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Letter to Editor

In: Business and Management

Submitted By cyc1104
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Letter to Editor
Dear Editor: On August 8 in 2007 Barry Bonds broke the Major League Baseball (MLB) home run records by 31years. However, most major newspapers and magazines columns were indifferent and negative to his home run record. The expressions from them are very different from wild enthusiasms and cheers when he broke Mark McGwire’s single season home run record because Bonds is under suspicion for steroid use. Beside in these cases, major leaguers’ performance enhancing drugs stories rise out many different way such as Jose Canseco autobiography, Mark McGwire admits he uses the steroids and goes on to hit a then record 70 homers. According to the MLB official site, the investigation of MLB organization found that 5 percent to 7 percent of 1438 tests were positive about performance enhancing drugs during the 2003 season. The Major League player were used performance enhancing drug and even existence of the drug policy keep under suspicion about it nowadays . So, I think MLB need to improve current performance enhancing drugs policy. According to the MLB official site, Major League Baseball’s drug policy joint drug prevention and treatment program is established by agreement after the 2004 season between the MLB Players Association and the Office of the Commissioner of Major League Baseball in order to ban baseball players’ performance enhancing drugs including anabolic steroids and other illegal drugs. There was one unannounced mandatory test for each player and random tests to selected players with no maximum number from the start of spring training through the end of the regular season.(Findlaw, 2005) Moreover, there was random testing during the off-season. The testing procedure is that players are asked to completely wash and dry their hands and then the player is to urinate into at least three sealed specimen collection cups under direct observation from collector and carry it to the processing table.(Findlaw, 2005) The penalties for a positive result were 10 days suspension for a first positive, 30 days suspension for a second positive, 60 days suspension for a third positive, and one year for a fourth.(Bodley, 2005) However, both associations reached a new agreement of the new striated in November 15, 2005. Penalties for drugs use were 50 games for a first offense, 100 games for a second and a lifetime ban for a third.(Kathy, 2005) This strict current policy and testing contributed to a decreased number of players taking the enhancing drugs. It also caught players who were taking the drugs. However, sometimes the policy looks useless even though they made it stricter. The policy clearly shows that a player who is taking a performance enhancing drug will be suspended. However this policy is very lenient about Major League super star. Barry Bonds, Jason Giambi and Roger Clemens were never suspended. Even though Barry Bonds had positive result from amphetamine test and Jason Giambi admitted to taking steroids. Recently, a new kind of drug makes the current drug policy weak. A while ago, the top issue of MLB was the HGH that Garry Matthews Jr, Troy Glaus, Rick Ankiel, and Jay Gibson were suspected of using HGH. It was banned by Major League Baseball in 2005. It is a magical substance that offers the same benefits as anabolic steroid. It will not only make them stronger but also shorten the time to come back from injury. However, MLB does not test for HGH because it can not be detected by urine tests. It is only detected by blood tests but the MLB commission and the player’s association did not make an agreement about blood tests. Therefore, MLB definitely needs a new alternative policy. Baseball is in their blood. But what else is? I think that's the question the sport must answer as it manages its performance enhancing drugs and Human Growth Hormone crisis. There is the issue of records being broken by players on steroids who could not have achieved such amazing records without the use of drugs. This takes away from the legacy of true athletes who did not resort to performance-enhancing drugs. And while the fans may feel slighted by these problems, the true victims here are the honest players, who do not wish to take drugs. If a player is truly talented and chooses not to take steroids, they are still competing against other players who take those drugs and this gives the other players an advantage over them. Not only will they play better, but this will lead to them making more, and possibly even giving them the spot on the team that is no longer available for the player avoiding these drugs. If it is so, why MLB player can not free from the temptation of steroid? One reason is that steroids give the players on unfair competitive advantage over others. The steroids help to increase in muscle mass and physical strength and are consequently used in sport to enhance strength, recovery time from workouts and enable them to maintain strength longer. These results are unbelievably beneficial in baseball. Some people tried to explain that steroids don’t help a hit home run. This is