The Steroid Era Essay

1638 words - 7 pages

The era in sports from the late 90s and into the 2000s has often been nicknamed “The Steroid Age” due to the raging use of anabolic steroids and other PEDs (performance enhancing drugs) by professional athletes. The usage of drugs in sports has never been more prevalent during this time, and many people are making it their goal to put an end to the abuse. Influential athletes such as Lance Armstrong, Alex Rodriguez, and Roger Clemens, who were once held as the highest role models to the American people, now watch as their legacies are tarnished by accusations of drug use. The American population, and lovers of sports everywhere, have followed in astonishment through recent years as many beloved athletes reveal their dark secrets. As organizations such as the USADA (United States Anti-Doping Agency) and BALCO (Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative) attempt to halt the use of PEDs, both the drug users and their high-end suppliers work diligently to avoid detection. The use of performance enhancing drugs in recent years has proven to be cancerous to the honesty and competition of modern sports. Although some strides have been made over the past few decades, the use of steroids is in full swing in Major League Baseball, The dangerous side effects of the drugs are often overlooked and many do not realize the message this sends to the youth. The support for halting the usage of PEDs is in need of attention or professional sports will face the loss of all progress made through the past two decades in its war on steroids.
Ever since the introduction of steroids to professional sports in the 1970s (Assael), they have greatly undermined the core American beliefs that sports held dear for so long. Values like honesty, hard work, and dedication have been replaced with those of greed, selfishness, and laziness. Most would argue that steroids have taken their strongest roots in baseball, after first emerging in competitive running and weightlifting. Over 5,000 yearly drug tests have been administered in the MLB since the expansion of its testing program in 1991 (Vinton), yet only an estimated 100 suspensions have been administered. The numbers are surprising, and some suspicion is also raised when founder of BALCO (Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative) and former steroid mass-distributer, Victor Conte, states his belief that nearly half the MLB uses PEDs (Doyle). In the 2013 MLB season, out of 5,391 tests administered for PEDs, not one tested positive; and if Conte’s statement about the number of abusers in the MLB is even a fraction true, the MLB monitoring program is ineffective. In early 2013 Major League Baseball made its pledge to expand their drug-testing program, vowing to establish newer blood tests and methods to catch players who use synthetic testosterone (Schmidt).
In addition to the ineffective testing methods, the minimal punishment for abusing PEDs presents little deterrent. The MLB will issue a measly 10-day suspension to players who are caught on...

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