PEDs: A True Story

Originally posted at isportstimes.com on August 9, 2013

The game I play is dirty.

I see it everywhere I look. Frankly, if you have two eyes and half a brain, it’s impossible not to see it. They do it in the bathrooms, on the practice field, in their homes, even during the waning moments before the game.

I can’t give an exact figure on how many people are doing it, but sometimes it feels like I’m the only one that’s clean. And it does make a difference. They can tell you it’s not a big deal, that they could produce the same results without the PEDs. But I’ve seen the results the work produces and I’ve seen the results the work on PEDs produces and yes, they make a big difference.

Easy to acquire? Absolutely. Everybody either has them or knows where to get them. Just mention that you’re struggling and someone will point you in the right direction. Not only are they easy to get, but they’re cheap too. For a small price you are guaranteed to boost your results.

Yes, the game I play is dirty, and there’s nothing I can do about it. Sure, people get caught here and there. But to see someone get caught doing it is more rare than a Mark Reynolds two-strike base hit, and it’s only the really dumb ones that get caught.

Testing? Forget it. It’s not in anyone’s interest to do testing. All the suits need to see is that scoring is up across the board, not how those scores got to be so high. As for us in the trenches, no one is compelled to make a stand. Those that don’t use know that any fuss they make about PEDs will fall on deaf ears. Those that do use are seeing better results, and with no directive coming from those in charge, they have no reason to stop.

Yes, the game I play is dirty, but it doesn’t use a bat or a ball. There aren’t thousands of fans screaming at us as we perform. We’re not earning millions of dollars to do it. Yet the competition is still fierce, and you either have to get with the program or get lost.

The game I play is dirty, but it’s not a game at all. I’m a college student. The PED in question is Adderall. And it is rampant.

Not that any of this is particularly surprising. Whether it’s baseball or molecular genetics, football or finance, if people can take a pill that will guarantee better results, you can bet the house that they will take it. That doesn’t make those that decide to use bad people. They just see the opportunity to improve their production with virtually zero risk of any consequences. Any rational person can see why PEDs are so alluring.

And therein lies the rub. The way the equation is currently constructed, it makes all the sense in the world to use PEDs. There is nothing sinister about Alex Rodriguez or Brian Cushing or any of my collegiate peers in the classroom. They are just making a logical choice to look out for themselves. They know you either do what the guy next to you is doing or you risk falling behind.

There’s no logic in being on the clean side of things. Is there pride in knowing what you achieved was done cleanly? Sure. That and a dollar will buy you a pack of gum. Is there the benefit of a clean conscious? Maybe, but that would assume that the users are losing sleep over taking a pill, which is probably not the case.

The fact is there’s no amount of pride or guilt in the world that will outweigh the need for results, be they measured in RBI or GPA. As long as that’s the case, PEDs aren’t going anywhere. As long as there is an edge to be gained, people will do whatever they can to gain it.

The game I play is dirty, and I am clean. Is that fair? Probably not. But fairness is only conceptual. In actuality, there are only rewards and consequences, and when it comes to PEDs, the scales are always tipped towards reward. Until that changes, PEDs are here to stay.

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About PapaBearJere

Jeremy Klein is an unabashed Cleveland Sports fan who only wants to see a Cleveland team win a title. You can follow him on twitter @PapaBearJere or email him at thenarrativeblog@gmail.com.

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