After being caught using steroids, an athlete should never be able to professionally compete again. Athletes have minimal steroid use monitoring, the penalties for being caught on steroids are very small, and there are numerous health risks associated with steroids.
Athletes have minimal steroid use monitoring. In the MLB, a player is only tested for steroids twice a year. The players are urine tested on the first day of spring training. After the initial test then they are tested at random once during the season, which also a urine sample. There are 40 players on every full MLB team roster and there are 30 MLB teams so there are a total of 1,200 players in the MLB, but only 200 of them are steroid tested in the off season. The only time a player gets more than 3 tests total a year is if they have been caught on steroids before. The athletes that have previously been caught only normally only get one more random test then athletes that haven’t been caught. According to Bradley Sinko of Miami University, the NFL also only uses urine to test for steroids even though testing the blood is way more effective test. Even if an athlete is caught using, steroids the penalties for it aren’t very severe.
The penalties for being caught using steroids are almost nonexistent. In baseball, if a player is caught using steroids they get a small six to ten game suspension and are still eligible for the Hall Of Fame. In 1985 Pete Rose broke a 57-year old career hit record, but he will never find himself in the Hall Of Fame because after he was retired from baseball he was betting on baseball games. In the NFL if a player is caught using steroids on average get they a four game suspension. That’s the same length suspension that Tom Brady of the New England Patriots got for deflating the footballs in the 2015 AFC Championship Game. Tom Brady cheated for one game and got the same suspension time as players using steroids to get ahead in every game. When an olympic level athlete is caught using steroids the rules say they are subject to a two-year ban from olympic affiliated events, but that's not always what happens. In 2013, Russian swimmer Yulia Efimova was caught using the banned hormone DHEA. She only ended up serving 16 months out of her two-year suspension because her offense was deemed “unintentional.” In the summer of 2016, she was found with steroids in her system again, and the penalties were dropped. After the suspensions were dropped she was able to compete at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio were in the 100 meter breaststroke she took silver over many talented athletes who didn’t have to cheat to perform the way they did. Not only are steroids cheating, they also have many negative health effects associated with them.
There are numerous health risks associated with steroids. In young boys, steroids can cause early sexual development. In young girls, steroids can cause the voice to permanently deepen, male pattern baldness, and body and facial hair growth. In men, steroids can cause shinkege of the testicals, higher risk of prostate cancer, reduced sperm count, and larger breast tissue. In woman, steroids can cause high cholesterol. Steroids like any drugs are very addictive. The withdrawal symptoms are very extreme and have led to suicide.
Many people say that a huge part of the enjoyment of watching sports is watching the best of athletic ability. Allowing athletes to take steroids will make sports more competitive and more fun to watch. If an athlete is using steroids then their performance is not that of a natural human. There are also so many negative effects associated with steroids. Isn’t it selfish of sport viewers to ask athletes to risk their health just to make sports a little more entertaining. People also say that with how many people are taking steroids that sport are not fair. Chris Smith of Forbes magazine regarding the topic of the unfairness in sports said, “If we really want to level the playing field, it may be time to head in the other direction: legalize performance enhancers.” He said this because he thinks there is no way to make every athlete stop taking steroids. Legalising steroids would be a step in the wrong direction for sports because it would mean endangering athletes heath. By totally banning steroids and never letting athletes that get caught on steroids professionally compete again less athletes will be willing to risk getting caught, and the cheaters that did get caught will not be competing.
Many athletes are taking steroids to enhance their performance. They are getting away with it because there is minimal steroid use testing. Even if they are caught on steroids the penalties for it are very small. By taking these steroids not only are the athletes cheating they also are putting their health at risk. The athletes taking steroids are making today's sports unfair and unhealthy, which is why if an athlete is caught using steroids they should never be able to professionally compete again.
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King, Peter. "The NFL Drops the Hammer, and Sends a Message." The MMQB. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Jan. 2017.
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