These days, it’s hard to say which sports are completely clean of any incompetence, follow the rules or are morally acceptable. However, baseball gets a bad reputation for the one dark secret it’s been trying to hide for years – or at least some of the players have.
Baseball is infamously known for its use of steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs, or PEDs. Players from the past couple of decades have been accused of, or have admitted to, using PEDs.
Former childhood heroes of many such as Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds and Alex Rodriguez have been involved in this scandal that has taken over the game of baseball. Is the sport even considered clean and pure anymore like it once was? No. Has it ruined the sport? No.
The sport is far from ‘ruined’ despite what some skeptics may believe. While the latest report has listed at least 20 MLB players, the punishment has become somewhat of a scare tactic for baseball players today.
A first offense of PED use is a 50-game ban for the athlete, a second offense is a 100-game suspension and the third time being caught with a positive steroid or PED test is a lifetime ban from the sport.
Is this starting to scare away potential users of the drugs? It’s too early to tell since the rules are relatively new, but Melky Cabrera‘s suspension last year sure did open some eyes.
No player wants to see their career end and money stop coming in because they want to hit a couple more homers.
So I am going to revisit the original question. Are PEDs ruining the game of baseball? No, but they are ruining players’ careers. The game will never be ruined as long as annual steroid testing takes place and the bad apples are weeded out. Baseball is much bigger than a few players and, therefore, can never be ruined by cheaters.