The Instigator
wingnut2280
Pro (for)
Losing
13 Points
The Contender
mahoneysean
Con (against)
Winning
18 Points

Steroids in sports.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/13/2007 Category: Sports
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 8,423 times Debate No: 400
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
Votes (11)

 

wingnut2280

Pro

I believe steroids should be allowed in sports. It would maximize the skills of most players and is the next step in advanced training. The primary reason steroids get a bad rap is because they are against the rules and viewed as cheating. Players who don't want to take steroids can be free to make that choice, just as some players don't choose certain training methods now. Players who want to take the health risks associated with steroids should be able to do so.
mahoneysean

Con

It seems to me that using the term "advanced training" is quite vague, please can you elaborate. Secondly, I believe that there are a plethora of reasons why steroids should not be allowed in sports. for one, the sake of purity is at risk. How can you measure the skill of a human (one of the main reasons for sport) when that individual is affected by an outside alteration such as steroids? also, if you allow all players to use steroids in sports, yet all are free not to as you put it "take the health risks", aren't you not putting the people who don't want to use steroids potentially out of the game. that does not seem fair, and fairness the one of the principles guiding sports. The reason we have rules, referees and instant replay are all for the sake of pure sport, and steroids fit into that realm as well.
Also, athletes are seen as heroes in the world of children. Can't you name one person that you looked up to that played sports-mine was Alex Rodriguez, and I can't imagine how my life would be changed as a kid if I had found out he had taken steroids. What kind of message does that send children; that its ok to take drugs as long as you see positive benefits?
Not to mention the idea that although steroids have long term effects to the human body as well. so no, steroids should not be allowed in sports.
Debate Round No. 1
wingnut2280

Pro

To clarify, I use 'advanced training' to denote the accepted methods and measures that pro athletes take to reach the top of the sport. I'll go point by point here, with some responses. You make a couple of key arguments.

1) Purity

You argue that steroids would taint the pure nature of professional sports and allowing external 'alterations' would skew human performance.

This argument would work great, if it hadn't already happened. It would only be true if regular people, who were athletically talented, were our pro atheletes. This is obviously not the case. Gone are the days when guys like Babe Ruth could rely on natural human ability. Todays pro athletes already use extensive, extra-human workout routines and get their hands on any kind of herbal substance, protein formula, or other legal aid that might give them a boost. Do you think that a guy who has been hardcore training since adolescence, takes dozens of supplements a day, and is paid ridiculous amounts of money to do nothing but find some kind of edge that will make him a better player is a 'pure' representation of human ability? You can not find one single professional athlete that is free from outside alteration, legal or not. If pros were pure human beings I would agree, but anymore, they are just engineered muscle. Any notion of purity went out the window decades ago.

2) Allowing Steroids is not fair to those who don't want to use them.

You argue that, if we allow steroids, players who don't elect to risk their health would be unfairly ostricized from the sport, because of lower performance.

Again, isn't this already true? Players who do not choose to adopt the newest and most performance beneficial supplements and training techniques are left in the perverbial dust as well. If an athlete elects not to train intensely or receive the legal aid available, his skills are not on par with others and he/she is not able to compete.

Now, it seems I am avoiding the obvious. "Training isn't harmful to their health, steroids are harmful. We shouldn't make people harm themselves in order to compete professionally." This seems like a reasonable objection, but in reality, again, this is already true. It seems like common sense that being in good physical condition would be good for you. But, new studies and literature show that living the life of a professional athelete leads to more severe injuries, a shorter lifespan, and worse health sooner(http://www.eric.ed.gov...) (http://www.informaworld.com...). Professional athletes may seem like they are in peak physical condition, but the risk they assume with 'natural' and 'traditional' training regiments are harmful to their health as well. Again, I would agree with you here if we were not already to this point. As professional athletics stands now, the effects that steroids has on the body, are a drop in the pond compared to the risks and trials that it faces now. Those athletes who do not want to take steroids are free to choose not to, if that renders them obsolete (which is arguable), then professionalism will leave them behind, just as your 'natural' methods have done to so many athletes before them in the past.

3) Fairness and being a good-role model

You argue that allowing steroids would eliminate fairness and poorly influence kids.

