Monday, March 16, 2009

Why Athletes Roid Up

Why do people decide to use PED's?

Baseball players so far have never given a straightforward answer. Most recently, A-Rod claimed naivete. After the release of the Mitchell Report and names were named, typical responses were "I didn't know what I was taking" or "I wanted to get back on the field faster and help my team." We never got an honest answer such as "I was lacking self confidence and didn't think my natural abilities alone would take me to the MLB level and land me that fat contract."

After watching Christopher Bell's documentary film, Bigger, Stronger, Faster*: Is It Still Cheating if Everyone's Doing It?, some plausible answers emerge and more questions arise. People use PED's because they see it's the only way to get ahead and be more like their "heroes." In one scene, a mother asks her son, why he had to use PED's; what was wrong with his body as it was naturally. Other questions that emerge from the film, a scene where members of an orchestra are using attention deficit drugs to maintain their focus during a performance. This is deemed "normal," but not in sports. Why the discrepancy?

One pro athlete to chime in on the A-Rod debate put the question of why athletes roid up in proper perspective. Pro wrestler (whether pro wrestling is a sport is a post for another day) Rob Van Dam said on his radio show in February, "You have to sacrifice everything to make your dreams come true. You got a chance to enhance your odds, (expletive) yeah. If you don't go for it, you're just not dedicated."

This quote is telling. If that is truly the mindset of the modern athlete then more people are using PED's and will continue to use PED's and look for every conceivable shortcut...because if you aren't roiding, your competition is and will beat you out of your contract, endorsements and fame.

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