correct but misguided. Steroids would not help you or normal guys hit home runs but if someone have the acquired skill to hit a baseball, getting stronger makes the ball travel more distance. The more distance mean to ball player is home runs. The more home runs give players the amazing records, a lot of money, and great respect. Therefore the players’ temptation to cheat is enormous. The steroids have a lot of side effect but it can get to a higher level of competition, then it’s pretty obvious that it’s worth trying. The majority of baseball fans consider taking steroids cheating. However, the fans always cheer about their home player‘s chase to unbroken record even if he is suspicious on steroid. Because as a fan, the most important thing in sports isn’t good behaviors but winning. They do not want to spend their money for watching good behaviors of players. They spend it because they want to watch their team be a winner. The team is also not only concentrating on playing sports. The more important thing as a team is focus on the profit of business that sells merchandise, tickets and food. The team would sell a more their products if the team ranked on higher place or a player among the team is chasing or achieving an unbroken record. The steroid should satisfy all their demands then, why does it matter? The steroid is only satisfying one specific team and player and fans. It damages the other so many fans and the sanctity of baseball. The other many fans can not overlook a Major League hitter or pitcher cheating to break a cherished record. Therefore, I think the steroid policies need to be improved. Compared to the other sports, baseball’s punishment of steroid is too weak. For example, Justin Gatlin who is an Olympic gold medalist with a personal best of 9.77 seconds world record was banned for 8 years from track and field for testing positive for a banned substance. (www.wikipedia.com) Also Diego Armando Maradona is an Argentine former soccer player who played in four World Cups and received the FIFA award of Player of the Century has banned from field of the World Cup after a failed doping test for ephedrine during the 1994 World Cup in USA. (www.wikipedia.com) I think public humiliation serves as a wonderful weapon in the war on drugs. However, it does not completely prevent drug use. give effect on prevention against drugs use. MLB needs to get serious about steroid and HGH. No more lip service. All resources need to be devoted toward developing a reliable test. As it stands, HGH and steroid is on baseball's banned substance list, but there's no test. That's the equivalent of telling people not to speed, when police don't have radar guns. If players and MLB commission are serious about eradicating HGH, they must agree to blood testing in the next official meeting. The method is viewed as the best way to detect HGH, and the science is much further along than any research on a reliable urine test. According to the new policies, the honest MLB players who completely clean against steroids are being heard because these policies provide them to have play baseball in clean environment. Thus, they can compete fairly each other in the game. The MLB organization’s voice is also being heard and louder that the improvement policy will protect make decreased steroids using players. These policies reinforce the Commissioner’s position that the issue relate to the game’s integrity. However these policies are absent the voices of players who were taking steroid. Even though the new policies existence, they will keep finding ways that avoid the policies for using steroids because the steroids give them money and honor. So the steroid problem will be solved by the players? That's laughable. I think that if there's no test, players are going to use it. It's no different than in any other part of society. Given the players' competitive nature and the money involved, the temptations to cheat are enormous. Still, most don't. But because of the unscrupulous, there must be laws and consequences. How about the MLB starts blood tests next week? Clean players deserve to have a privilege to play baseball in the clean environment.

Reference Page

Bodley, H. (2005 January 12). Baseball officials announce tougher steroids Policy. USA Today. Retrieved September 22, 2007, from http://www.usatoday.com

Chalip, L. (1995). Polcy analysis in sport management. Journal of Sport Management 9, 1-13

Kathy, K (2005 November 16). Baseball officials announce tougher steroids policy. USA Today. Retrieved September 22, 2007, from http://www.usatoday.com

Findlaw.com: Electronic references. Retrieved September 22, 2007, from http://fl1.findlaw.com/news.findlaw.com/usatoday/docs/sports/mlbdrugpolicy05.pdf

The Official Site of Major League Baseball. http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/news/drug_policy.jsp?content=timeline

Wikipedia the free online encyclopedia, Justin Gatlin. Retrieved September 22, 2007 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Justin_Gatlin.

Wikipedia the free online encyclopedia, Diego Maradona. Retrieved September 22, 2007 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maradona

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