February 27, 2014
Risk vs. Reward: Using Performance-Enhancing Drugs
The steroids era in not only Major League Baseball, but in all professional sports really began in the early 1990s. In MLB, the commissioner, Byron Johnson, turned a blind eye to the players who were using PED’s because he wanted to draw fans back to the stands to see more homeruns. This worked for a while and then the use became illegal. Then MLB started testing their players in the early 2000s because they found that PED’s were harmful to the players and it was taking away from the sport. Today, most of the professional players who use PED’s do so for quick gain of fortune and fame. This is one of the many reasons why professional baseball players continue to use PED’s although it is highly illegal in MLB.
The first major issue involving PED’s came in the early 2000’s with the BALCO controversy. This controversy involved top baseball players of that year such as Barry Bonds, Jason Giambi, and Gary Sheffield. Jason Giambi admitted to using PED’s before talking to BALCO and that he had taken PED’s provided by them as well. BALCO was a clinic that had provided these players with PED’s. BALCO was the clinic that created the “cream” and the “clear” which are steroids that were made to be undetectable by the test that were available for steroid usage.
Quick fame resulting from the use of PED’s is a major factor in why professional baseball players continue to use them. The risk that comes with PED’s is not important to these players; they just care about the fame. One important risk from using PED’s is that they can cause permanent physical illness and psychotic episodes that include aggression, violence, and rapid mood swings. Some rewards that these players see from using PED’s is increased muscle mass, increased performance, increased endurance, and a feeling of invincibility. Other side effects can include a plethora of problems, the worst being liver damage or cancer. More risks can include acne, excessive hair growth or loss, testicular atrophy (shrinking), etc.
The top three most controversial players in major league baseball concerning PEDS’ are Roger Clemens, Alex Rodriguez, and George Mitchell. Alex Rodriguez is the most recent player to be caught using PED’s and is facing the consequences of a long term suspension. When Alex Rodriguez admitted to the use of PED’s, it shocked the baseball world. He was one of the most admired baseball players in major league baseball in terms of his skill. Roger Clemens was one of the biggest disappointment when the public found out about his use of PED’s because he was one of the most promising players of the time, as he was a 7 time Cy Young Award winner.
Anabolic androgenic steroids are a class of synthetic drugs that are designed to mimic the effects of hormone testosterone and are the most commonly used PED among major league baseball players. In sports, players tend to take mega doses of steroids which are sometimes 10-100 times the normal dosage that would be given for some medical conditions and they often use more than one type at a time.
The professional baseball player who do use PED’s get them from sports clinics and sometime even the black market. When they buy them from these places, the players follow the directions that the seller provides them or they take instructions from friends who have used them. This can cause serious harm because they might not be using them correctly and this could have a negative effect on them. A lot of the time the players are given PED’s from their personal trainers, sometimes without even knowing, but they are normally fully aware of what they are being given.
The use of PED’s alters the way that the game of baseball should be. It alters the records that some players achieve, because without the use of PED’s they would never have a record in the first place. Children look up to professional baseball players as idols, and many...
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