Would I Know the Line?

It is so easy to sit and cast judgment on Lance Armstrong and other U.S. cyclists that admitted to doping for years. The same mentality is directed to athletes like Barry Bonds,   Mark McGwire, or other athletes detected of using steroids in their careers. When I sat in lecture today learning of the Eastern Germans, the U.S. cyclists, and many other Olympic athletes stripped of their medals due to performance enhancing drugs or blood doping I couldn’t help but think about what I would do in the same scenario. I’d love to say I’d be the noble one and say no performance enhancing drugs, but I don’t think I’d be as honorable as I wish.

From an athlete’s perspective I completely understand the burning desire to improve your game and be the best of the best. If I were on that cycling team and all of my teammates around me were getting all of the press and praise and accolades of a winner, yet I was riding alongside them struggling to keep up because I was the only one not doping, it’d downright piss me off. It wouldn’t even be a fair fight and I’d feel like I had to dope just to compete. I’d always wonder if I could’ve beaten them if I were “at their level” too.

This fact makes me sad because it kind of defeats one of the greatest phenomenons of sports: hard work pays off. Even the hardest working individual stands no chance against an individual who may be training slightly less, yet is taking performance enhancing drugs or doping. It also is unfortunate that there is no way to prove the steroid use in the early 1980’s when several world records were set because now it might be physically impossible for any individual, no matter how hard they train or how many natural physiological advances they have, to break these records. They shouldn’t even be counted as records because they were artificially set.

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2 Responses to Would I Know the Line?

  1. Harptown says:

    After class I watched the 4×100 meter free style relay Professor Millard mentioned today. I have to say that that video was one of the most triumphant moments in athletics I had ever watched. That being said I think that feeling is based on what we learned about the East German athletes today. I posted earlier about how I thought that if everyone was doing it, than taking illegal performance enhancing drugs should almost be ignored. After watching that video my mind has been changed. To see the accomplishment of hard work and dedication to a goal come full circle in winning an olympic gold medal, I can no longer justify the use of illegal PEDs in any sense. I think that sports have taken a negative turn away from being purely based on hard work and believe that athletes are trying to gain a competitive edge in any way necessary. It is sad that illegal PEDs have had such a profound impact on sports that used to be pure.

  2. Hattrix11 Hattrix11 says:

    I completely agree with you. As much as I would like to say I would be able to resist, when I heard today that baking soda could give a competitive edge, I wanted to hop on that bandwagon immediately. Obviously it is still legal, but I am only a DIII athlete. If I was a professional not only would the stakes be raised, but so would the performance enhancers.
    It does also make me sad that these records set could have been by the hard working, naturally athletic American swimmers, but it also made their victory relay win that much more special.

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