The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Leagues should approve certain enhancements

By Chris Cates/sports editor

Whether you’re a fan or not, there’s no denying that drugs play a major role in sports.

Be it the legal or the not-so-legal ones, it seems everyone is taking something of some sort and that use undoubtedly raises many questions.

We have recently reached the territory of calling records “tainted” because of potential drug usage, but there is an alternative way to view things.

If the pitcher is taking enhancement drugs and the hitter is taking enhancement drugs, wouldn’t the field of play still be level and thus the record still valid.

I’m not condoning the usage.

If these guys are taking illegal drugs (steroids, etc.) and are caught in the act, they deserve to be punished
severely.

But if it was discovered that nearly all the league were taking drugs, it does make one wonder what the proper action would be.

They can’t exactly erase five or 10 years of statistics.

The league has no way to know how long the usage has been going on.

And it’s hard to imagine the league taking away World Series titles from teams with steroid offenders. 

So do they just take away records from the few “big name” individuals who are caught, or do they leave the records?

Something tells me we’ll know sooner rather than later with a certain Barry Bonds closing in on history.

Many legal drugs are also being taken.

Supplements are a popular enhancer, and while they won’t give the brute power that steroids will, they also don’t bring the side effects and potential punishments of the banned drug.

Even supplements can be dangerous, and possibly even more so.

Former Orioles pitcher Steve Bechler died from the use of ephedra, a completely legal stimulant that suppresses fatigue, aids weight loss and enhances performance.

Players will always take some form of enhancement drugs, at least until the day a sure-fire detector is invented and all drugs are made illegal.

Many high school athletes take supplements to improve strength and stamina, and so the trend will not only continue, but increase dramatically when money and a big league gig is on the line.

Imagine being a 27-year-old career minor leaguer.

You’re making very little in the money department. You travel from no-name city to no-name city and have for the past seven years.

It seems you’ll never get your shot. Someone comes to you with the possibility of taking an illegal drug like steroids.

If you get caught, you’re in serious trouble.

But if you don’t get caught, which seems to be happening more and more in today’s sports arena, you’re a better player, and your shot to play big-league ball improves tenfold.

This is the nature of baseball today.

Some players will do whatever it takes to make the big show and the big dollars that come along with it. The most popular route is illegal enhancement drugs.

There is a solution to all this, and it doesn’t involve federal grand juries and all that mess.

Each respective league needs to pick a committee including the best doctors and the best minds of their sport, and have them meet daily in a given city until everything is settled.

They can make a clear-cut list of the drugs that are legal and nor legal. The list would be the final answer to solving the drug problem in sports.

They shouldn’t worry about the fans losing interest, but simply think about the sanctity of the game and create the closest possible thing to a level playing field that they can.

This problem isn’t necessarily short-term: the believed offenders of today’s game like Barry Bonds, will likely leave the league before the full effect is felt.

But the committee should talk to every single person in the league, stressing the importance of a legal and level environment. They should start with those just entering the league, and by the time the rookies are the league’s veterans, the problem may be completely dissolved.

Caught using steroids? The player is out of the league for good.

If the atmosphere is clean, everything seems less cloudy.

When there aren’t indictments, raids and federal grand juries hanging over the game, the fans will come.

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