Performance-enhancing drugs. PEDs. It’s got the sports world partially livid, partially curious, and partially confused. Throughout the world, athletes train, compete, get injured, and it becomes an ongoing cycle of will power. How long can their body compete at its highest level? When athletes ask themselves this question, they put themselves in the biggest pressure cooker known to man. Here’s where PEDs come in.
Let’s face it, in a nation that rakes in roughly $20 billion annually through professional sports, not including amateur sports aka the NCAA because, they don’t pay their athletes, there’s a lot of pressure to perform at a very high level. Gone are the days where one team dominated sports, now you have everybody fighting to get to the top. Enter: PEDs. Now, am I a fan of PEDs? No. Should cheaters be punished for using PEDs? No. Why not? Because look at the list of cheaters…and how excited we, as fans, were, at least I was, when they performed at high levels….
The list goes on. But, for those, while they accomplished amazing feats in their respective sports, we were all glued to our seats…wanting more….begging for more…only to look up and see that, oh, they were using banned substances. It’s a cycle that will never go away, until major professional sports realize that legalizing PEDs are the only way to go. For years, these people lied….denied allegations…held press conferences to clear their name. The worst of the bunch by far is Lance Armstrong. He took people to court and single handedly ruined any reputation or honor they had by standing up to him. We all believed him…we were all fooled into believing his lie until it unraveled and everybody who was once Armstrong’s friend became his enemy. Look at the mediastorm it’s all created. Now, all those lawsuits Armstrong got paid millions for because "he wasn’t on PEDs" are null in void. Now, all the people who accused Armstrong of doping are looking for their apologies, their check in the mail. Now, there’s an even bigger mess than when we first started.
Now, don’t get me wrong, the long term effects of PEDs are dangerous, but so is drinking alcohol and people of legal age drink quite frequently. These athletes are adults. If they want to take PEDs and mess up their bodies, let them. If they want to have a performance edge, let them, because eventually their bodies will break down in unexplainable ways and to our conscience, whether the athlete denies it or not, they used and abused PEDs because they can’t play anymore. There’s the silver lining. Eventually, athletes will realize these drugs used to pump them up eventually plateau and will ultimately break them back down. We saw it with McGwire…Bonds…Sosa…Giambi…they showed us there are consequences for the use of PEDs. It’s like player safety in football. Many of those players who are doing that high impact tackling will eventually face brain trauma and could quite possibly have memory problems after their careers are over, but they still go out there and perform at their highest ability.
Everything in life comes with a price. The sports world has put a price on PEDs that many athletes view as a small price to pay. These athletes are fueling an industry that gets bigger and better every year. We, as fans, have to realize that players who cheat aren’t cheating to beat the system but they’re cheating to survive…sports is about survival of the fittest. Would we know the names of those who followed Lance Armstrong and Marion Jones had it not been for PEDs? I think not.
The problem is we live in a world that acts solely on the current emotion. We see an athlete lied or got in trouble with the law on the news and instantly, we pull out our invisible gavels and begin our own court proceedings of judgment. It happens time and time again…even when it doesn’t have to do with PEDs. Hey Manti.
My original blog post: http://sportswowisdom.blogspot.com/2013/02/peds-lost-cause.html