Steroids tarnish users’ honesty, hide true accomplishments

The common arguments against steroid use fail to identify the most important problem with performance enhancement in sports.The central issue isn’t cheating.

Certainly, breaking rules violates codes of ethics. But what if a contest allowed steroids, so the athletes and fans knew what to expect and the record books stayed accurate?

Then, cheating wouldn’t remain an issue.

Nor is the central issue damaging a person’s body.

Ken Caminiti, a former Texas Ranger and MVP, admitted to using steroids in 2002 in a Sports Illustrated article, becoming the first professional baseball player to confess. He died of a heart attack in 2004.

Whether it’s sugary soft drinks or cigarettes, we all choose to take in unhealthy substances from time to time for short-term benefits.

Doing so simply comes from cost-benefit analyses that should be considered personal decisions as long as the choices don’t infringe upon others’ rights.

So health consequences, while a legitimate concern for an individual, don’t represent anything as terrible as not knowing the truth about a person’s own abilities.

Fans want to see who has the best skill, not the best pharmaceutical knowledge.


Because sports demonstrate the potential and power of the mind and spirit actualized in its most primal form – the human body.

An athlete using steroids never knows how much of his or her accomplishment represents a triumph of mind and spirit, and how much simply comes from drugs.

Neither does the fan paying for the athlete’s career.

The goal of any endeavour is to make the best use of a person’s mind and spirit, while knowing an accomplishment isn’t artificial.

From that comes the most happiness.

In the race to win at all costs, the steroid abuser, or the artist using drugs or the student popping Adderall without a prescription, forgets the joy that comes from reaching natural potential in an honest fashion as opposed to what amounts to sneaking off to a store to purchase a trophy.

Douglas Lucas is a senior English and philosophy major from Fort Worth.