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Opinion

Cheating with no punishment will destroy America’s pastime

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February 12, 2009

This past week the sports world witnessed one of its greatest athletes fall from grace and into the ongoing saga of performance enhancing drugs. New York Yankees’ third baseman Alex Rodriguez admitted to using steroids during his career with the Texas Rangers. Rodriguez tested positive for steroids during a period when Major League Baseball’s drug testing was being conducted early in the new millennium.

It’s not the fact that he tested positive that bothers me, it’s the lack of discipline that that the MLB and many other sports have not implemented in their sports against athletes who make millions of dollars each year.

The MLB has to make more strict policies against their athletes who choose to use performance-enhancing drugs. 

They need to implement a no tolerance policy; players are making millions a year to play baseball, and with that in mind the league should not let the players take what they have for granted.

Players should not be allowed to make these kinds of mistakes and then have the issue dismissed without a penalty. The MLB has failed us all by not making a rule that brings justice to players for any kind of cheating even at the lightest degree. 

I know that the MLB has established penalties for using performance enhancing drugs but I also know that the league’s policy gives players several chances to get away with this before they are severely punished, and thus, there needs to be a tighter policy put into place.

In December 2007, the MLB released what was called the Mitchell Report, which came from an in-depth investigation done by former U.S. Sen. George Mitchell. The report included just fewer than 90 baseball players who had allegedly used performance-enhancing drugs.

What does this have to do with punishment in baseball? Well, following that report, the league did not punish many of the players who were allegedly involved. This was a detriment to what is known as our National Pastime: baseball. 

As players continue cheating and not being punished, it has affected more than just the MLB. One can look back and see the evidence that performance-enhancing drugs made their mark on more than just professional sports.

Following their appearance in the MLB, as well as many other sports, they became much more common in high schools all across America.

In the end, the MLB has failed to show that they have leadership at the top and that they can make their league a clean one.

With more and more allegations against different athletes everyday and no punishment to follow, what are we as viewers and fans to do? 

We watch as out favorite sports become infected with corruption, greed for talent and at the same time crumble.

Gary Klaput is a student at UW-River Falls.