Over the last couple of weeks, steroid use has become widely displayed in the media, especially from professional athletes. This coverage has been highly controversial as it highlights the negative aspects of these athletes’ careers and downplays their success. How can you really measure these peoples’ success if they were taking performance enhancing drugs, some may ask. And they are correct in asking that question- was it the drugs or the person’s natural athleticism that made them perform in the way that they were? And if it was the drugs, why should they be rewarded for illegal activity? This is what has been brought to the public’s attention and the professionals agree that they aren’t going to stand for it anymore.
It was the first time in history that there was no one inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, even though Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, and Mike Piazza were all nominated. The reason that none of these 3 superstars won the coveted position? They were all suspected of using steroids and other performance enhancing drugs to further their athletic careers.
More recently, Lance Armstrong, world renowned cyclist and cancer survivor, admitted to taking steroids in order to increase his performance as well. After battling with the public about such claims in the past, Armstrong confessed that he had been lying for years and has just begun to deal with the repercussions of his actions; gone are the multi-million dollar endorsements, public respect, and the admiration of fellow teammates.
With all of this publicity over the use of steroids, it makes one wonder- what is the message these athletes are sending to their biggest fans, the youth of the nation? The young boys who stay up for hours trying to perfect their swing or the little girl who rides her bike around the neighborhood dreaming about winning the Tour de France? Are these kids looking at their idols with fresh eyes, or do they think that in order to get ahead, they need to do so illegally? Are these kids thinking that in order to be the best, they need to compromise their health to do so?