During the last 20 years or so, there has been a higher prevalence of drug abuse among athletes in terms of performance-enhancing supplements and methods in the world of professional sports.
In a lot of different ways, organizations and leagues of different types of professional sports have conducted drug screening tests at many points within an athlete’s career, screening new athletes as they are recruited while testing veterans, on and off the field, to see if they have used any performance-enhancing drugs (PED) throughout their veritable careers.
Recently, however, one such sport has uncovered a flaw that has been dubbed the greatest drug-testing controversy in the history of the sport. Earlier this year, Major League Baseball (MLB) announced it is set to suspend around 20 different players due to the possible usage of PEDs.
After years of hearing about similar news coming from MLB, how can so many athletes suddenly be discovered to be using drugs from such an allegedly-prestigious and PED-aware organization?
One would think that after incidents pertaining to celebrity-athletes such as Barry Bonds in 2003 and Jose Cansaco in 2005, professional baseball organizers would have figured out a way to pick out steroids and other PEDs among athletes who are either doing extraordinarily well in sports or, putting it frankly, physically becoming better at sports while doing less than those who are practicing.
According to CNN, baseball’s highest paid player, Alex Rodriguez, and fellow well-known player Ryan Braun are among those listed as possible suspensions.
Don’t get me wrong, I am a major fan of these players and am not necessarily throwing them completely under the bus. While it is always disappointing for me to hear about someone in a professional field moving against the law to supposedly get better at what they do, most of these players did ascend to where they are now prior to the allegations against them, whether they are true or not. I believe a lot of the fault this time around goes to a particular pharmaceutical company that managed to fly under the radar for quite a while.
Also according to CNN, a “now-closed Miami anti-aging clinic” called “Biogenesis” that was under the direction by Anthony Bosch originated the scandal when they provided the drugs to Rodriguez and Braun.
Bosch was interviewed then by ESPN, to whom he said he would cooperate with the original investigation and he would speak with the investigators looking into the case.
Meanwhile, the managers of both the Brewers and the Yankees said as little as possible to the media. The only words expressed by both managers were basically “the MLB is handling it” and “we worry about our players.” Both managers claimed to know nothing of the scandal.
What frightens fans like me is the fact that, as often as occurrences like these happen over the historical timeline of professional baseball, managers do not seem to have a clue that it is happening even when large clinical or pharmaceutical companies have direct hands in the doping scandals.
I feel like, with the past incidents having occurred, this potentially-MLB-damaging incident involving so many players should have been clearly imminent.
One of the Yankees’ outfielders, Vernon Wells, was quoted by CNN about methods the league has been implementing to avoid such a problem.
“We’ve done so much as a group to try to rid ourselves of incidents like this,” Wells said. “In spite of advances in drug testing, new doping techniques designed to avoid detection keep coming.”
With that knowledge, I feel that the league should be working twice as fast as the new doping techniques in order to stay their advance.
I want to be able to watch baseball, or any sport for that matter, without thinking that my favorite athletes aren’t pumping drugs into their systems to maintain their reputations on the playing field.
Is that so much to ask of the MLB?