Performance-Enhanced Sport.... Who's to Blame?

paul micskoContributor IMarch 4, 2008

In this age of performance-enhanced athletes and eager politicians looking to create a name for themselves, the publc needs to look to only one place for the answer—the mirror.

We create the pressure to cook our heros.

The need to be better, faster, and stronger never has been so great.

The best of the best is gone and all that's left are a few talented, great athletes who can make it on talent alone. Of course, what's to say they, too, have not cheated and managed to hide it better? 

Where does that leave the rest? Trying what ever they can to try and catch up.

How does one beat Tiger Woods? You don't beat Tiger, but does that mean Phil Mickelson buys a vile of HGH? No.

But that same comparison doesn't work in baseball, football, or hockey. The best golfers win or lose based on their performances, but you can make good a living on the PGA tour without winning.

The same can't be said for professional team sports. You keep your job by being the best—swing that bat faster, and your paycheck grows, but slow down and there is someone on your heals to take your place.

Hit harder than the other guy, and your paycheck grows, but get knocked back, and there is someone to call up.

Beat the champ and you receive a bonus, but lose, and your title shot is forgotten. 

Why do we reward these people? Because we want the best, and only the best will do. It has long been said: "to the victor goes the spoils."

Now, of course, there are those who will say they chose to break the rules, and, if they can't be good enough without cheating, then they don't deserve to be there.

Who knows for sure how many athletes have cheated over the years? Steroids is a blanket term for many different products; don't let the term performance-enhancing drug fool you—tribulus and a host of other prducts were new at one time before they were banned by the sport.

We should, as a society, look at ourselves before we lay blame and banishment. Have you ever cheated at work to get the job done? Guzzled an energy drink to keep you up? An upper to drive through the night?

What makes it OK for us?