Today, professional sports are a staple in the lives of many people in the country. In these sports, performance enhancing drugs have been a large talking point and the athletes caught using them are put under heavy scrutiny. Just recently, superstar baseball shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. made headlines after testing positive for Clostebol. This positive test, and his ensuing suspension, raised the issue that comes around every five or so years. Many fans are rightfully angry at the star players caught using illegal substances, but there are some that question why they are illegal at all.
I will begin by answering the question of whether steroids should be allowed in sports today with: absolutely. Now, there are some old-fashioned fans out there that now have to pick their jaws off the ground before they tell me how wrong I am. Don’t get me wrong, I love sports and all that comes with it just as much as the next guy, and you may think it’s crazy to advocate for their usage in our nation’s most famous pastimes. But, I absolutely believe that these professional athletes should be allowed to dope as much as their little heart’s desire. Sure, it could “destroy the integrity of the game” and whatnot, but if you are telling me you would not want to see some of our modern athletes on steroids, you are lying to me. If “liar, liar pants on fire” was true, anyone claiming they do not want to see steroids allowed would look like a human torch.
Let’s take a look at some seasons from some people who have famously used PEDs. Barry Bonds is probably the first name off the top of anyone’s head on this topic, and rightfully so. His “alleged” usage led to some insane statistical anomalies during his time with the San Francisco Giants. In 2001, Bonds clobbered 73 home runs. If you don’t know anything about baseball, 73 is an absurd amount of home runs. It is the all-time single season record, to be more precise. The following season, however, Bonds hit “only” 46 bombs. You have to be from another planet for that season to be considered a down year. These accusations against Bonds have – unfortunately – stuck with him to this day, as his involvement in the league-wide scandal led to his denial to the Baseball Hall of Fame in January 2022.
When thinking about what these ferocious professional athletes are capable of when on steroids, my mouth begins to salivate. I am transported into a perfect world of my own thoughts where Barry Bonds annihilates seven-hundred-foot bombs, Patrick Mahomes can sling a football the entire length of the gridiron, and Aroldis Chapman throws a fastball at one hundred ten miles per hour. Maybe Michael Jordan would have been able to dunk from half court like he did in Space Jam. One can only dream.
Obviously, there are reasons they are currently outlawed. They can have negative effects on those that use them such as high blood pressure, liver disorders, high cholesterol, and potential sexual and reproductive disorders. But the harm these may cause clearly do not affect athletes’ decisions to use them as suspensions, accusations, and positive tests run rampant. It is said that when steroids are used, the user has an unfair advantage over their competition. Now imagine there is no unfair advantage at all, and everyone has equal access and everyone is on level playing field. As the old saying goes, “if you aren’t cheating, you aren’t trying.”
The level of play we are used to seeing in sports today is nothing short of amazing. Now, picture your favorite sport with every athlete on steroids. That is exactly what the East Germany government was going for in the 1976 Olympics. They forced their Olympic athletes to take steroids and some swimmers even told each other, “You eat the pills, or you die.” Their plans, however unethical they were, paid off in the form of gold medals. The women’s swim team captured eleven of thirteen possible gold medals while the country took home forty total.
In recent years, the viewership of the major sports championships is down from just five years ago. These numbers are to be taken with a grain of salt because right in the middle of this timeline was a worldwide pandemic that altered life as we know it. Regardless, the numbers are not recovering as executives or fans would have hoped. It was only a matter of time until viewers grew weary of the games they were watching. Now is the time to capitalize on the young stars featured in the games we love. Enabling the means for these studs to elevate their game is just what our dying games need, and it may save them from what we all fear.