It’s Not Whether You Win or Lose, It’s How you Play the Game
St. Louis University, School for Professional Studies
Advanced Strategies of Rhetoric & Research
July 8, 2013
It’s Not Whether You Win or Lose, It’s How You Play the Game
Most people here on this beautiful planet aspire to be successful. There are many different measures of that success. To some it may be money, to others fame or recognition. For some folks it may be the simple fact that they have a family that loves them and is proud of them. The success that professional athletes achieve affords them all of those things. They are normally paid generous salaries, they gain admiration from their fans, and they exceed many of the expectations of those close to them. But at what cost? What lengths will they go to in order to acquire that success? A handful of these athletes, many of them household names, have used illegal steroids to climb the ladder to the top. More than 30 elite athletes—including Olympian Marion Jones and MLB players Barry Bonds, Jason Giambi, and Gary Sheffield—testified before a grand jury investigating the use of an “undetectable” steroid being distributed by the Bay Area Laboratory Cooperative. Despite the well-known side effects of anabolic steroids, use among athletes is widespread. Why do they do it? Some would say that it is the pressure put on the professionals by the sport, the managers, and the fans. Others might say there has always been illicit activity in the world of professional sports. Even though there is pressure to be the best and to make the most, steroid use is cheating and in addition to physically and psychologically damaging athletes, it is tarnishing professional sports by teaching fans that it is okay to cheat if you are getting payment and recognition through it.
The use of performance-enhancing drugs in sports is widespread. The use of these drugs can now be found in nearly every professional sport. Although sluggers like Barry Bonds, Jose Canseco, and Mark McGwire made headlines for their use of steroids while playing in the MLB, recent news has opened the eyes of the public in other sports. Lance Armstrong, after seven consecutive Tour de France wins, admitted to doping. Shawne Merriman was a first round draft pick for the San Diego Chargers in 2005. In 2006 he was suspended by the NFL for his use of anabolic steroids. Olympic athletes have also been caught using or admitted to steroid use. After Canadian Ben Johnson flew past his competitors in the 100-meter run in the 1988 summer Olympics, officials rescinded his gold medal when a urine test revealed steroids in Johnson's system. His natural testosterone level was only 15 percent of a normal male's. One of the most decorated and well-known female track and field athletes, Marion Jones, admitted to steroid use in October 2007. The use of performance enhancing drugs is becoming common place in our society and the time to stop it is now.
By using performance enhancing drugs, professional athletes are sending a message to the youth of today that steroid use is an acceptable way to win. Some might say that athletes are not role models. That it is not the responsibility of professional athletes to teach our children. They say is a parent’s job to teach their children that cheating is wrong. Sure, parents teach children that lying is wrong. They teach them morals and values and hope that what they have instilled in them sticks. Then one day, those children turn on the news and see that the baseball player (or hockey player, Olympian, etc.) they have idolized for years has been using steroids. The only reason that player hit all of those home runs and surpassed all previous records was because they cheated. The behavior and actions of steroid using ball players, cyclists’ and Olympians is teaching the children that steroid use is a good way to get ahead. The blatant disregard for the rules...
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World Anti-Doping Agency. (2013)http://www.wada-ama.org/en/Footer-Links/FAQ/
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