Wednesday, February 13, 2013


For the past 10 years or so, the acronym PED - or performance enhancing drug- has become common in the news. PEDs have become a mainstream topic. Most often allegations or even whispers of an athlete being involved with PED use result in a permanent black stain on their reputation. It is associated with cheating, rule breaking, dishonesty, and fraud. While we will never know the real truth of who, what, where, when, and how (long) with athlete's use of such drugs, it is clear that they have played a major role in professional sports. As these individuals were amassing unprecedented statistics that bordered on super-human, athletes and their sports attracted new follows by the legions. When the rampant allegations of usage hit the fan, many folks felt duped and were left disillusioned.

Yet I wanted to raise a hypothetical that I think is not far fetched given what I have been reading recently about severely injured athletes and their off-season trips to see "doctors" in Europe and Canada. Let me lay out a series of "supposes".
  • Suppose someone took something on a sports league's banned substance list (i.e. a PED) during a period where they were not on a team's active roster and were dealing with a career-threatening injury or condition.
  • Suppose that this PED represented the only realistic way to mend their bodies so that they could play again or sign another contract for employment.
  • Suppose that without taking the banned substance, they might never heal to the point that they could continue their career.
  • Suppose that after their period of PED usage, their body healed and they fully rehabilitated. When it came time to play, their systems were fully free of any banned substances.
Have they done anything morally or ethically wrong given their options? I am not so sure. In fact, given the option of i). living with a chronic injury or condition or ii). having a healed body and a talent that can earn a seven-figure income to provide for myself and my family, I think the choice is an easy one. What do you think?