Steroids entice thrill but reduce work ethic in sports

Before the Buzzer


Sports Columnist Tyler Simons

Steroids and other PEDs (performance enhancing drugs) have had a major impact on sports, especially in recent memory.

  When steroids and PEDs in athletics are mentioned, former MLB stars Mark McGwire and Barry Bonds come to mind.

  In baseball, the late ‘80’s through the late 2000’s is often referred to as the “Steroid Era.” During this time, steroids were becoming the norm in professional baseball, and it showed in the games.

  According to ESPN, only three players had ever hit 50 home runs in a season between 1961 and 1994. In the late ‘90’s alone, several batters were hitting that mark and higher. In 1997 alone, both Mark McGwire and Ken Griffey Jr. came close to breaking the home run in one season record, being 61, and 13 different players hit over 40 home runs. McGwire hit 58, six more than he hit the season before, beating out Griffey Jr. by just two runs.

  This era hurt the sport and the public image of Major League Baseball, with drug testing becoming a top priority and several players being found guilty of using PEDs. It took away some sense of reality and achievement with each home-run hitter being doubted of putting in the hard work to bat with such power.

  Although the sport’s image has been tainted by this era, it was one of the most exciting times the sport has ever seen. These “superhuman” type athletes would set entire stadiums in pandamonium with each home run, and the suspense between pitcher and batter was otherworldly. The entertainment factor of baseball was at an all-time high, drawing in fans by the millions. Not only did batting become more intense, but these sluggers forced pitching during this time to improve in order to compete with the increasingly stronger hitting.

  From an entertainment perspective, it would make sense if certain PEDs or supplements were allowed. The point of professional sports is to compete on the highest stage possible, with the greatest performers on the planet, a glimpse of this being shown during the “Steroid Era.”

  On the other hand, an athlete’s quality of life shouldn’t be diminished because of their competitive drive. PED’s can have life-altering effects on those who use them, according to, such as intense weight loss, unhealthy amounts of muscle gain, heart problems, extreme fatigue, trouble sleeping, and extreme mood swings commonly referred to as “roid rage,” which can blind judgement and have major consequences.

  When the MLB started testing for these banned substances in 2003 they weren’t just looking out for their own image, but also the lives of the players. It’s more satisfying, thrilling, and genuine to see home runs hit by those who put in constant work to be the best than seeing one batter after another hitting pitches out of the park. Steroids take away the emphasis on work ethic, one of the most important learning points that athletes have to offer.