Performance enhancing drugs are a frequent topic of discussion these days. Barry Bonds, Marion Jones, Mark McGuire, Lance Armstrong, Steve Mullings, Mike Rodgers – the list of athletes who have been accused of and/or tested positive for banned substances is long. Congressional committees have been organized, grand juries and supreme courts have gotten involved. The FBI, federal prosecutors and investigators, drug labs, and a continent spanning testing industry consume vast quantities of public and private money every year in an attempt to keep athletes ‘clean’, to keep professional sporting organizations and events ‘competitive.’
Well, first of all, the commercialization of anything essentially guarantees cheating. With so much prize money and sponsorship dollars at stake, there is a zero percent chance that efforts to ‘clean up’ professional athletics are going to work. It just won’t happen. Secondly, and this is just my humble opinion: let them juice.
Yes, I mean that, let professional athletes dope until their eyeballs are full of EPO if they want. As already mentioned, professional sports are just an incestuous pit of greed and corporate advertising anyway, most of the ‘purity’ in any sport is found at non-compensatory or pre-professional levels and even there, as recent events have shown, it still isn’t some golden realm of fair play and purity of motive. Money warps everything, and considering how stunted the ethical and moral framework of professional sports already are, I say give me my money’s worth.
I personally think it would be awesome to see ten foot tall steroid-sweating juice heads crush a home run over the wall, out of the park, and across the parking lot and through a 7-11 window. MLB officials would probably have to pay generous materials science contracts just to create bats and balls capable of withstanding such raw, injection-delivered power. Advances in technology might actually result from this.
Or take gymnastics. I would pay serious cash to watch a gymnast successfully complete a septuple back flip off a mat. Or how about MMA? I’m not an advocate of violence, but if a group of people have no qualms about getting into the ring for the express purpose of physically destroying each other I say drop the doping ban, give em’ some tridents, maces, spears, and broad swords and have a chemical fueled modern day gladiatorial contest. Winner takes all, literally.
I want to see the Tour de France finished in half its current record time, riders so drunk on sophisticated, complex synthetic hormones and anabolic steroid mixtures that they demolish steep alpine ascents as if cruising down a Kansas side street.
My point here is that pro sports, of any kind, would just be so much fun if everyone could juice to the gills. If athletes want to use, they assume the risks, they have the expertise and knowledge and teams of specialists to mitigate the effects. Yeah, sure, trickle down use, ‘setting examples’, all that nonsense which supposedly brought in the Congress (really, US Congress? You have nothing better to do than attempt to regulate the use of performance enhancing chemicals in professional sports?), but seeing athletes dope is not driving aspiring athletes to do the same, use is driven by the near ubiquity and competitive necessity of these chemicals.
And that is driven by money. Get rid of the money, get rid of the doping, but that is never going to happen. So get rid of the doping ban and give us unfettered, flag-waving, record crushing awesomeness that I can celebrate with a beer, fried food, and vicarious glory.