I'm sick and tired of hearing about it. The excuses. The explanations. The debate about the Hall of Fame. I hate hearing every day, it seems, about PEDs, steroids, and HGH by athletes across the board in both amateur and professional sports. But, this issue is here to stay. As more digging and reporting is made, we all need to prepare for once-hallowed names being bandied about as part of the "Steroid Generation" of athletes.
The current fiasco about Manny Ramirez centers on the substance he used "for health issues". Apparently, this is widely taken for testosterone production, especially in recovering from sterioid use. Alright, so the guy got caught. The question most are trying to answer is, Why? Why does a talented, gifted athlete have a need to get to the next level, when he or she is on the top already?
Immortality. They don't ever want to come down off the top tier of the ladder. As age creeps up, sometimes the physical stamina and skills slow or even have the bottom drop out. That is scary for someone always regarded at the top of his selected profession. That, to me, is a factor in the decision to do or take whatever is available at the time to keep the edge for one more game, one more series, one more season. Maybe that's why Alex Rodriguez, Sammy Sosa, Barry Bonds and Mark McGwire could be impelled to sacrifice what they accomplished in the past for one more glorious run.
Being naive. Some athletes reportedly don't want to know what their athletic trainers and advocates are recommending as part of their regimen. Do you blame them? Having the question posed, 'Did you knowingly take a performance enhancing substance', who in their right mind would want to say yes. Well, I suppose they could lie about it. Ask Roger Clemens how that route ends up for you.
Inferiority complex. Some have been belittled from youth on up that they would never be good enough. Never good enough in the eyes of their parents, their coach, their team, their sport, or their country. That is a lot of pressure. Some just can't handle that, so feel inclined to speed up their skill and power level artificially. What if they are already regarded at an elite level in their sport? It doesn't matter if you always have the need to be better, faster, stronger and more capable than where you currently are. There is always that inner drive to go one more mile, get a little faster, be a little better.
It doesn't matter to me what the reports or the soundbites during interviews reveal for the reason, the thought-process or the excuses given for using these substances. Cutting to the chase, the individuals have issues. Deep, personal issues that drive them to do this. Until that is addressed effectively for each person involved, this will continue to be the norm in sports. That's how I see it, anyway.