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Old 12-08-2004, 09:00 AM   #1
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steroids

okay, so, just for the sake of argument, amids all this Giambi confession and the need of an asterix by all of Barry Bonds' records, just how much of a problem are steroids? consider: we just learned that some 40 percent of Americans are on some kind of constant medication - the line between pharmaceuticals that actually cure illness and those that enhance our quality of life (viagra, anyone?) is getting blurrier all the time. what is health, after all, if not somewhat relative? our cultural norm is that drugs that do not harm you are perfectly legit in increasing your enjoyment of life, or enhancing your ability to perform certain tasks. Why, then, are steroids so illegitimate in sports? yes, they can harm a body, but only if taken in excess and outside a doctor's supervision. yes, it's unfair when some players use them and others don't. but the answer to that might just as well be universal steroid use as a universal ban. the notion that there is some "pure" human being out there - unaffected by the technology that now enhances our lives in so many ways - is fiction. i'm not that comfortable with a steroid free-for-all; but I'm having a hard time coming up with good arguments as to why I shouldn't be.
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Old 12-08-2004, 09:03 AM   #2
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I guess I just think sports should still be one "pure" place, and I consider steroids to be cheating. It's not fair to have athletes working out and taking good care of themselves the "old fashioned" way losing to juiced out people.

Not to mention what steroids do to your health.
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Old 12-08-2004, 09:13 AM   #3
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hey -- i agree with you. as a former swimmer, it was such a good feeling watching the US women's 4x200 relay destroy the final East German record this summer in Athens. it was like good finally vanquished evil (i.e., the clean were better than the doped).

but this is an ethical question -- where do we draw the line? why should sports performance be out of bounds for chemical enhancement, but sexual performance (again, that viagra) be in bounds?
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Old 12-08-2004, 10:15 AM   #4
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I think that sports performance should be just that. Athletes aren't robots, but they are role models, especially for a lot of kids. I would love to have kids that are every bit as involved and passionate about sports as I was, but if every professional sport was governed by steroid use, I think it would be very sad.
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Old 12-08-2004, 10:19 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511
why should sports performance be out of bounds for chemical enhancement, but sexual performance (again, that viagra) be in bounds?

Cause you can't get medals, become idols/role models, or make tens of millions of dollars from sexual performance

I think if we allow steroids in sports, we may as well just create robots to replace athletes
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Old 12-08-2004, 10:21 AM   #6
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My big issue is, if they dare strip Marilyn Jones or any other recent athlete due to steriods or doping, go back to the pre-Cold War Olympics and strip every Soviet bloc athlete who used them, including the gymnasts on 'peter pan' drugs. If you're not going to do that, leave everybody alone!!
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Old 12-08-2004, 10:26 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by U2Kitten
My big issue is, if they dare strip Marilyn Jones or any other recent athlete due to steriods or doping, go back to the pre-Cold War Olympics and strip every Soviet bloc athlete who used them, including the gymnasts on 'peter pan' drugs. If you're not going to do that, leave everybody alone!!
Are you for or against steroid use? I do think that we should look at present situations rather than the past, for the sake of fairness.
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Old 12-08-2004, 10:46 AM   #8
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okay, but what about tests? are the kids on ritalin at an advantage? what if i weren't ADHD, but Ritalin improved my memory and focus -- why should i not be allowed to use that on test day? when it comes to SATs, and MCATs and LSATs, the rewards for doing well are just as high stakes as olympic medals and world championships.
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Old 12-08-2004, 10:59 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511
okay, but what about tests? are the kids on ritalin at an advantage? what if i weren't ADHD, but Ritalin improved my memory and focus -- why should i not be allowed to use that on test day? when it comes to SATs, and MCATs and LSATs, the rewards for doing well are just as high stakes as olympic medals and world championships.
I don't know about comparing ritalin - a drug that many kids need - could equally be compared to steroids - a drug that athletes choose to use, even if they could hit home runs without them.
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Old 12-08-2004, 11:48 AM   #10
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Originally posted by Macfistowannabe
Are you for or against steroid use? I do think that we should look at present situations rather than the past, for the sake of fairness.
It was 'for the sake of fairness' I said that. Some of those East German women in the 70's were so pumped full of steroids they looked like men and guys over here made fun of them. What I'm saying is, fair is fair, if you strip a recent athlete, strip everyone in the past too. Why should they keep their medals and not Marion Jones?
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Old 12-08-2004, 12:04 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by U2Kitten
My big issue is, if they dare strip Marilyn Jones or any other recent athlete due to steriods or doping, go back to the pre-Cold War Olympics and strip every Soviet bloc athlete who used them, including the gymnasts on 'peter pan' drugs.
Sorry, as a gymnast, I'm naturally curious. Can you elaborate on "peter-pan" drugs? One of the reasons I really like gymnastics is that steriods and performance enhancing drugs are of absolutely no use to our sport. If anything, they hinder performace. There are male gymnasts that struggle with becoming "muscle bound" without the use of steroids.

