Steroids, the Breakfast of Champions

Before you jump to any conclusions — well, he is a fool with a self-image problem that  no one playing baseball for a living should ever have —  but as to whether A-Rod is a cheater…well, here’s a take that might give you some pause:

The athlete’s reliance on steroids is no different in principle from a reliance on training techniques, newly designed footwear, sunglasses, mitts, nutrition or the computer-graphic analysis of plays. We are what we do and are never entirely self-sufficient in determining the scope of what we can do.

The fact that Rodriguez might not have achieved what he has without steroids no more undercuts his ownership of his achievements than the fact that he wouldn’t have achieved what he did without loving parents. Likewise, Bonds hit all his home runs, regardless of what Selig feels called upon to pronounce. The fact that drugs might have enabled him to do this no more undermines the authenticity of this achievement than the fact that Tour de France cyclist can do what he does thanks only to the latest in bicycle engineering, well-organized team strategy and, yes, steroids. The achievements are his, even if he managed them thanks to his reliance on the latest tools.  (From A-Rod Isn’t a Cheater)

The problem with steroids isn’t that it’s simply a new technology, it’s that it’s a technology that produces cartoonishly improved results.  A tweak to a bicycle frame may net you a fractional advantage, but won’t lead to times that make last year’s seem prehistoric.

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