Drugs and sports don#8217;t mix

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 3, 2006

Justin Gatlin.

Jose Canseco.

Lance Armstrong.

Barry Bonds.

Floyd Landis.

Men from different sports but all have one thing in common.

They have all had their names associated with the use of performance enhancing drugs.

Some, like Canseco, have readily admitted using steroids to improve their performance on the field.

One report I read stated that Canseco &uot;may be the most honest man in baseball&uot; for his openness about past drug use.

If Canseco is the most honest, Bonds is the most suspected.

Perhaps the fact that his trainer refuses to testify in the ongoing Balco drug trials is adding fuel to the Bonds fire.

Armstrong dogged rumors for years in the French press that his success at the Tour de France was due in part to performance enhancing drugs.

Armstrong’s negative tests proved the critics wrong, but Landis may bring the cycling world crashing around his positive testosterone test.

Track and field is no stranger to drug use but the latest reports of Gatlin testing positive, his second failed test.

Now facing a life ban and the loss of his 100m world record, the self professed &uot;drug free athlete&uot; is now left picking up the pieces of a shattered reputation.

Ben Johnson, CJ Hunter and Marion Jones (Jones has been suspected but never failed a drug test) may all be able to offer advice.

Is it any wonder that high school athletes are turning to steroids and other performance enhancing drugs to improve their stock in the eyes of college and professional scouts?

The National Institute on Drug Abuse is currently working to teach football players ways to add bulk with weights, not drugs.

The following is an excerpt from an article that appeared in USA Today looking at steroid use in high school students.

Here is a quote from David Leon Moore’s article.

&uot;As the state’s high school governing body, the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF), is poised to pass new anti-steroid measures Friday, it is clear Rocklin has plenty of company. Steroid use among high school students more than doubled from 1991 to 2003, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National surveys indicate 3% to 3.5% of high school students have used steroids. That percentage might not jump off the page. But there are nearly 700,000 California high school athletes, so sports officials estimate the number of high school steroid users in California is about 20,000.&uot;

That statistic should jump off the page.

Is this increase in use because professional athletes have glamorized steroids?

Is it due to increased pressure to perform on the field so an athlete can sign a hefty contract?

Whatever the reason, performance enhancing drugs have no place in sports at any level.

Next thing you know the five-year-old at tee ball will test positive.

Hard work should never be replaced by a pill, injection, cream or whatever players are claiming (or denying) use of.