December 8, 2004

AHEAD OF HIS TIME

MLB Players Open to Changes in Steroids Testing (REUTERS, 12/8/2004)

Union executive director Donald Fehr issued a statement saying the union has agreed to continue talks with management to possibly make changes to the 2002 collective bargaining agreement with regards to steroids testing.

To the bewilderment of many, President Bush raised this issue in his 2004 State of the Union Address:

To help children make right choices, they need good examples. Athletics play such an important role in our society, but, unfortunately, some in professional sports are not setting much of an example. The use of performance-enhancing drugs like steroids in baseball, football, and other sports is dangerous, and it sends the wrong message -- that there are shortcuts to accomplishment, and that performance is more important than character. So tonight I call on team owners, union representatives, coaches, and players to take the lead, to send the right signal, to get tough, and to get rid of steroids now.

Posted by Stephen Judd at December 8, 2004 2:08 PM
Comments

Although he hasn't gotten around to attacking Bush for his position yet, Andrew Sullivan is on the libertarian take all you want steroid bandwagon, with the justification that it's not a problem because it's the individual's right to harm his or her own body, and you can't stop people from doing it anyway. The unmentioned point is that if you do that, then for all but the most natually gifted athletes, use of steroids in the future would become manditory, not optional, if you hope to earn a living from professional sports as a young adult.

There are a lot of careers that cause people to take drugs (Nexium for one), but I can't think of any where drug taking would be a requirement for success. High-dollar por sports would be, if you follow the thinking of Andrew or some of the folks over at Reason and make steroid use the only way to level out the playing field.


Posted by: John at December 8, 2004 4:10 PM

Why is it that it's seemingly correct to limit access to performance enhancing drugs that will launch a professional athlete's career (men), but it is ok to let movie stars (women) have access to breast augmentation, botox, plastic surgery and tummy tucks? Isn't that also sending a wrong message to the children. Oh wait a minute, skip the breast augmentation.

Posted by: AllenS at December 8, 2004 4:11 PM

AllenS,

Does any of the procedures you mention have life-threatening aspects if done properly? If you go to Dr. Nick on the Simpsons, anything can happen, but if you go to a reputable plastic surgeon it has infinitesmal risk.

Steroid use, OTOH, will kill or severly damage you.

Posted by: Bart at December 8, 2004 4:33 PM

Bart,

I can't think of anyone who has died from using steroids, that didn't have some other drug related problems. I could be wrong. One thing for sure, it isn't good for you. Hasn't there been claims from some women that the silicone breast enhancement has caused cancer, or autoimmune problems? Wasn't there some problems with liposuction in CA concerning the doctor that was affirmative actioned through med school? I can't remember his name.

Posted by: AllenS at December 8, 2004 5:02 PM

If anything should be banned, it should be breast REDUCTION surgery!

Posted by: G. Eugene at December 8, 2004 6:09 PM

The other problem is that if anyone takes steroids, pretty soon just about everyone will be taking them, and while the effect won't exactly offset (every batter who isn't killed by being hit by a pitch gets a homerun) team performance will pretty much settle down where it would be anyway. So, might as well skip the whole thing.

Posted by: David Cohen at December 8, 2004 6:17 PM

AllenS,

There are incompetents in every profession.

You can't think of anyone who has died from steroids? Lyle Alzado, John Matuszak, pro wrestlers like Jeff Spicoli, Brian Pillman, Davey Boy Smith, Eddie Gilbert, etc. Numerous others have been crippled for life like Derek Sanderson. According to Howie Long the average NFL athlete lives only to 53.

Posted by: Bart at December 8, 2004 9:59 PM

Steroids is cheating, just like movies (as opposed to the stage).

So, cheating is wrong in sports and real acting, but fine for movies.

Posted by: Randall Voth at December 9, 2004 9:03 AM
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