Steroids in sports always caused considerable deal of trouble to both the sportsmen and those who simply liked watching sports. The use of steroids was traditionally discussed from the moral and ethical perspectives, but rarely through the prism of negative consequences which they cause to the health of an athlete. The two analyzed articles were published at different time, but they offer a new look at the problem of steroid use in sports. The Use of Steroids in Baseball: Barry Bonds vs. Marion Jones
Barry Bonds has become notoriously famous as one of the first baseball players using steroids. Even under the growing social pressure against the use of steroids in sports, steroids use in baseball has hit the headlines. In her turn, Marion Jones has also openly recognized the fact of taking steroids: “I want to apologize to you all for all of this, I am sorry for disappointing you all in so many ways” (Shipley). The analyzed articles take a different focus in discussing the problem of steroid use.
It appears that sport stars use all possible means to achieve their professional goals. However, when one has to recognize the fact of using steroids, we will hardly hear the truth about it. It is for the first time that a baseball player is described as the one having consciously chosen to use steroids. We never know whether athletes use steroids consciously, or whether they just take the liquids and pills prescribed by their coaches. In any case, the majority of those who ultimately recognize the fact of using steroids mostly refer to their own innocence.
That was the case with Marion Jones: “In her letter, Jones […] said her former coach, Trevor Graham, gave her the substance, telling her it was the nutritional supplement flaxseed oil and that she should take it by putting two drops under her tongue” (Shipley). Surprisingly, but that was almost the case with Barry Bonds: “Bonds insisted it was for flaxseed oil. He said he had ingested the substance by placing a couple of drops under his tongue – the prescribed method for taking the BALCO steroid but hardly the common way to down flaxseed oil” (Farinaru-Wada & Williams).
In this context, the articles create a continuous logical line of arguments against the use of steroids. They create a truthful picture of lies to which athletes and baseball players descend “to please” their own ambitions. The fact is that steroids are far from being useful for the health of an athlete. “In addition to growth hormone and testosterone, doping calendars showed that Bonds used insulin along with steroids: the drug’s anabolic effect was significant, especially when used in conjunction with growth hormone” (Farinaru-Wada & Williams).
While Farinaru-Wada and Williams provide a detailed review of Bonds’ career and use of steroids, the second article does not provide complete information on the way Jones used drugs. As a result, the reader remains unaware of whether it was her conscious action. When read together, both articles provide sufficient information on baseball players’ and athletes’ attitudes towards drugs: there is no sincere regret, but only the desire to be the best in sports.
This desire neutralizes the existing moral and ethical norms for each athlete involved into the steroids use. Once again, I panicked. I did not want my name associated with this mess. I wanted to stay as far away from it as possible” (Shipley). How can an athlete stay away from the fact of having taken steroids? The answer is yet unknown. Conclusion It is surprising to hear, what athletes and baseball players say when they are caught right at the spot for using steroids in their professional development. We may certainly think of Marion Jones as the victim of some professional circumstances.
However, Farinaru-Wara and Williams shed the light onto the athletes’ attitudes towards steroids in sports. When the two articles are read together, they create a completely different picture of steroids’ position in sports. For the major part, athletes and baseball players take them consciously, but fail to openly recognize this fact. In this way they betray their fans twice: by undeserved achievements and by the reluctance to be honest with thousands of those who love and respect them.