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The Northerner

Steroid use tarnishes past, present

John Foley

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During the last few years, steroids have infected their way into our vernacular. What used to be reserved for the football and weightlifting training rooms has now soiled the national pastime. The integrity of the game – or what’s left of it – is at risk.

Using illegal substances to achieve an unfair advantage is more than cheating. It erases the memories of all past performers. A new book accuses many current and former players of routinely using the drugs. If they didn’t participate they have no recourse. How do you prove something you haven’t done?

The real shame is that it casts doubt on every player’s accomplishments. A great year and the critics attribute it to steroids.

Players under the influence of illegal drugs diminish the accomplishments of great players such as Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron, Josh Gibson, Willie Mays and Mickey Mantle. Do they deserve to have their extraordinary feats reduced to meaningless stats because of players using illegal substances? It’s a shame that such great players are reduced to minimal roles. Who will remember these players a generation from now, when steroid induced records have overshadowed the men who achieved legendary status from hard work and natural ability?

Injections have replaced hard work as the foundation for success. Why would somebody work endless hours on their craft, when a minute with the needle can give instant results?

Pete Rose was banned from baseball’s Hall of Fame for betting on baseball while managing the Cincinnati Reds. They said it hurt the integrity of the game. How many games were determined by his betting? Maybe he left a pitcher in too long or benched a star player and a game was won or lost because of this oversight. A player on steroids can determine a game at any given moment. They are capable of feats a mere mortal could not obtain.

Pete Rose worked tirelessly to become the greatest singles hitter the game has ever known. Many of today’s players cheat the system and the fans by injecting themselves with steroids. It was a thrill to see Pete play the game; he was real, a testament to hard work and dedication to his skill. The players using steroids are artificial and a testament to chemistry.

Steroids are more than a sports problem. Finding a way to cheat a detection test is fraud. Athletes who use them destroy the sport that they wish to excel in. How can we reconcile the past with the present? The players of the past earned their accolades. They were dedicated to their craft and achieved immortality.

Many of today’s players are dedicated to injections and stealing from the past. They have stolen immortality from the past and replaced it with artificially enhanced records. Those records will fall with each new generation and new advances in chemistry. We will no longer marvel at past accomplishments but wait anxiously for new and improved ways to cheat the heroes of their place in history.

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Steroid use tarnishes past, present