Baseball’s PED Scandal Symptom of Larger Problem For MLB

Alex Rodriguez

The Star-Ledger-USA TODAY Sports

The current steroid/PED scandal in MLB has a lot of people up in arms about how exactly to remedy the problem.

In light of Ryan Braun accepting his suspension for the rest of the season and Alex Rodriguez’s representatives currently in talks with the commissioner’s office over possibly striking a deal, Bud Selig has some extremely crucial decisions to make in the coming days — decisions that could permanently effect the trajectory of drug testing and punishment for use of steroids in baseball.

Yesterday, ESPN’s Buster Olney brought to light a provocative point: that commissioner Selig should not give Rodriguez a lifetime ban under the Collective Bargaining agreement, but rather that he should either suspend him for the 100 games or ban him for life under the drug-testing agreement.

Under the CBA, A-Rod would not have the opportunity for immediate appeal and would not be allowed on the field while he fought his suspension. But this would mean Selig going over the heads of the MLBPA, neglecting the organization’s powers and likely sparking some backlash for lack of due process.

If Selig suspends or bans Rodrigues under the drug-testing agreement, however, A-Rod would be allowed an immediate appeal and could keep playing while he fought his sentence.

As Olney argues, this may be Selig’s best move – it will mean all the anger built up in the players, who want people like Rodriguez and Braun out of the game completely, will now be entirely behind the commissioner, and the two parties (the MLBPA and the commissioner’s office) will likely be able to come to an agreement that calls for even stricter drug testing.

But the real problem here is oft overlooked, buried underneath a mountain of legality and bureaucracy. The steroid problem in major league baseball is symptomatic of a growing flaw in humanity at large.

We have become dishonest, lacking in integrity, constantly looking for an edge — and we give little regard to the cost of doing so. Players like Braun and Rodriguez, Roger Clemens and Rafael Palmeiro – they taint the entire sport, not only tarnishing their own reputations, but also calling into question the performance of anyone who played alongside them.

Where has the gritty determination gone? Would you not rather achieve something knowing that you did so honestly?

There is no honor in putting up Hall-of-Fame numbers unless you have done so of your own natural ability. The players who cheat should be eradicated from the game — permanently. And those who go about their business properly should be lauded.

It is a sad thing that we have come to this point – it ought not be that those who do right need praise, it should be that such practice is commonplace and therefore in no need of recognition.

Rob Holden is an Atlanta Braves writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @RobMHolden, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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