In recent months, we, the public, have been introduced to a growing problem in professional sports: steroid use. Apparently, there was no prior check into this dilemma, nor was there any punishment handed down to athletes guilty in the past. It appears as if, for the first time, professional sports has stuck the needle in its ass, pumping up for competition with regular athletes unaware of these stellar benefits. If you haven’t caught on yet, I’m here to state the obvious: Steroid use has been incredibly downplayed up to now. My sarcasm aside, it’s become clear to me that the public, as well as the media, is heavily misinformed on the issue of steroid use.
First and foremost, most people outside of professional sports are unaware of one key fact: Supplement use is incredibly ambiguous. I hear the claims of everyone around me, and I almost laugh out loud. Who do we, as adoring sports fans, think we are? I cannot be more straightforward when I say that the average sports fan has no idea about supplement use in sports, nor do they understand the differences between legal enhancement and steroids. This is because the differences, at least at the professional level, are incredibly slim. With today’s growing technology, every major sport has been forced to look at their athletes more closely and assure the public that any supplement deemed illegal stays out of the locker rooms. The problem with this approach is that, every day, new forms of supplements are introduced into the market that strongly resemble steroids of the past. This is no secret; take a look in any nutrition store in the country and you’ll see products that boost testosterone, which is exactly what steroids do.
Secondly, consider the events of the past. When Mark McGwire first broke the single-season home run record in 1998, his use of the supplement Androstenedione was highly scrutinized because many people felt it was very, very close to steroid use. Appropriately, Big Mac was relieved of any penalties because he hadn’t done anything wrong up to that point. Yet, recently, Andro was made illegal in this country. Can anyone else sense the contradiction in the air? Simply because huge steps in the world of medical muscle gain have taken place in the past decade does not mean that an unfair advantage has benefited said athletes like Barry Bonds and Jason Giambi.
Lastly, the major reason for this flare-up is every sport’s ridiculous habit of comparing eras, which I personally think is pointless. In baseball, there have been countless adjustments made in the last century that create an unfair advantage for certain players or positions. Yankee Stadium, appropriately named “The House That Ruth Built,” was built specifically for strong left-handed hitters with its short right-field fence and upper-tier fa