Performance Enhancing Drugs: The Dark Cloud Over Baseball

1054 words - 4 pages

A timeless sport woven in the fabric of America, baseball is the "National Pastime." In one of the darkest sports scandals in history, major performance-enhancing drug use has been reported and proven, as time and time again well-known athletes fail drug tests. While the scandal has already made baseball in the public a dicey situation, it endangers more than just reputation in the future. The effects of performance-enhancing drugs in baseball are the jealousy among players, impact on younger athletes, the tarnishing of hallowed baseball records, the uneven playing field it has created, and the death of those who use them.The first effect of performance-enhancing drugs used in baseball is that it has caused jealousy among non-users against those who use the drug, even causing some non-abusers to start using it. Barry Bonds, the current single-season home run record holder, has been accused of steroid use in the controversial book Game of Shadows. A direct excerpt from the book: "Barry Bonds was astounded and aggrieved by the outpouring of hero worship for McGwire, a hitter whom he regarded as obviously inferior to himself... to Bonds it was a joke. He had been around enough gyms to recognize that McGwire was a juicer" (Game). This shows clearly that jealousy is caused by the steroid use in baseball, creating a rift between athletes.Another large effect is that it has made high school and college athletes want to use these harmful drugs, following in the footsteps of the star athletes that fail steroid tests. This is proven in a Sports Illustrated article which addresses the issue: "Their use is green-lighting college and high school kids to shoot up in their eagerness to follow their idols in the pros" (Verducci). This quote illustrates the danger of steroids, which are catastrophic to anyone, but especially people under the age of 23, which college and high-school students are.Another potentially devastating effect of steroids in baseball are the tarnishing of previously hallowed records, such as the single-season home run record, broken by an accused anabolic steroid user, Barry Bonds. In a poll in 2004, even before conclusive proof of his steroid use was published in Game of Shadows, 47% of Americans said that the mark should be removed completely from the record books, and 26% more said it should carry an asterisk, purely because of the suspicion Bonds was under. This catastrophic data shows the unpopularity of Bonds and the tainted state of one of the most hallowed marks in baseball (Wendel).Another effect of steroids in baseball is the uneven playing field it creates, especially for players who do not want to endanger themselves with steroid use. Let us not forget, steroid use without a prescription is a felony. As an anonymous player said in a 2003 special in Sports Illustrated, "A veteran player came up to me behind a batting cage last season and, with disgust apparent in his voice, volunteered that steroid use had become rampant in...

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