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Poll: Should We Throw Athletic Drug Testing Out the Window?

A Patch reader has some interesting thoughts in light of the suspension of San Francisco Giant Melky Cabrera this week.

 

Should we eliminate drug testing for our professional athletes, specifically the body hunt for performance enhancing drugs?

Just for some quick background, All-Star left fielder Melky Cabrera, acquired by the San Francisco Giants before the start of the season, was after he was caught with testosterone in his blood, essentially removing him from the Giants' roster for the rest of the regular season.

It is possible Cabrera could come back to participate in a playoff run if the Giants make it into the postseason without his run-producing bat.

When Patch ran the breaking news article on Wednesday, reaction to the news was healthly among readers. Among the comments - in fact, the first one received - was from Lillian, who wrote:

Nearly all pro athletes use performance enhancing drugs and hormones. Some get caught, most don't. Why not just dispense with testing and let the athletes entertain us? It seems more fair and honest. The pros tend to dope under a doctor's care, which is the better way to go as they can be informed of the risks and can get regular health testing. Let our athletes become super humans and give us a better show.

What about the children that idolize and look up to these athletes as role models? Well, that is their first problem. Athletes are for our entertainment. They should look up to us in the stands and know where their money comes from. Which is more harmful, to lie to children and say that athletes don't dope and it only counts if you get caught? Or to tell them the truth: doping only improves an already good athlete and an athlete sacrifices his body for the sport? By having all this drug testing and pretending that athletes don't dope when they do, we actually harm young aspiring athletes by giving them the message that they must dope illegally to be competitive. Let them dope legally and give us a great show. Let them gene splice or add cybernetic parts. This is our future!

Among Miriam-Webster's definitions of "sport" are a) a source of diversion, and b) physical activity engaged in for pleasure.

If sports are physical activities engaged in for pleasure, and a source of diversion for an audience, why not allow PED's? Is it for us to decide and be critical of a performer who makes the conscious choice to risk his or her body as an effort to create a more entertaining game or match? Is Major League Baseball wrong to suspend players who may be trying to make the game more fun for us to watch?

Or perhaps the use of PED's is abhorrant to you for health reasons: you feel it's wrong to alter what each of our bodies can naturally do, and not do.

The issue is not new to the San Francisco Giants. Retired outfielder Barry Bonds hit more home runs in his career (762) than anyone who ever played the game, and holds the single-season record for home runs with 73. Yet his ultimate standing among peers remains stuck in the on deck circle, a question mark still to be answered, with asterisks next to his records at this time.

In 2007, Bonds was indicted on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice for allegedly lying to a grand jury by testifying that he never knowingly took any illegal steroids.

What do you think? If under a doctor's supervision, should athletes be allowed to enhance their already considerable skills by using performance enhancing drugs? Should the professional leagues allow it, with the thought that athletic contests could be more entertaining? Or do you believe in the so-called purity of sport, and feel any bodily enhancement for an athlete is wrong?

Tell us in your comments. Then vote in the poll below. 

randy albin August 19, 2012 at 08:51 PM
what about the "fitness models?" this stuff is horrible. there is immorality, no ethics, and steroid abuse up the yin-yang. there certainly needs to be regulation and monitoring about this. where is there common sense at elite universities regarding this? these individuals think that it is funny when these are serious considerations
Kirk Mango August 19, 2012 at 09:43 PM
Thanks so much Diana. This loss of perspective and winning at all costs attitudes are one of the many reasons behind the writing and publication of my book, "Becoming a True Champion" (Rowman & Littlefield, May, 2012). There is much more to the steroid PED issue we see in sports as that environment is simply a reflection of issues we have in society as a whole. However, when the right lessons are taught and followed in the athletic arena they form a great example for others to follow. Change the thought process and everything changes. Kirk
jeffry helms August 19, 2012 at 11:16 PM
Your right one thing leads to another and a fake option is not as appealing or fair to the hardworkers who got shut out for being "real", also when you look at the long term aspects of steroids= heart attacks, transvestitism, domestic violence from impotency etc. anger,violence outbursts, steroids are not in the best interests of the athlete's
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