Legalize Steroids, Save Sports

We all use performance enhancers; leave it up to athletes, says writer
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 12, 2007 12:20 PM CDT
San Francisco Giants' Barry Bonds hits a fly ball to center field in his last at bat against the San Diego Padres in the sixth inning of their baseball game in San Francisco, Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2007....   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Nearly everyone has used drugs to improve performance in some aspect of life—caffeine to work late, sleeping pills to guarantee rest, medicine to clear up a cold—so it is nonsensical to prevent athletes from doing the same, argues Sally Jenkins of the Washington Post. Her answer to the burgeoning steroid scandals in sports is to legalize the substances and leave it up to athletes to police themselves.

Jenkins allows for two counterarguments to her idea: It sets a bad example for kids, and it punishes athletes who want to compete naturally. But we can't child-proof society, she says, and there's nothing natural about what athletes do to their bodies even without drugs. Perhaps no system at all is better than a broken one, she contends.