So much for the end of baseball’s steroid era: Melky Cabrera and Bartolo Colon are both facing 50-game suspensions after testing positive for testosterone usage. And baseball isn’t the only afflicted sport, of course, as the US Anti-Doping Agency today stripped cyclist Lance Armstrong of seven Tour de France titles and banned him from the sport for life for doping. Steroids, doping and other illicit performance enhancing drugs and treatments have become the biggest scourge of professional sports leagues, and that’s why it may be time they were made legal (Forbes).
The primary reason why performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) are outlawed in professional sports is that they give users an unfair advantage over the rest of the field. Various professional sports leagues have attempted to set a level playing field by testing for drug use and suspending those found guilty. It’s a noble effort, but it’s clearly not working. Stiff punishments have done little to reduce the number of cyclists caught cheating every year; as Deadspin helpfully points out, the inheritors of Lance Armstrong’s seven abandoned Tour de France titles have all been implicated in doping scandals. Major League Baseball also hands down suspensions each season to players caught using outlawed substances, and it’s absurd to think those players are the only ones guilty of juicing (Forbes).
So if we really want to level the playing field, it may be time to head in the other direction: legalize performance enhancers. Not only would the playing field suddenly be even for all players, it would be at a higher level. A huge part of watching sports is witnessing the very peak of human athletic ability, and legalizing performance enhancing drugs would help athletes climb even higher. Steroids and doping will help pitchers to throw harder, home runs to go further, cyclists to charge for longer and sprinters to test the very limits of human speed (Forbes).
It also makes sense for...