Athletes abusing steroids in professional sports is a conversation that has been spoken about ever since their discovery. From baseball, basketball, to mixed martial arts, there have been countless cases in where a sport icon has been caught with a banned substance and has faced serious consequences.
Athletes can lose anything from sponsorships, scholarships and even fan support, which is believed to be an integral part of creating the individual’s image. But what do those who aren’t athletes, who are fans of the sport, think of those who willingly use performance-enhancing drugs, PEDs, to cheat their way to the top? While many are against it, there are those who think otherwise.
I believe it is important to come to a conclusion on what a PED is before moving forward. In the simplest form of its definition, a PED is a drug used by a sports athlete in order to improve his or her performance. These substances are taken in non-pharmacologic doses and in most cases are taken willingly by the athlete.
Once in a while you will hear an athlete caught taking PEDs claim he or she came into contact with it through a tainted supplement, but this is a rare occurrence and is usually looked into by the World Anti-Doping Agency, or the United States Anti-Doping Agency.
Melvin Torres, an avid sports watcher, says he doesn’t really care for substance abuse in sports. He believes that everyone has their own choices to make, so if an athlete decides to take a PED, he or she will face the consequences adequate for the crime sooner or later.
“Doping in sports doesn’t really bother me at this point,” Torres said. “When Alex Rodriguez was caught doping back in 2014, it made me hate not only him but the sport in general.” “Although I was mad, I eventually got over it and realized that Rodriguez was going to face punishment and therefore I shouldn’t be mad at the team, let alone the sport,” Torres said. “If people want to cheat let them, they’ll eventually get caught.”
While this is a unique mindset to have, others not affiliated with anti-doping agencies have a similar zero tolerance standpoint believing that it is too much of a risk for not only the athlete but those who come in contact with them in the sports world.
San Bernardino Valley College student Jose Padilla says he has no respect for those who use PEDs knowingly. As an athlete himself, he believes using any form of PED is disrespect for one’s morals and a threat to those who compete against them.
[su_quote cite=”Valley College student, Jose Padilla”]“I’ve been doing martial arts for about a year now. Unlike other sports where there isn’t an extreme amount of physical contact, my sport revolves around fighting another human being. How is it fair that me, a clean athlete, be put in danger by another fighter who is using steroids? It’s not. Even if they were to have a slight speed or strength enhancement, it’s still a boost that could harm me. PEDs are for those who are lazy and don’t want to put in work. Cheaters, plain and simple, they get no respect.” [/su_quote]
Both of these individuals make solid cases when speaking about steroid abuse. Now, this is just scratching the surface, looking into the societal reception of PEDs yet not speaking about the health issues that come along with these substances. Ranging from heart disease, stroke, blood clots and many more.
Overall, it is important to take into account the dangers presented by PEDs in all forms of sports regardless if it is minor or major leagues. People’s lives are at stake here and athletes should be held accountable for the decisions they make when dabbling with banned substances.