Earlier this week, a friend reminded me that back in the ‘old days’, steroid-assisted athletes who’d get slapped on the hand would be the ones who came in second place.
Or maybe they were good enough for the big-leagues, but they only made the practice team.
They were pawns and were therefore expendable.
Of course, the champions and franchise players would always test clean.
Never-mind any potential health consequences, this system provided ‘social-proof’ that steroids were for “losers”.
These days, the message is different.
Now if you “load up” you’ll be able to run faster, hit further, dish out more punishment in the ring, on the field or in the water.
In short, performance enhancing drugs work like MAGIC!
If superstars are even suspected of using steroids, this only increases the perception that drugs work.
This also sends a message that the ‘evil’ performance enhancing substances we keep hearing are so bad for us can actually take a regular schlep to superstar status and put millions in his (or her) bank account.
In a different arena, drug addict/train-wreck Amy Winehouse is awarded with SIX Grammy nominations and five WINS for her ability to go in and out of rehab (or whatever her actual talent may be).
Are these really the messages the government and media are trying to get across?
Maybe it’d make more sense to put the prematurely balding, grape-nut testicled, gap-toothed, always-injured minor players on the chopping block and send the message, “hey kid, look what really happens when you take steroids”.
Sure, some big names will slip through the cracks and eyebrows will always be raised, but LOSERS getting busted sends an entirely different message.
Guilty or not, Roger Clemens, Marion Jones and Lance Armstrong still outperformed the competition when it counted.
Not a lot of incentive to stay clean now, is it?