Steroids issue: Cheating or technological advancement

Sophie Gilchrist
Sports Editor

After all the scandal and controversy over the baseball players taking anabolic (muscle building) steroids, it is time this issue is addressed — not in the negative “cheating” tone that the country has taken, but as technilogical opinion.

World records have been accomplished through technological advancements throughout the history of sports. This summer’s Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps beat previous world records in and winning more gold medals in one Olympiad than anyone ever has, just beating Mark Spitz by one gold.

Yet when Spitz won his seven gold medals swimming in Munich in 1972, he wore a Speedo brief. This Olympic Games Phelps wore a $550 LZR Racer High Neck Bodyskin suit. The suit is “ultrasonically welded together [to] create [a] low profile silhouette and reduce skin friction drag” according to Speedo.

This is just another technological advancement that is available to everyone to improves his racing time.

One of the main arguments against steroids is that athletes who use them are simply cheating.

“Society cares because steroid use is a form of cheating,” said Michael Dillingham, M.D. team physician for the San Francisco 49ers and Santa Clara University. “Since steroids work so well, they create an unfair advantage for those who take them, this breaks the social contract athletes have implicitly agreed to: We are going to have a fair contest. There are things we can and cannot do. Even if there were a safe performance-enhancing substance, if it weren’t available to everybody, it would still be cheating.”

The swimsuit that Phelps wears gives him the same advantage as steroids.

Unfortunately steroids – unlike swimsuits – cause health effects. Although their long-term side effects are not known. Other effects include infertility, baldness, changes in or cessation of the menstrual cycle, deepened voice, paranoid jealousy, extreme irritability, delusions and impaired judgment stemming from feelings of invincibility.

Steroids enhance athletic performance just like the new Speedo so in the end, so if you take the opinion that steroids are cheating, then Michael Phelps is cheating as well.