by: JOSHUA RAMIREZ/Sports Editor
The time has come to stop treating professional athletes like kids, and let them choose what is or isn’t put into their body.
Since the early 1990s, the insertion of steroid testing into pro league agendas has led to some-big time headlines, suspensions, and the stripping or denial of great accomplishments. But should it really be such a newsworthy violation, or a violation at all for that matter?
Before I get to deep into this, let me start by saying that the Olympics should be drug-free, no questions asked. The Olympic games represents something a little more powerful and meaningful than regular pro sports that we watch three or four times a week.
But the Olympics is still considered an amateur contest, so along with other amateur sports, including college-level, or AAA-level sports, it should be held to a steroid-free standard.
The reason being that the college level as well as other amateur leagues should be looked at as the training ground for a possible entry into the field of professional sports.
It would be foolish to allow athletes-in-training, so to speak, the option of using PEDs. But once you have been properly educated and trained at this level, and if your abilities are thought to be good enough, you’ll be drafted into professional sports.
At this point, if an athlete wants to juice, I say let him or her.
If that athlete wants to play for a few years, destroy his or her body, brain, and organs, then they have the right to choose whether to do so.
Still if a person is good enough at a sport to be a pro, he or she didn’t get there because of PEDs. When you put it into perspective, PEDs may make you run faster, jump higher, or lift more, but it doesn’t help you read a defense, or throw a curve ball, or drain a 30-foot jump shot at the buzzer.
You could pump me full of steroids and throw me on a field, but that won’t make me throw a touchdown or a fastball or do any of the other thousands of things it takes to be a professional athlete.
Some people may think that the use of steroids creates an unfair playing field, but for someone to limit the resources a person can use in a professional setting seems unethical.
Would anyone tell a business owner he or she cannot use certain resources available to him or her because others weren’t using that resource? Or would a lawyer be punished for using a certain piece of evidence to win a big-time case because it may be a little immoral? I’d think not. We wouldn’t punish them by saying they couldn’t buy stocks for a certain time, or make them refrain from accepting cases from other clients either.
But, for some reason, in sports, using every resource available to you, and to the whole league I might add, is frowned upon and even a punishable act.
Don’t get me wrong. If this were the 1950s and there was no research or information on the effects of steroids, then I might feel differently. But that is not the case. There has already been extensive research on steroids and the short-term and long-term effects they have on the body. So if a professional athlete is fine with taking those risks, then we shouldn’t punish him or her for it.
But then everyone is going to be using steroids, and the games we know and love will be lost forever, at least that’s what people say.
That’s not how I see it playing out at all.
We already know the long-term effects of steroids. While athletes have extremely high, competitive drives, we have also recently seen athletes showing an unprecedented awareness regarding how their chosen sports will impact the rest of their lives. Some players have even chosen to retire earlier than expected in order to preserve their bodies in the long run.
So to think that everyone is just going to up and start using steroids just because they can seems a little short sighted.