Performance Enhancing Drugs in Sports
Recent Congressional hearings and testimony from major league baseball players revealed that a number of professional baseball athletes are guilty of using performance enhancing drugs like steroids and amphetamines. In his book, Drugs, Power, and the Fight for the Soul of Major League Baseball, Howard Bryant estimates the number of players who have experimented with performance enhancing drugs as between 25 and 40 percent, (Juicing, 2005, p. 46). These revelations demand a strong and swift response from lawmakers and major league baseball (MLB) officials to ban the use of performance enhancing drugs, implement routine testing practices, and to impose stiff penalties on MLB players who violate the ban. Performance enhancing drugs must be banned for three reasons: 1) Their use undermines the integrity of AmericaÆs favorite pastime; 2) Their use sets a poor and dangerous model for children; and 3) Their use demonstrates a lack of accountability for professional athletes.
The use of performance enhancing drugs undermines the integrity of AmericaÆs storied favorite pastime. After a devastating strike by players caused many fans to lose interest in the sport; outstanding performance by players like Mark McGwire, Barry Bonds and Sammy Sosa after the strike reinvigorated major league baseball and its fans. Now, in the face of evidence that many of these star athletes are guilty of using performance enhancing drugs to achieve such high levels of performance, major league baseball has lost integrity and the sport is being undermined. As former baseball great Reggie Jackson even admitted in the wake of such revelations, ôIÆm deeply hurt. I think Palmeiro is shamed. I think the scar on the game embarrasses the game and offends peopleàThereÆs a cloud around most players who have had outstanding performances and taken 25 home runs to 50, to 60. (Reggie, 2005, 6).ö