With all the recent talk of Biogenesis, HGH, and performance enhancing drugs in sports, the time is now for all major professional sports leagues to make a decision to protect the integrity of their leagues, records, and the games itself. Currently, the punishments in place for using PED’s have not been strict enough for athletes to question the risk/reward of using PEDs. While most sports have implemented stringent testing over the past several years to limit the number of players using PED’s, recent evidence has shown the tests and punishments are not enough to deter players from even questioning the risk involved with illegal drugs.
Top baseball stars such as Ryan Braun, Alex Rodriguez, and countless other major leaguers have shown that they are willing to synthetically enhance their performance for the sake of major rewards in the form of big money contracts, awards, and records. The problem does not limit itself to baseball alone. A whistleblower from the Biogenesis scandal has confirmed that athletes from all sports ranging from basketball, boxing, MMA, and track and field are known to have used the facility to obtain illegal substances. Though no NFL player is believed to be on the Biogenesis list, one would have to be completely naïve and gullible to suggest that football players ,whose success is predicated on being bigger, faster, and stronger than the opponent, are not mired in PED use as much as any other professional sports league. Recently players from major sports such as Adrian Peterson, Zack Greinke, and numerous others have vehemently supported drug testing and suspensions for any player who is found to be guilty. Players who play the right way have begun to turn the tide against those who would rather cheat than perform on natural ability. The onus, however, falls on the commissioners of each sports league and their players union to do what was once deemed as unprecedented. Those who are drug tested and found to be guilty of PED use must face a lifetime ban and be wiped away from the record books forever.
Progress has been made over the past ten years in regards to punishments for those who are willing to take drugs to improve performance. For years the Olympics have stripped guilty athletes of records, medals, and suspended them for up to four years or more. The time has come for all sports to take the battle to a new level. Banning any athlete who fails a drug test for PEDs is the only solution. Stripping these athletes of their records, awards, and voiding their contracts is the only way to solve the problem. Suspending players for fifty games, half a season, or a whole season has proven to not be enough. A lifetime ban and the subsequent stripping of statistics and records will prove to all athletes that cheating is no longer accepted. Taking this step will show fans that preserving the integrity of all sports and its records means more than making a profit off of cheating players. Those who cheat shall not be allowed to capitalize off their synthetic, drug driven performance with big money contracts or false claims of broken records. Records are meant to be achieved by the best natural athletes.
Over the past twenty years, many records have been achieved and embarrassed by lying, cheating athletes. Commissioners from all leagues must save their sport from the embarrassment. They must unite and decide that PED’s will no longer be allowed. The current system in all sports does not strike fear in players who cheat or think about cheating. Most are willing to risk a few games or even a season. The question is will most of these athletes be willing to risk their livelihood, their records, their careers? For the sake of the fans, players, and the game itself, the answer is hopefully a resounding no.