecute people for making decisions that they would make the exact same way if they were in the person’s shoes.

    Plus, everyone misses the fact they had no real information to base their opinion on. Who says steroids are bad? I tend to believe that in 50 years that HGH and steroids will be as common as other Rx medicines and used by doctors to help middle aged and aging people live more productive or even longer lives.

    If a 55 year old man is getting weaker with age and a small cycle of steroids makes him able to play sports and do other things that he loves with little or no risk when taken as prescribed; why would we demonize this.

    I’m afraid that baseball’s fake piousness will stand in the way of real medical progress in this area. If HGH and steroids remain banned by MLB then society as a whole will be too influenced by that and never get to a point where doctors can openly prescribe them or even do studies to see if they should be prescribing them.

    Steroids are not the devil. They are one tool in a large tool box that elite athletes use to play better. If I took steroids I couldn’t play major league baseball.

    I have no interest in being stronger, but if a cycle of steroids increased by IQ by 15 points and/or increased my paycheck by 50% a year, I wouldn’t feel like a demon for exploring and studying these benefits.

    God forbid we take something that makes us stronger or faster as if these are bad traits. I haven’t seen Giambi or Bonds die; this is because they had high priced doctors ensure they used steroids correctly. It is the fact that it is illegal that causes gym rats to overdo it or use animal steroids and cause themselves harm. Anything in moderation and anything can be dangerous. Everything has a proper use.

    I could write 100 pages about this and go into much more detail, but this is all I’ll say for now.

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