Thursday, July 7, 2011

No Integrity Left In Sports...

Roger Clemens perjury trial starts today.  Ror those who aren’t baseball fans, is a former New York Yankee outstanding pitcher (amongst other teams) and ended his career with a bang. I haven’t been a baseball fan for many years, not since the 1986 Mets won the World Series and the tem traded all my favorite players away soon after. I get emotionally involved. But, Roger Clemens was reportedly using steroids to enhance his performance. His trainer, Brian McNamee, testified to that in front of a congressional committee, because he was the one injecting steroids and growth hormones into Clemens. Other witnesses also verified that Clemens was using illegal substances. Clemens denied it and he was found to have perjured himself by the committee. Now there is a trial regarding his perjury.

Now my complaint is this: the use of steroids has tainted virtually all professional sports in this country and others, as well as being used in high schools. The drugs are dangerous, but they are also a way of cheating to win. Remember Lance Armstrong? He won 7 consecutive Tours De France competitions. He was also accused of using performance enhancing drugs. That also applies to Olympic athletes, many whom have tested positive for drug use. At one time the drug use was very prevalent. But, since then, much more stringent rules and guidelines have been put in place to try to prevent this kind of cheating. The drug companies, that manufacture these drugs are very clever and are still working at ways to “beat the system” so the testing requirements have to keep up with the drug technology.

Let me see if I can explain one way tests have been subverted. The body manufactures testosterone in a certain normally, which makes the body stronger. The drug companies can make a very close replica of normal testosterone, a steroid, to escape drug testing detection. However, the body also produces epitestosterone, which basically does nothing. Except, testosterone and epitestosterone are always found in a 1 to 1 ratio, that is, in similar amounts in the body. So if an athlete were to take manufactured steroids of testosterone it would change this ratio and they would fail the test. So, drug companies started making a replica of epitestosterone to be taken with the steroids to keep the ratio in tact, to avoid detection. The point is, no matter how stringent the testing, drug companies are getting rich helping athletes cheat by getting around them.

For me this makes all the statistics, that my husband and all your husbands have memorized, useless and pointless. They don’t test everyone, people have escaped detection, and the cheaters’ stats are mixed in with non-cheaters’ stats and are probably no doubt better. Who knows how many records were broken because of steroid use? Who knows how many players were cheated out of recognition, awards, salary increases, because other players used drugs? We can’t go back in time and test everyone.

Roger Clemens was one of those cheaters. He lied about his steroid use and now is facing prison time for perjury. He is just one of who knows how many. I am just glad I am not a sports fan of any kind, because this would just ruin it all for me. There is no integrity left in the world of sports.

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