Tuck: PED Overdose

At some point, will fans stop caring about athletes using performance enhancing drugs?  Have fans already stopped caring?  Do we need real, hard evidence, or is someone’s accusation enough for us to convince us of someone’s guilt?

For as long as sports have existed and athletes have competed, they’ve looked for an edge.  Physically, mentally, and psychologically.  Rules were bent, and then changed, and then broken, and changed again.  The cycle doesn’t stop.

Athletes take things that are legal.  Oftentimes those things they take eventually become illegal.  They take things that are legal, but against the rules of their sport.  They take things that are illegal.  They are told they won’t be caught and how they can beat the system.  The system changes, and then the drugs change.

All of this makes it very difficult for a fan to follow or understand right from wrong, or fair from unfair.

Are there cheaters?  Of course there are.  That much we can all agree on…I think.  Should getting accused equal getting caught?  Should getting caught equal cheating for a career, or just once, or just a mistake?  Can mistakes be made?

It used to be steroids that dominated conversations.  At some point, we just started saying PED’s.  I think it’s time to adjust again.  Some PED’s are, in fact, legal.  And weirder yet, we are finding out some performance enhancing drugs don’t enhance or improve anything!

“S.W.A.T.S.’s claims are total nonsense, and worse than that, unimaginative nonsense – Cell phones operate on microwave frequencies, but the idea they’d get ’stuck in your body’ is an utter misunderstanding of basic physics,” says Dr David Robert Grimes, a physicist at Oxford University. “Besides, microwaves have been all around us since we arrived on this planet, and they’re generally biologically harmless, and not very energetic – One photon of visible light carries roughly 2.5 million times the punch of a puny microwave. If those big American football players are afraid of microwaves, they’d sure as hell be terrified of sunlight.”

Dr. Grimes goes on, “If Key and his boys had lived in the 19th century, they would be going around towns on a wagon selling miracle elixirs and health potions. It astounds me that anyone would take this seriously.”

You can read the entire story here.

So does the Alabama football team, Vijay Singh, or Ray Lewis’ connection to S.W.A.T.S mean anything?

Well, what about the deer antler spray?

Ray Lewis denies using it, but what if he did?  Would it even be illegal?

Lewis is accused of using a spray that contains banned substance IGF-1, but a doctor who studies growth hormone deficiency for Johns Hopkins University says that’s not possible.  “It’s just simply not possible for (IGF-1) to come from a spray,” Dr. Roberto Salvatori said. “If (it) were, a lot of people would be happy that they don’t need to get shots anymore.”

Read the whole story here.

Even if Ray Lewis took an injection of IGF-1, it would be almost impossible to know, according to Will Carroll, a sports injury expert, who explains more about the insulin growth factor-1.

Are you still with me?  Following all of this?  There won’t be a quiz, and that’s a good thing.

My whole point?  First of all, I am tired of all this PED talk.  It won’t ever go away, but I wish it would.  Secondly, I find it pretty difficult to believe most athletes aren’t taking something or doing something that could be considered performance enhancing.  It may be perfectly legal, or something that doesn’t work, or something simply ahead of the curve.  It doesn’t mean they are cheating, it just means they are trying anything and everything to help themselves and their teams.

I am not trying to lump the try-hards in with the cheaters.  I am just saying that line is blurrier than ever between the two.

And if you are longing for the good old days, I’ve got some bad news for you.  You think Sports Illustrated opened a can this week?  Check out this SI article on PED’s in 1969!  If baseball’s voters want to protect the sanctity of their HOF, they may have to retroactively do some cleaning up.