In my last column I listed out 15 pieces of advice and it occurred to me that each of those items could use a little more explaining. So today, I’m going to start a series of pieces giving more background and color to each.
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Tip #8 — Cheating is stupid. Doing drugs is cheating. Don’t be stupid.
I’ve always maintained that drug use by athletes constitutes cheating. I don’t waver from that statement now. Using banned performance-enhancing substances is against the rules of competition and is therefore cheating. Those failing drug tests for taking banned substances should be disciplined up to and including bans from competition. It is stupid to cheat and you shouldn’t be stupid.
So why write about drug use in sports now? The Lance Armstrong story has brought drug use in professional cycling front and center again and I wanted to spend some time considering the very complicated issues that it presents to us. There was an excellent article in the Wall Street Journal’s October 11th, 2012 issue that can provide more details about the Armstrong investigation and I’ll pull a few quotes from that article below. (Drug Case Against Armstrong Detailed)
I’ve always felt that there were some grey areas that surround banned substance use in sports. One of them is that tests have to be designed with human variations in mind. The chemistry inside the human body is not identical from person to person. If you were to test a person for their level of cholesterol, for example, you’d see that the level ranges all over the board depending on genetics, diet and overall health. Most of us “know” generally our cholesterol level and some of us even monitor that level pretty closely. If it needs to be lowered we can take drugs to lower the amount of cholesterol in our blood. Keep this in mind.
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