The PED Dilemma

Bill Simmons wakes up from his multi-year slumber with one of his best essays in a long time, daring to talk about the PED problem in sports.

Let’s see what’s in everyone’s body, once and for all. I think you’d be surprised. You’d wonder if some were glorified junkies. You’d be confused about why we placed such a belated priority on concussion awareness while continuing to ignore HGH and steroids and painkillers. Why wasn’t the recent story about the NFL’s Toradol waiver a bigger deal? What’s the difference between taking HGH and Toradol, anyway? What does the word “performance enhancer” really mean? It’s OK to borrow a dead person’s ligament to regain your 95-mph fastball, but it’s not OK to boost your testosterone for those same results? It’s OK to travel to Germany to inject stem cells into your damaged knee to stimulate recovery and regeneration, but it’s not OK to replace your blood with better blood to increase your stamina?

I’ve always wondered why people care so much about PEDs in baseball but don’t care about PEDs in any of the other major sports. And, while I think most people agree that PEDs should be banned from sports, I’ve come to the strange conclusion that we should drop all pretense and let athletes do whatever the hell they want to their bodies.

If we’re worried about historical records or whatever, well, that should be an easy enough fix with a Before PED vs. After PED timeline. My main thing is what is so ethically wrong about performance enhancers?

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