A Fine Line Between Competing and Cheating

January 17, 2013
Lance Armstrong, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens. The three men listed all have two things in common, they dominated the sport they played and they all cheated. They lied. They made it seem as if taking performance enhancing drugs was the right thing. They all threw out every ounce of hard work they ever completed just to get an award, a record, a legacy. They all showed aspiring young athletes that its okay to cheat, that you don’t have to play by the rules. They showed us that when the going gets tough you cheat. Yea, maybe they weren’t thinking about the boy who wanted to win the next Tour de France or get the most home runs in MLB history but, they were thinking about themselves.

And this goes out to every single player male or female of any sport who thought just this once “I’m gonna take the easy way out.”

Lance Armstrong was interviewed countless times. One time in particular, being interviewed by sportscaster Bob Ley Lance denied every single statement written by his teammate's that declare Mr. Armstrong took performance enhancing drugs. 3 people, 2 of them teammates all said Lance took EPO (Erythropoietin, a drug that produces the production of red blood cells). Lance armstrong denied every single information that stated that he was Innocent or “clean”.

Lance knew that there was no more need to fight his case. He had to give in and tell the truth. But why did it take him so long?

Now, the consequences on steroid abusers not only take a toll on their emotional states but their physical bodies with the numerous side effects. The list from a study done by the US Office of Diversion Control is quite long it includes: High blood pressure, severe acne, HIV and other blood-borne diseases (from sharing needles), thinning of the hair, breast and prostate enlargement, decreased hormone levels, fertility problems in men and women, and the list goes on for a few more pages.

Me personally, I think that the risk is too high but why listen to me when you can listen to the law. You can get penalized an unimaginable amount like, taking 12 tour de france titles away and getting your named stripped from a foundation you created. The consequences are limitless and aren’t worth the public embarrassment like our good friend Lance had to go through. Lance had witness from all sides against him he gave up and took the title of that cheater who had all of his accomplishments taken away from him.

Barack Obama, the President of our athletic country, said once in an interview..."As a father and an avid sports fan, I understand the dangers that performance enhancing drugs pose for athletes, as well as the teenagers who seek to emulate them, not to mention the effect that these drugs have on the integrity of sports. As president, I would use the bully pulpit of my office to warn Americans about the dangers of performance enhancing drugs, and I would put greater resources into enforcement of existing drug laws. I would also convene a summit of the commissioners of the professional sports leagues, as well as university presidents, to explore options for decreasing the use of these drugs." Now as I know the president has a few more things on his plate other than protecting the integrity of sports but over the course of his 4 year term president Obama hasn’t laid a finger on this topic since his last remarks. The US hasn’t touched the topic, yes maybe a few fines here and there, but when will we take action. The IOC forbids any intake of performance enhancing drugs from EPO’S to Listerine the morning before the competition. They have tests at every event and if you fail you can’t compete simple as that. So when will we take action?
How are we to deal with this. Take away any of the prosecutors possessions, records, or any achievements in the sport they participated in. Maybe we do nothing and only allow the benefit to go to the fans and see the most amazing sports moments flash by their eyes day by day letting the athletes live a lie and the fans believing it. If we were to get rid of every athlete's achievements that involved taking performance enhancing substances what would we be left with? Players that weren’t as good as before? Or every record being re-written but not even close to the guy before him. I don’t want to know where sports would be without steroids, but they wouldn’t be the same as they are today.

Whether or not sporting committees crackdown on cheaters, I know for one thing the day that someone thought it was okay to cheat was the day the course of sports changed forever.

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