Friday, February 8, 2013

Are you suffering from PED overload?

Raise your hand if you’re getting Performance Enhancement Drug (PED) overload? When news of another Alex Rodriguez (and others) PED scandal hit the airwaves, I finally gave up on the erstwhile slugger. To me, it appears his entire illustrious career was a sham. We can’t be certain that he was ever clean, even back to his high school years in Miami.

 Maybe because I’m immune to it now, but I don’t really care that much anymore about athletes using PED’s to get an edge because obviously a majority of them in many sports are using. Is it really an advantage when your competitor is using also? I guess the few (Derek Jeter comes to mind) that don’t want to get involved in drugs feel betrayed because they know most are gaining an edge. Perhaps it has driven a few athletes who didn’t want to partake to finally give in.

Let’s not be naïve that baseball is the only sport with a problem. They simply have the finest testing program and have caught a bunch of cheats. Also, it’s evident that the Hispanic players grew up in a different culture where the stuff was legal and readily available.

Footballers have been using for decades but the public doesn’t seem as outraged about that as they do for baseball. Face it, baseball is a stats-driven league and the national pastime’s glorious records were battered by steroidal players. Football … who cares? We want our gridiron giants to be bigger, faster, stronger. Some of the individual sports like golf and tennis probably have drug issues also. And, let’s not get started about cycling, weight-lifting, track and field, etc.

Really, it’s not much different in other performance industries, where the amount of money you make is dependent on the fitness of your body. Music stars, actors, and models also seek advantages to either begin a lucrative career or rejuvenate a sagging one. If you’re paid handsomely to look good, you look for ways to keep the dollars flowing. Is a model who artificially enhances her body to make the Sports Illustrated swimsuit cover and a hefty payday that much different than ARod? Does she receive an advantage over another model who isn’t willing to get breast enhancements and other cosmetic upgrades? I think so, although it is unfortunate.

As long as performers/athletes continue to be paid in millions, this problem will persist. Would you do it? If there were 300 million reasons like ARod’s situation, I think many of us would.

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