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Keep steroids out of Cooperstown

Tyler Mitzner, Sports Co-Editor

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Steroids have created one of the most controversial issues in today’s sports, primarily in baseball.  There are fans who abhor the use of performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) as it takes away the purity of America’s pastime, and there are those who feel they bring a needed change  of excitement to the game. This argument reaches its pinnacle at the MLB Hall of Fame, located in Cooperstown, New York. Players accused and caught using PEDs have been been blacklisted from Cooperstown. Barry Bonds, who holds 13 hitting records along with seven MVP awards, sits at the center of this controversy, as he has been blocked from the Hall of Fame due to his association with steroids. However, recently Bonds has been inching his way closer to receiving the amount of votes needed be inducted, which is simply not right.

In life, cheaters are meant to be punished and withheld from winning. Should someone get caught cheating on a test, her or she is given a zero. This is especially evident in sports, when anyone caught receiving any type of unfair advantage faces penalties. Tom Brady earned a four game suspension for his role in Deflategate, Lance Armstrong lost his Tour de France titles due to his blood-doping, and Ben Johnson lost his Gold Medal from the 1988 Olympic Games for failing a drug test. The list goes on. The second an exception is given to Barry Bonds, exceptions will be given to countless others and the just punishments reserved for cheaters will disappear.

At the forefront of this surge of votes for Bonds comes a significant amount of young voters who wish to simply award success, no matter how it’s achieved. Yet these voters don’t seem to comprehend the negative consequences of their actions. By promoting Bonds’s case to enter Cooperstown, they’re promoting the continued use of substances that have been detrimental to the health of baseball. Young players agree with the belief of steroids corrupting the game, and their opinions should be looked at more than some voter.

Senior outfielder Zach Goodman expresses his views on how the use of steroids has corrupted the game of baseball.

“The game has been negatively affected by steroid use because it has made the game tainted and not as traditional and pure as it used to be,” Goodman said. “When someone is having a good year, they always get extra scrutiny because everybody assumes that they are taking steroids. That is not a good go-to response for the league.”

Older voters have also flocked to Bonds, but for different reasons. Bud Selig, the ninth commissioner of baseball, was inducted into the Hall of Fame recently. Selig was commissioner during the height of the Steroid Era, and some of the voters felt that it was unfair to allow the commissioner who was associated with PEDs into Cooperstown but deny players associated with them. The issue with that logic is that they forget Selig’s extreme measures taken to combat illegal substance usage. He implemented blood testing for Human Growth Hormones (HGH), a PED often overshadowed by steroids, making the MLB the first sports league in the United States to do so. Associating him and Bonds is clearly a mistake.

Finally, the most significant issue with allowing steroid users into the Hall of Fame is the message it sends about not only the league, but all baseball players and fans around the world. If a player who is known to use PEDs can make it into Cooperstown, then others may use drugs to do the same. The widespread use of steroids or other such substances in the MLB could inspire other athletes, from younger generations to begin, putting them at risk for kidney failure, heightened blood pressure, liver damage, and many more health problems. Such a health crisis must be prevented.

I hope Barry Bonds never makes it into the Hall of Fame, or any other steroid-using player. It’s not that I personally dislike any of them but it’s the message behind allowing them in will give to the world. The usage of PEDs is nothing short of cheating, and why should we allow cheaters to win.

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Keep steroids out of Cooperstown