Performance-enhancing drugs, worth the risk?

By Liz Justmann

Performance-enhancing Drugs Can Enhance Performance. Side effects may include: Ruined Career.

Why do we care so much about PED’s? It seems unfortunate that the careers of athletes who have dedicated their lives to being the best at something are now tainted by a lapse of judgment in the use of performance-enhancing drugs.

As spring fever is sweeping the nation and baseball fans are coming out of their winter caves, Alex ‘A-Rod’ Rodriguez has captured the PED spotlight most recently.

In a test that all MLB players had to take in 2003, 104 out of 1,200 players tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs. However, these players were promised anonymity. The records were soon leaked through a series of unfortunate circumstances, and the Major League Baseball Players Association received the results the next year, in 2004.

Overall, Rodriguez admitted use, and excused his use of PED’s in the early 2000’s in an interview with ESPN, citing “an enormous amount of pressure to perform.” He also said that he had been clean while playing with the Yankees.

However, Rodriguez is back in trouble. Records from 2009 seem to show evidence of purchases of suspicious items, and these records continued into 2012. While there is no proof of failed tests yet, Rodriguez has been linked with multiple doctors and physicians who have been rumored to administer performance-enhancing drugs. The MLB has released that A-Rod hasn’t failed any of their administered tests. However, the lack of concrete evidence hasn’t stopped the buzz surrounding A-Rod.

Aside from the business of professional sports, A-Rod is a person. He’s a man who has a life and has accomplished a lot. It’s unfortunate that his name is so famous for PED’s, when, in 2003, there were 103 other players who also took PED’s. But, because of his extreme talent level, the spotlight shone on his downfalls as well as his abilities. And, as of right now, there is no confirmation of PED use in 2012. But I would like to take a chance to highlight a few of his efforts.

  • Most home runs by a third baseman (2007)
  • NYY record: Most home runs in a post season (2009)
  • Most stolen bases in a 50-home run season (2007)

So, this is a little bit of what A-Rod has accomplished in the world of Major League Baseball. Though PED’s may have enhanced his performance, his side effect included a ruined career. Unfortunately, PED’s will be the first thing that comes up in conversation about him, instead of his list of accomplishments. As he is currently in hiding, resting his left hip; we will see if he shows his face this season. It just seems unfortunate that someone with such talent is in a place in his career where he is in hiding. At the very least, let’s see if he begins playing after the All-Star game, his earliest projection of returning. But when he does return, I hope we can understand his plight of promised anonymity, leaked records, and his bad luck in the spotlight among a pool of 104 PED users in 2003 that started all of this.


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