Monday, May 11, 2009

Sports Dopes Should Be Permanently Banned

Last week we heard that Manny Ramierez, the LA Dodgers home run slugger, has been suspended for 50 games for using a banned substance. Manny used HCG - a women's fertility drug. This drug is often used by steriod abusers to counteract the effects of reduced testoterone when they end a steriod use cycle.

On this site, we love technology and improvement, and think athletes should use whatever is legally available as a performance enhancement. We discuss how the video analysis of performance allows athletes and coaches alike to critically review their efforts and develop techniques and/or training drills to improve.

We also believe athletes should get natural, legal supplements to enhance performance. Getting the correct nourishment is important for optimum performance, recovery, and injury prevention. Remaining hydrated, having enough energy to train and perform are all important and may require legal supplements.

Although it is difficult to decide where to draw the line on performance enhancement supplements, it needs to be done. We can be extremely vigilant and ban substances such as Gatorade or vitamins; or we can be completely lax and allow anything. For now, the sporting bodies are drawing the lines; and as long as dangerous drugs are banned while those proven safe or natural are legal, these guidelines make sense. So what do we do with the athletes who cross the line and get caught?

Manny is not alone in the baseball world; Alex Rodriguez, Roger Clemens, Jose Canseco and Barry Bonds have all been caught out for using banned substances. Some of them claim they did not take steroids, but what should not be up for debate is their punishment. We believe a lifelong ban is the only punishment that will work. 50 games, 100 games, 1 season or 2 season bans do not send the correct message. Not even large financial fines and docked pay will solve the problem of drug cheats in sport.

You may have a different opinion but here is our logic. A gifted young AAA baseball player sees the likes of Manny Ramirez succeeding and securing a large million dollar contract, and he aspires to perform just like him. The young player trains hard and is dedicated but he can't break into the major leagues (maybe he is too small, takes too long to recover...). He knows his idol has been taking performance enhancing drugs and weighs his options. If he takes the steriods he will be able to train harder and recover from injury and fatigue faster. He will have a better chance to break into the Major Leagues. If he gets caught, he loses a few million dollars but he will still have a contract worth many millions more. He will be suspended for a number of games but will know that it is not the end of his career. Well worth the risk in our opinion and in his, as well.

Now if the punishment was a ban from competitive baseball and the complete loss of any contract, would the young player have the same inclination? It is unlikely he would give up his current playing contract and enjoyment of the sport to make it into the Majors with steriods when the punishment for being caught is an outright ban.

The reason we love to watch sport and great performances is to wonder how another human could do something so spectacular, when we cannot. If we suspect that the player's performance is steriod powered, we don't get that same thrill.

Thanks for reading our rant. Next time we will get back to video analysis. We will continue to show you how to get a legal boost in your performance by analyzing motion with a video camera.

Let us know what you think about steriod use in sports and what you think should be done.

No comments:

More Recommendations