I would say there IS a difference between performance enhancing drugs and drugs like viagra because athletes CAN fairly win medals without drugs, but a lot of men CAN'T have sex without viagra. Personally, I think taking it for an extra boost or whatever is stupid. I mean, if a guy my age was doing that, it wouldn't turn me on in the slightest. Talk about low self-esteem!
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Old 12-08-2004, 12:14 PM   #12
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Using steroids for athletic enhancement is akin to buying off a juror to win a case. It's the height of cheating.

I won't get into the long term health hazards, or the fact that it's an illegal substance unless prescribed, but suffice it to say that this has spilled way down into the high school ranks and polluted our teenage pool. Testing should be mandatory from 9th grade on if you want to play sports...People get athletic scholarships because they have cheated to enhance their abilities. This is patently unfair and something that our culture needs to take way, way more seriously...
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Old 12-08-2004, 12:38 PM   #13
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It's all about the benjamins.
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Old 12-08-2004, 12:51 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by U2Kitten


It was 'for the sake of fairness' I said that. Some of those East German women in the 70's were so pumped full of steroids they looked like men and guys over here made fun of them. What I'm saying is, fair is fair, if you strip a recent athlete, strip everyone in the past too. Why should they keep their medals and not Marion Jones?
Ahh... so you meant that we shouldn't credit those so much in the past who have used steroids, if we can't credit those in the present? If that's what you meant, I could agree to it.
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Old 12-08-2004, 01:07 PM   #15
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feels weird to argue for steroid use ... but for the sake of argument (i'm hardly endorsing this viewpoint, i'm just throwing it out there), what's the difference (and who determines the difference) between some of the stuff you can find at your local GNC and what we determine (now) to be illegal? lots of guys use Creatine to increase muscle mass, even though there are worries about it causing liver damage. why is this not a steroid, yet the stuff Bonds was on (proper nouns escape me) is deemed illegal.

are we being anti-science here? should we not embrace technology that enhances human performance? one can argue that the highly scientific drugs given to Bonds and (probably) Jones are light years safer and more scientific than what those poor East German women were injected with by their governments. the health risks are simply not the same as the once were.

we see it as perfectly justified when someone with a good natural singing voice takes pride in his performance, although we're aware that his singing has more to do with talent than with effort and training. if, however, Bono were to improve his singing by the use of a drug, Bono would be denied the same recognition (unless Bono had put a lot of effort into inventing the drug in question before testing it on himself). the point is that both hard work and natural talent are considered 'part of' Bono, while using a drug is 'artificial' enhancement because it is a form of external manipulation.

this brings us back to the same problem: once we know that Bono's 'natural talent' depends on the levels of certain chemicals in his brain, does it matter, morally, whether Bono acquired it from outside or have possessed it from birth? and, if Bono's job is to sing well on a record, just as it is Barry Bond's job to play well, why should we deny either of them the tools to perform at the highest level possible (and further justify their obscene salaries)?

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