A-Rod, MLB send mixed messages about PEDs

Does pressure to succeed blur lines of morality?


MCT Campus

New York Yankee Alex Rodriguez (A-Rod) has been suspended for the entire 2014 Major League Baseball season due to his use of performance enhancing drugs. Many experts say that the continued use of PEDs by baseball’s top athletes send an immoral message to younger athletes trying to make a name for themselves.

The use of performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) have been around in sports for generations. The most recent account is with professional baseball player Alex Rodriguez. Rodriguez was found guilty in 2009 of steroid use by a drug test that took place in 2003 and later admitted to using them. Many years past and in 2013, A-Rod was handed a 211 game suspension for Biogenesis use, but the suspension was reduced to 162 games last month.

Other professional baseball players have been caught using performance enhancing drugs as well. St. Louis Cardinal Jhonny Peralta has joined Rodriguez in the Biogenesis discussion. Peralta was suspended for 52 games for using PEDs. Many players responded to Peraltas’ new $52 million contract with the Cardinals. Arizona Diamondbacks’ Brad Zeigler took his opinion to Twitter by saying, “It pays to cheat… Thanks, owners, for encouraging PED use.”

Even though these players are taking responsibility for their actions, high school student athletes may feel the urge to use steroids. “I’m sure anything’s possible,” baseball head coach Shane Hilstrom said.

“I don’t hear a lot of kids talking about using [steroids],” Hilstrom said.

Many say that students are pressured, but it is different from the practical “peer pressure”. “I don’t think there’s a lot of external pressure here at the high school level,” athletic director Jennifer Burks said.

“I would say the pressure is coming from within them. If students don’t feel like they are going to make the team they might think about using [PED’s],” Burks said.

Whether steroid use is a problem in professional or in high school sports, both have a criteria for PED/drug testing. According to the CUSD Drug Testing Policy, steroids or any other type of performance enhancing drugs are not tested during a random test. They are only used for finding alcoholic substances, controlled substances, illegal meds or Hallucinogenic substances. “We used to test for [steroids],” program specialist Regina Wainwright said.

“We eliminated the testing when the grant ended due to the extremely high cost of the testing of $80 each test,” Wainwright said.

There are many student athletes.. No one will ever know who used steroids at the high school level unless they were tested for it. Many athletes at Perry agree that steroid use is wrong. “I think [steroids] are a disgrace to the game,” senior baseball player Brady Hettinger said.

The use of performance enhancing drugs has caused many problems throughout sports and will always be a tough fixation to grab a hold of.