Baseball stadium
Mathew Ingram/Flick

My belief is that many professional athletes use drugs illegally.  Whether the drugs are PEDs (Performance Enhancement Drugs), prescription, marijuana or cocaine, they can destroy an athlete’s reputation and credibility and put a black eye on the organization that he or she represents.

Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds and Lance Armstrong are three of the biggest athletes linked to the use of PEDs. Unlike Clemens and Bonds, Armstrong has admitted to using PEDs in an interview with Oprah Winfrey. Armstrong founded the Livestrong Organization in 1997.  Trek, Nike, Radio Shack and Oakley are among the companies that have announced they will no longer sponsor Armstrong, which will not help his organization. And as far as Clemons and Bonds, they were denied induction into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame and have had their reputations and credibility ruined.

Olympic gold medalist Marion Jones was sent to prison and stripped of her medals for lying about the use of PEDs. There was a black cloud left over the USA Track and Field team because of her illegal drug use

The National Basketball Association has reformed their marijuana policy. The NBA will no longer test its players for marijuana in the offseason, but they will test for PEDs. The NBA has had an issue with marijuana for a long time now, and not testing its players for marijuana in the offseason won’t help.  NBA player Josh Howard admited that players smoke marijuana.  He also admited that he smokes during the offseason. By not testing its players during the offseason, what kind of message is the league sending to the fans and players? As a fan I think that message is not a good one. It’s like saying “go ahead and get high during the offseason.” It’s not a good look for the NBA. The NBA should rethink its marijuana policy and test year round.

Cocaine should be considered a PED. I think it can enhance a player’s performance. Former boxer Aaron Pryor was known to use cocaine before fights. Pryor was an aggressive non-stop fighter, and he was a good one. Would he have been good if he wasn’t under the influence? Lawrence Taylor and Dexter Manley, two of the greatest National Football League players of the 80s and 90s, also used cocaine during their playing days. Taylor went on to become a Hall of Famer and Manley was banned from the league for multiple positive tests for cocaine. Both players dealt with addiction during their retirement, which led to legal issues.

In the end, illegal drugs and PEDs have no place in sports. It sends the wrong message to us fans. The world looks at them as cheaters. The world of sports should just say not to do drugs and keep it clean.