Reports of professional athletes getting banned for steroid usage prior to a competitive event is no news. Doping, steroids and similar illegal performance enhancing treatments and drugs have become quite synonymous with professional sports in recent times. And perhaps this should be reason enough to legalize steroid usage in professional sports.
The major reason why these drugs are outlawed in sports is because they provide the recipient an unfair edge over opponents. Several sports leagues have tried setting an even playing field by conducting drug use tests and suspending the ones found guilty. The effort is quite noble, but it is certainly not working. Harsh punishments have contributed little to decrease the number of athletes caught cheating each year. Every season, Major League Baseball (MLB) suspends players who’ve been found guilty of using illegal substances. And it’s foolish to believe that the ones getting caught are the only perpetrators.
Therefore, to truly level the play area, legalizing performance enhancers is the only solution.
Such legalization won’t just even things up, but the plane of overall competition would go higher as well. In other words, legalizing performance enhancement drugs will assist athletes reach the pinnacle of their performance.
Legalizing steroids makes sense from a business perspective as well. With better performances and elevated competition levels, the interest in sports would soar and live audience and TV viewership would increase too. At the end of the day, it would be a win-all situation. Athletes will perform better and earn more. Audiences will get more than their monies worth. And corporate profits will go up.
Also, life would become much easier for sports organizations who are toiling hard to manage tangled anti-doping policies. For instance, the line differentiating an improper and proper performance enhancer is blurred. MLB comes hard at stimulants such as methamphetamine and ephedrine, but doesn’t restrict caffeine usage. Athletes also cannot take HGH (human growth hormone), which assists with injury recovery.
Detractors may argue that doping and steroids could negatively affect the health of athletes. But they don’t understand competing on a professional playing field is a major physical risk in itself. Athletes getting seriously injured and never being able to return to professional sports again is not rare. Moreover, if steroids and other performances are legalized, athletes would no longer have to put up with the shady practices of grey market sellers.
Due to steroid and performance drug usage charges, several sporting legends have been denied entry into their respective sport’s Hall of Fame’s. Sporting authorities stick to keeping out players who’ve been suspected of or found guilty of using steroids. Basically, this argument is based on the fact that players who haven’t been caught using steroids are as guilty as the ones who could not hide their steroid usage practices. The point being any player who is bestowed the highest honor would carry a veil of uncertainty and suspicion, irrespective of the existing evidence. If performance enhancers get legalized at the highest level, there won’t be any suspicions and the deserving players would get their rewards for their superior performances.
Sports and how it gets played has always been evolving. Almost every sport on the face of this planet has undergone some alterations on the other in terms of rule changes and playing conditions. For instance, in 1969, the baseball mound came down five inches, giving hitters a major advantage. Not only that, even training and nutrition regimes have transformed athletes into physical behemoths that were nowhere to be seen several decades ago. In other words, competitive sports has transformed so much with time, it just doesn’t make sense to use the rules and restrictions from several decades ago.