Recently, the story broke that in 2003, Alex Rodriguez tested positive for steroid use. Buzz about whether or not Rodriguez should be considered for the Hall of Fame emerged. Quickly, his carefully crafted image began to crumble and he had to apologize for lying about his usage and for lying about the length of time he used steroids.
Meanwhile, MLB's Executive Vice President of Labor Relations, Rob Manfred, released a statement stating that the league was disappointed that Rodriguez's anonymity, as one of the survey's participants, was not kept. Also, the statement revealed that those who admitted steroid use would not face any disciplinary action. The MLB was not angry at Rodriguez.
The 2003 survey was conducted to see if there was too much steroid usage in Major League Baseball—giving the impression that if it were not, the MLB would continue to turn a blind eye toward players who were using. As long as the usage did not get too out of hand, and players like Rodriguez continue to bring people to the stadiums and revenue to the league and their ball clubs, the MLB did not seem to mind.
I do not think it should be alright for any athlete to take performance-enhancing drugs. I believe in the ideal of the purity of the game. However, I am not naive to the fact that drug usage is present in sports, and the owners, coaches, and organizational heads are aware of its presence.
In Rodriguez's case, should there be a debate about whether or not he should have a place in the Hall of Fame? Should he be scrambling to save his image? Should he be characterized as a disappointment to the team, league, and the game? I say, no. Not as long as the league he is a part of knowingly allowed him to use steroids and profited from his performance because of it. They didn't seem to mind; maybe we shouldn't either.