Should there be performance-enhancing drugs in baseball? I really do not see the difficulty in answering this question with a resounding “No.”
For justification, I say look to the athletes currently playing today.
How many of them have announced that they are using steroids or some other performance-enhancing drug? Zero.
How many athletes in the game today have publicized their belief that PED usage is appropriate? Zero.
If none of the athletes are willing to come forward, state their case and attach their name to PED usage, then why should we say the drugs have an appropriate place in today’s game?
The reason no athlete has hitched their horse to the PED wagon is because there is no inherent honor, integrity or prestige to synthetically improving one’s self for the purposes of throwing a baseball a couple miles per hour faster, or adding a few feet of distance to your home run swing.
Cutting through all the hyperbole, and getting past the talking points about how this is just evolution, the inevitable next chapter of the game’s history or that it is not the worst thing we can do as a society, this entire discussion centers on one thing: honesty.
I would respect an athlete for using PEDs, if they would only be open and honest about their desire to improve by means of artificial enhancement.
At a minimum, tell me the truth, so that you can be judged by the public and your peers based on all available facts. If an athlete believes PED usage has a place in the game, then he should say it, mean it and own it.
Don’t stand behind masking agents, tip-offs or Whizzinators.
If you have to lie about what you are putting into your body, shouldn’t that be a clue that maybe it isn’t so kosher after all?
I suspect athletes are guarded in their willingness to admit PED usage because they know that for the last 20-plus years, the United States federal government has said steroids, and other synthetic drugs, are a no-no without a prescription.
Going to jail is no doubt a deterrent to use, but it also seems that steroids and PEDs are not the safest thing we can put into our bodies. These drugs have adverse effects on almost every part of the body, from the physical to the psychiatric.
So, we have two main problems with PED usage: everyone lies about it, and it’s illegal.
Tell me again how we are supposed to ignore those two realities in order to justify one being able to flex a little more muscle in the batting cage?