Why PEDs Should be Legal in Sports
In life we all strive to be the greatest we can, we do anything to reach our maximum potential. As sports fans we pay to see the best athletes perform at their maximum potential. Performance enhancing drugs do just this; help athletes reach their pinnacle. Currently most are not legal in professional sports, but this should change. With performance enhancing drugs legal it would make professional sports far more entertaining, reduce underground and unsafe drug use, give everybody the option to be on a level playing field, along with many other positive benefits.
As sports fans, you pay to see the best players compete at their best possible level. With performance enhancing drugs legal it allows all players the ability to compete at their highest level. In 1998, the peak of the steroid era, baseball saw players putting up the best numbers of their lives. Players were throwing harder than ever and hitting more home runs than ever as well. Sammy Sosa of the Cubs hit 66 home runs and Mark McGuire of the Cardinals hit 70 home runs both breaking the single season home run record of 61, which had stood for 37 years before that. This drew in many fans Time Entertainment states, “America was captivated by the two huge men and the great home-run race…McGwire, with forearms the size of a grown man's neck, 17 inches around, was a gate attraction unto himself, a modern wonder of the world” (Torre, and Verducci, 2009, pg.1). Attendance and interest was at it’s highest it had been in a long while. According to Time Entertainment, “Attendance jumped 12%, with almost seven and a half million more people paying their way into ballparks. The per-game major league average improved by 4% to 29,054, the best it had been since before the strike hit. The ratings for games televised by Fox improved by 11%t” (Torre, and Verducci pg.1). The fans loved these huge men out there playing ball. Not to mention how much money it was bringing in, with all the fans coming, more concessions sales and more merchandise was sold. With this correlation of a high number of steroid users causing high fan attendance and large profits for the teams, I’d say performance enhancing drugs are good for sports.
As far as the safety of the players there can be a lot said. Many fans say that these drugs have many harmful effects to your body. This isn’t entirely true, while yes steroids and other drugs do cause some health problems; for the most part these claims are exaggerated. There is no sound study that supports the claims that steroids when used properly cause most of the claims against it; like cancer, heart attacks, and death. Though there is another side to the health coin, with the drugs being illegal many players are forced to go to underground, unregulated labs and get in some cases experimental drugs. These cannot possibly be safe if they are not being regulated. With the legalization of them they can better monitor the athletes and help minimize health risks, along with create a more informed user. The athletes can learn from regulated doctors and consultants on what to use instead of trusting a doctor that will break the rules. Along with having a more informed user with safer drugs the player could then make a responsible choice on what to do. It seems silly to tell a grown adult what they can and cannot do to their bodies if they are fully aware of all the risks involved.
Many advocates against the use of steroids claim that it causes an unfair advantage or an uneven playing field. Though according to Norman Frost, the Professor and Director of the Medical Ethics Program at the University of Wisconsin, “There is no coherent argument to support the view that enhancing performance is unfair; if it were, we would ban coaching and training…” (Frost, 2005, par. 1), which basically means that it’s just a tool like coaching that helps athletes reach their maximum potential. With them being banned only a few athletes have...
References: Frost, Norman. "Steroid Hysteria: Unpacking the Claims." American Medical Association Journal of Ethics. Nov 2005
Jost, K. (2004, July 23). Sports and drugs. CQ Researcher, 14, 613-636. Retrieved from http://library.cqpress.com/cqresearcher/
Kayser, Bengt, Alexandre Mauron, and Andy Miah. "Viewpoint: Legalisation of Performance-Enhancing Drugs." Lancet. Dec 2005.
Simon, Robert. Fair Play: The Ethics of Sport. 2nd ed. Boulder, CO: Wesview Press, 2004.
Torre, Joe, and Tom Verducci. "The Man Who Warned Baseball About Steroids." Time Entertainment. 23 Feb 2009: 1-3. Web. 28 Feb. 2012. .
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