The other day I was listening to a national sports-talk radio show and they were discussing an prominent athelete's recent injury. They were expressing concern that the doctor who was treating the athlete (succesfully, it seemed) had treated other non-ahtlete patients with HGH and steroids.
Well, duh. This is what has driven me crazy about the whole steroid craze. Steroids were not invented to as sports performance enhancing drugs. They were invented because they had a variety of medical uses, including aiding recovery from certain injuries. Is the sports world really better off if we deny, say, Tiger Woods the injury-recovery tools that any non-athlete would have access to?
I will add here, just to tick people off and highlight yet another area where I am grossly out of step from the rest of America, that I have no particular problem with PED's in sports. It's fine if governing bodies for whatever reason want to ban them, but its not a straight forward case to me. These drugs have dangers, but getting our panties in a knot about people's informed choices on these dangers seems hypocritical to me as we routinely attend sports that have been demonstrated to cause, for example, major brain damage in athletes (e.g. football, hockey, boxing).
I suppose I get the comparability issue (people like records from 1900 to be comparable to those today) but to some extent this is outright hypocrisy as well. Don't modern training techniques, like altitude sleeping chambers, equally make a mockery of comparability? Baseball cries the most about steroids messing up the record books, then it does stuff like lower the pitching mound to help hitters and add the DH.
On the plus side, isn't there value to seeing our athletes play longer? Wouldn't it be nice (if you are not a Red Sox fan) to see Derek Jeter play a little longer? To see Tiger Woods return quicker from injuries?
And don't even get me started on the government's campaign to throw steroid users like Barry Bonds in jail. As I said earlier, I don't have a particular problem if private governing bodies choose, for competitive or marketing reasons, to ban PED's and enforce that ban within their community. But throwing Barry Bonds in jail for choice he made with his own body?