Will The Real Steroids Cheaters Please Stand Up

Bill CodyCorrespondent IIIMay 2, 2009

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - APRIL 13: Infielder Alex Rodriguez #13 of the New York Yankees watches batting practice against the Tampa Bay Rays on April 13, 2009 at Tropicana Field n St. Petersburg, Florida.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

Yesterday I was slogging along on the 110 Freeway here in LA listening to a couple of local sports yakkers. The folks in question were Steve Hartman, who was broadcasting out of Las Vegas, and his fill in for the day, former UCLA bench warmer Sean Farnham.

To make a long story short, Shane Mosley dropped by the Vegas location for quick chat to promote this weekend’s fight, and it was a regular love fest.

Shane you, look amazing! You were magnificent in your last fight. I can’t wait to see you in the ring again.

Heck, the way Hartman was fawning all over him, I thought Sammy Davis, Jr. had risen from the grave and was talking to Mosley from Las Vegas.

After Shane left, the two mic jockey’s went back to the day’s big story: Selena Robert’s new book about Alex Rodriguez.

The Fox Sports “Poll of the Day”: Who is a bigger cheat, A Rod or Barry Bonds?

I thought to myself. What is wrong with this picture?

See, as much we all like Shane Mosley, he’s an admitted steroids cheat. He’s been tested. He’s been caught. And with modern masking agents, it is really anyone’s guess if he is still doing illegal substances at this time.

Yet, Hartman and Farnham treated Shane like royalty even as they spoke of Bonds and Rodriguez in the muted tones of shame and derision.

So, why do we vilify some steroids users while known steroids cheats get off scott free?

Mark McGwire was run out of baseball despite the fact that he’s never tested positive, but Rodney Harrison gets suspended for steroids, remains the captain of the New England Patriots and gets held up as great team player.

Why was it that when female tennis players like Jennifer Capriotti, Amélie Mauresmo and the Williams sisters were rumored to be on steroids, they were allowed to block out-of-season testing without so much as peep from the sporting press? And yet other sports, like Cycling, are lambasted as dens of iniquity because they institute strict testing and try to rid illegal substances from their sports?

The fact is, we use steroids as a way to criticize people we didn’t really want to succeed in the first place while we look the other way for people we want to anoint as heroes because we like them and what they appear to stand for.

We look the other way at football cheats because we love the game, while we bash baseball because it isn’t as popular at this time.

I mean, it really strains incredulity to believe that Lance Armstrong beat the best cyclist in the world, all of who apparently were cheating, without being a cheater himself. But do we really want to dismantle all the good work Lance does as a cancer survivor?

But it is time to admit that there really isn’t a lot of difference between Lance Armstrong and Barry Bonds when it comes to what they did between the lines.

We need to face the fact that there probably isn’t a lot of difference between Marion Jones and the Williams sisters, other than Marion’s dealer got busted and not Serena and Venus’s dealer did not.

Personally, I don’t like steroids in sports. But, I still love James Toney, who used to train at my gym. So I guess I’m not a lot different than anyone else out there.