Generally speaking, steroid users are not impressionable youth--they are young adults fully capable of making informed decisions about their own health. Steroid users are not devious cheaters--they are not involved with organized sport and are not bound by the rules of any sporting body. Steroid users are not less intelligent--they are professionals with more than average education. And steroid users bear little resemblance to addicts--they are seeking to improve their health, not feeding an addiction.
We all -- as fans -- pretended we were outraged and shocked when our favourite players, our icons were named to the lists and the reports and the chapters of Jose Canseco's memoir. In fact, we were pretending when we treated these guys as icons in the first place. They're just men... silly, stupid, bloated, inflated men with egos and fears and faults.
While healthy lifestyle changes are a good thing, it can be surprisingly easy to cross the line from fit to fanatical. It's not hard to understand the dangers that come from eating too much of the wrong types of food or not getting enough physical activity, but it can be much harder to grasp how too much of a good thing can also put your health at risk.
Are performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) an unnatural advantage? Sure. But so are many of the extreme training methods and nutritional regimens that are all now a regular part of almost all professional sports, including baseball. If PEDs were permitted, MLB could at least take the significant money it would save on expensive detection schemes, investigations, and mediation (players' unions don't tend to take kindly to 100-game suspensions) and use it instead to educate players about the health dangers of PEDs and the doses at which they are safest.
Withholding the honour to Barry Bonds is petty beyond belief -- except that it's happening. The Hall of Fame guys are so damned sanctimonious and dogmatic that it curdles belief. Criteria for entry into the Hall should only be a player's record in the game, none of this drivel about "integrity" that the MLB is judging without proof.
The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency is seeking to strip Lance Armstrong of his cycling awards, and ban him from triathlon competitions on the grounds that the world's greatest cyclist has been taking performance-enhancing drugs. Only problem is they don't have a single shred of proof, and Armstrong has been tested 500 times. So on what basis can they possibly accuse him of cheating?