Why Steroids Have No Place in Sports

Shane Sellers, Guest Writers

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

Ask anyone with a decent knowledge of sports and current events, and they will tell you: doping in sports is a problem. Nearly every week, another high-profile doping story makes its way to the headlines of newspapers around the world. Doping threatens the integrity of the game, and the health risks involved are overwhelming for the athletes. Steroids have no place in the sports scene.
In the world of sports, millions of dollars are at stake. For example, in the MLB, 30 home runs and a .270 average will probably get a player around $15 million. However, hit 40 home runs and bat .300, and that will come out to be around $30 million. The easiest way to make a jump in stats like that is to take steroids. Take one-time home run king Mark McGwire. In 1993-94, he hit a combined 18 home runs. In 1995, he hit 39 homers, followed by 52, 58, 70, and 65. How is that possible? It’s quite simple: doping.
For one, the use of steroids severely affects the integrity and the even playing field of the game. The McGwire example was just one of many. American former professional road racing cyclist Lance Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles in 2012. This led to his eventual admission to using performance-enhancing drugs. He may not have won all seven titles if he was playing fair and square. If doping were allowed, no longer would the game be about which athlete has the best talent, but instead, it would be about which athlete takes the most steroids.
Steroids are extremely harmful to the body. To put it short and sweet, steroids affect the liver, endocrine, and reproductive functions, as well as cause tumors of the liver and kidneys, heart conditions, and serious psychiatric symptoms. It is simply not worth it. If a player wants to have kids but took steroids for a while, too bad! Infertility is a serious risk involved with “juicing”.
Proponents of legalizing doping have one key point: they say the playing field would suddenly be even for all players, and it would be at a higher level. A huge part of watching sports is witnessing the very peak of human athletic ability, and legalizing performance enhancing drugs would help athletes climb even higher. Steroids and doping will help pitchers to throw harder, home runs to go further, cyclists to charge for longer, and sprinters to test the very limits of human speed. The problem here is that players will overdo it. They will find that once they are 80, their bodies will be reaping the repercussions of doping for 30 years. Not to mention, if steroids are allowed in pro sports, it sets a terrible precedent for college and even youth sports.
The only way to preserve integrity in sports and protect the health of athletes is through a serious anti-doping approach. Anti-doping efforts are most successful when the anti-doping policy sets forth clear rules about when and what substances are prohibited. Although a long way from perfect, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has created the most comprehensive anti-doping program in the world. American professional sports leagues should be looking at ways to model the WADA code in its own anti-doping, not seeking ways to excuse steroid use or compromise anti-doping efforts. Too often there are many ways to get around being punished for taking steroids by taking loopholes in the rules. Steroids have no place in sports.