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Professional Sports and Legalizing Steroids

            Anabolic steroids and other performance enhancing drugs (PED's) are the vitamin of choice for most professional athletes. Steroids, are taken in liquid or pill form and are only traced through urine tests. "They are proven to increase lean muscle mass, strength, and even stamina. These enhancements alone motivate players to use steroids in order to compete among their peers, even after their normal career cycle is over" (Scally). In the New York Times, Sam Robert's article about sports careers gave the statistic that, "The average major league baseball career is less than 12 years and the average football player's career is less than six years" (Roberts), which is why many players turn to steroid use. Steroids are one way to make sure that your career is longer than the norm and even more productive. .
             Performance enhancing drugs were not always illegal in baseball. In fact, it wasn't until 1991 that Commissioner Vincent sent a memo to each team, announcing that steroids have been added to the list of banned substances. The players were given a warning, but there was no policy in place to test them, so players still used them. Unmonitored steroid use continued until 2004; at that time the league began to test players. The testing was random and the punishment for a first offense was counseling. The records were kept quiet and out of the public eye, so there was little to prevent players from using. "In April 2005, Commissioner Selig asked players to agree to new terms of punishment and by November of that year, they agreed. The new punishments were a fifty game suspension for the first offense, one-hundred games for the second and a lifetime ban for the third" (Pollard). This was the first time that there was ever a punishment for using performance enhancing drugs. Fourteen years of warnings with no actions led to many players experimenting with different substances.

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