Is Society Looking at PED's in Sports Wrong?
Tony Bosch was arrested this week for his involvement in selling illegal drugs to children and professional athletes. For the record, let me state up front that I believe Bosch should serve some time for pedaling drugs to minors, but that's not the angle of the story that I want to talk about.
Over the last decade or so, Major League Baseball has taken a beating due to athletes testing positive for performance enhancing drugs. The sport has become a laughing stock and records have become meaningless in a sport that prides itself on tradition and doing the right thing. Why would baseball do this to itself? Advancements in technology and social media has given everyone a voice and a platform to speak their opinions on virtually everything from hatred of the president of the United States to not agreeing with an outfit a celebrity wore at an awards show. Much of the sports world has felt the pressure of these voices when it comes to PED's and have installed hefty fines and suspensions for players caught using these drugs. Would they be taking these harsh steps if we weren't screaming from rooftops at them?
Over the years, athletes (and people in general) have become faster, stronger, and more athletic than ever before. Is this due to chemicals in our foods, the way we train, or evolution of mankind? It's probably a combination of all of those factors. But it also causes wear and tear on a body that's not meant to do the things that we are asking it to do on a daily basis, especially athletes. I challenge you to research the number of pitchers that have had Tommy John surgery over the past decade. Athletes have become stronger and faster and scouts are looking for the guy that can throw a 95 mile per hour fast ball in the bottom of the sixth inning. Our bodies aren't meant for that type of abuse, so we breakdown. With pressure from social media, teams, and millions of dollars on the line, these athletes are forced to turn to alternatives. That's where performance enhancing drugs come in.
Now I'll admit, buying human growth hormones from an Italian guy in the locker room of your local fitness center is wrong. But HGH is administered by doctors everyday and given to individuals who need it. Why can't the same thing be done for our athletes? Don't agree? Allow me to explain.
Sports are created, marketed, and televised for one thing: our entertainment. We want to see our best athletes perform every time we watch the games instead of seeing them on the bench in a suit or sweat pants. More importantly, some of these drugs (administered professionally) could prolong playing careers as well as value of life after the athlete retires from their sport. Playing professional sports is a choice that these individuals make but we as society have made these sports popular and have immortalized these athletes. With the speed and power that athletes have today, we would be foolish not to look at adding HGH programs as a part of rehabilitation. If we're concerned with players health and safety, this is definitely one avenue they could explore.