Performance Enhancing Drugs and Accountability

Nick Paglino

Lance Armstrong steps down as the chairman of Livestrong while Nike severs ties with the embattled cycling legend over allegations of use of Performance Enhancing drugs.

Allegedly, Armstrong was doping while winning all those Tour De France titles. Blood doping puts more red blood cells in the blood through drugs like EPO. While apparently never testing positive, Armstrong has tons of circumstantial evidence against him, including multiple teammates who apparently will testify to the fact that he was doping.

Who cares?

Not because it’s cycling but who cares what athletes do to themselves? Do you care if cyclists, baseball players, accountants or pro wrestlers use performance-enhancing drugs?

I go back and forth on this issue. Who am I to judge what anyone wants to do to themselves? Now, the difference many can point to is that steroids, for example, are illegal. But steroids can be prescribed by a doctor and therefore, not illegal. In wrestling, do fans care if wrestlers use steroids or other performance enhancing drugs? Legal or illegal?

Are wrestlers and those in charge of them more educated on their side effects and therefore, usage of steroids is down?

In wrestling, is there a stigma to usage of performance enhancing drugs now from fans and sponsors that didn’t exist a few years ago?

It seems to me the only time anyone ever knocks the use of performance enhancing drugs is when  someone gets caught. Baseball didn’t have a “PED problem” before the Mitchell Report but only those whose names appeared in it were castigated and criticized. Only the insanely naïve would think that PED use in baseball started in 2003 and doesn’t still continue today.

Not just in sports but anyone in the public eye, including some Hollywood stars, can find benefit from PED’s. How can you not look at any action-adventure star and wonder if they are juicing?  But why should anyone care? Does it impact which movies or TV shows people watch? While not in the public eye, I hope my accountant uses EPO, Ritalin and monkey hormones if it means my tax bill will be lower. Of course, if my accountant gets busted, there will be people out there to criticize and judge.

Do wrestlers need to use PED’s? No. Can they benefit from their use? Of course. But if they use and then suffer from side effects, that’s on them. I’m pretty much a Libertarian on the whole “drug” thing. Whatever you want to do, go right ahead. As long as it doesn’t affect me… but if you get caught, don’t come to me for help. If your liver falls out on the floor, don’t look for me to pick it up.

Just because there is testing in baseball, football, basketball, hockey, combat sports like boxing and UFC under state athletic commissions, all amateur athletics and the WWE, don’t think there is no usage of PED’s. We all know that but what do you think about the fact that there is?

Where do you stand on this issue? Share some thoughts with me on Twitter @RealKevinKelly.

Have a news tip? Attended an event and want to send a live report? Submit it now!