This however, as I stated in my first round, is merely a consequence of steroid's current illegality. No one looks down on A-Rod for drinking protein shakes, even though high-protein diets have been shown to increase risks on bone cancer and osteoporosis (http://manbir-online.com...) (http://www.futurepundit.com...). If protein supplements were banned, we would have the same terrible view of them as we do steroids. But, since they are legal, and widely accepted, we are cool with them. The same goes for numerous other legal aids. The only reason steroid use has a bad connotation is because of its illegality. Steroid users are looked at as cheaters because they used an illegal substance. If steroids were legal, these athletes would no longer be cheaters as everyone would be on a sanctioned, level playing field. I'm not saying this would happen immediately, but as time grew on and steroids were more accepted, the bad label would fall away.

The message to kids has already been molested, and steroids would not send a 'do drugs' message. If kids model athletes that closely, why do we allow ball players to chew tobacco? Why are people like Ricky Williams, Michael Vick, and Tank Johnson still allowed to play, despite numerous arrests, prison sentences and admitted use of narcotics? Its not like proffessional sports has some kind of role-model clause. This argument would only hold weight if the image of the professional athlete hadn't already been skewed beyond recognition.

Still, that doesn't mean we shouldn't try to send the right message, I agree. The fact is, kids DO look up to athletes. But again, where is the line here? With proper understanding and parenting, kids are already told that some things are strictly for professionals. Do we tell kids to spend eight hours in the gym and dedicate their entire lives to training, or do we tell them that its a game and that they should have fun with it? Do we tell little kids who like to ride horses that jockeys need to be bulimic in order to get a job, or that track stars use a 'puke index' to measure how hard they should train? Or, do we tell them to try hard, but have fun? Obviously, steroids would function in the same way. It is already understood and told to kids, that pros take measures that they should not. Steroids would just be lumped into this existing category. We obviously don't tell kids to use testosterone enhancers and synergistic muscle volumizers, which are legal. Why would steroids be an exception here? Again, I think this loops back to the negative connotation that steroids carry, rather than the differences they have with already legal training methods.

In short, steroids ARE just the next step in professional sports. There is no denying the health risk involved, but that hasn't stopped us from legalizing other extreme training methods. We shouldn't force steroids on our athletes by any means, but that avenue should be open to those who seek it, just as other extreme avenues are open to those who are willing to use them. Athletes would remain the terrible role models they are, or at least sports would handle this advance as it has handled every other one, with caution and responsibility. Any notion of purity or fairness is all relative. Athletes of the past could, in no way, compete with the legal ones of today because of the progression sports has taken. Our athletes are more athletic because of the then taboo methods that are now legal. Sports needs to take the obvious next step. I realize that this position seems terrible, but that is only because of the bad rap steroids have gotten as a result of their illegality. We need to get past this media-painted image of steroids and realize that science has allowed athletes to progress before and is doing it again. Barry Bond's wouldn't be such a terrible guy if steroids were legal, then again, maybe we would have more guys putting up his numbers too.
mahoneysean

Con

mahoneysean forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
wingnut2280

Pro

Again, steroids only get a bad rap because they are illegal right now. Legalizing them would solve much of this problem. We have seen an advance in training methods, harmful or not, in the past. Steroids are just the next step. Extend my last round argument and I urge people to judge the debate and not the issue. Thanks. Good debate.
mahoneysean

Con

mahoneysean forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by jarhead717 9 years ago
jarhead717
wingnut, I have no choice but to vote pro. You didn an excellent job in relating theory to reality. I believe that by legalizing the use of steroids or HGH would negativly impact the youth, for every childs dreams of one day hitting the homerun to win the game or running back the kickoff to win the game. Which would lead to juiced up high school students, which in turn would lead to lower grade point averages for our students because as we all know "training enhancers" require a strict workout regiment. So unfortunatly it may be the way of the future in pro athletics, but it will have a trickle down affect and we will see the use of the juice in our youth faster than you might think.
Posted by wingnut2280 9 years ago
wingnut2280
WOW......lots of topic voting. I don't know how someone who forfeits two of three rounds wins ANY debate.
Posted by Harlan 9 years ago
Harlan
Unforunately, athletes are much overly glorified, and thus people, esp[ecially youths, see them as idles, and want to grow up to be hust like them.

Some athletes, who don't believe in steroids, work hard to excercise and play, while others who do take steroids have an unfair advantage.
Posted by drumbum565 9 years ago
drumbum565
the con forfeited how can anyone not vote pro??
11 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by U.n 1 year ago
U.n
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Reasons for voting decision: Forfeited turns.
Vote Placed by Harlan 9 years ago
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