Dan Policy Paperrr

Dan Foreman
Rachael Robson
Composition & Communication: Bullshit
March 12, 2009

Testing and Policies Concerning Illegal Use of Steroids in the MLB

Steroids in today’s society are used and abused by professional athletes, even when known that it is illegal to use. A steroid is defined on Dictionary.com as “any of several fat-soluble organic compounds having as a basis 17 carbon atoms in four rings; many have important physiological effects” (Steroid, n.d.). The physiological effects that a steroid can have on the human body ranges from secondary sex characteristics such as facial hair or deepened voice, to muscle build and tone. Steroids are in fact used in medicine in small amounts for many different conditions and a therapeutic dosage is recommended to some by physicians can that vary from 2.5 to 10 mg a day. A typical dosage used by professional athletes ranges from 100 mg a day up to around 400 mg a day (Murray, 1983). By using steroids the athlete is getting what some call an “unfair advantage.” A study involving twelve matched pairs of subjects on a high protein diet in a six week weight lifting program proved some of these unfair advantages. In the final three weeks of the program, half of the subjects were given 5 mg of Dianobol, a steroid, twice daily. At the end of the study the results came out to show that the subjects taking the Dianobol had an increase in weight twice that of the control group that didn’t receive the steroid (Johnson O'Shea, 1963). Congress found this to be a problem during the 1990’s and early 2000’s, so they came up with an act to make steroids illegal to take for performance enhancing reasons, or even to take in excess for whatever reason. In early 1990, Congress took action and passed the Anabolic Steroid Control Act of 1990, prohibiting the use of certain performance enhancing drugs and making clear the consequences that come about if caught using them. Even after this act was passed, it was still evident that athletes were using different types of performance enhancing drugs that weren’t exactly listed in the passed act. So, in June of 2004, Congress passed the Anabolic Steroid Control Act of 2004, which modified the earlier act, adding other substances that are considered illegal and “performance enhancing.” This act also modified the maximum penalty, doubling it if a person was found to manufacture, distribute, or use the drugs (Doherty, 2006). Knowing that the substance is illegal and can potentially endanger their health, athletes still continue to use anabolic steroids and other illegal substances to enhance performance and try to get an extra edge on the competition.
The policy enforced concerning the illegal use of performance enhancing drugs in the MLB is very strict. Recently it has been seen that if someone tested positive for the illegal drugs, that person is the headline of the news. In the situation of the MLB and the records that have been scarred by these performance enhancing drugs, a new policy should be enforced, with the numbers of tests given in a year increasing greatly as well as greater consequences if caught. This policy would affect all players ranging from farm teams in any organization to the actual professional team. The results of the illegal substance testing will only be accessible by the owners and managers of every organization in the MLB, for the sake of the players’ privacy. In the MLB today the player found to be taking these drugs is suspended for a set amount of time without pay. The first offense results in a 10-day suspension, second offense 30-days, third offense 60-day, and fourth offense being a year of suspension from the league (Bodley, 2005). The new policy would follow these same rules for a first offense; except for the amount of the suspension time would be increased significantly to show the stern outlook on performance enhancing drugs. The first offense suspension would start off at 60 days. On top of the suspension without pay, the player would be fined $10,000 for first offense. On a second offense the fine and probation time would double, and if the player is caught yet again, indefinite suspension from the MLB would be the consequence. This policy works perfectly in baseball seeing as they get three strikes, and they are out. For this policy to be enforced and upheld, an agreement would be written by the commissioner of the MLB as well as a group of advisors. This agreement would include clauses about testing, suspension, fines, privacy, and the funding of the new policy. The agreement would need to be done in the offseason making it fair to both the returning players in the league, and for the prospects being drafted into the league in the next year. In order for the player to start playing or continue playing for an organization and earn his salary, he must first read through the new agreement, sign and date, and soon after pass a performance enhancing drug test. If the player does not conform to this idea, he would be ineligible to play in the league until he agrees to take the test. In the case of a player failing the first mandatory test, he would have 30 days until the next time that he can try the test again. The agreement that is necessary for the player to sign would state that they are subject to any performance enhancing test at any time of the year, in season or not. Obviously the increased amount of testing is going to cost more money, and the players read in the policy that part of their salary would pay for the tests. The amount of money taken from each player would depend on the amount of money he makes per year. The more a person earns, the more he will contribute to the program of increased testing.
Of course this policy would not be able to be enabled until the 2010 season seeing as this year’s season has started, but that leaves much time to perfect the policy. With any argument that may arise about the talk of players making more money needing to give more money, it only makes sense because they already have a big sum of cash. In most cases the upcoming prospects won’t have that sort of money, unless they are the son of a former MLB player or the family the player is from is very well off concerning money. Another part that may bring about disagreement would be the three strike rule and the long amount of time a person is suspended after an offense. This policy will come to show how serious the subject is of steroid abuse in the MLB is and will hopefully prove to decrease the number of players using these drugs. If a player cannot learn from getting caught once or twice, the third offense will make him think about his decisions since he will no longer be allowed in the league. Also, with the decrease in amount of players using these performance enhancers, it will bring the game to be true, natural, and pure talent, just as the founders of baseball made the game to be.

Works Cited
Bodley, Hal (2005,12,1). Baseball officials announce tougher steroids policy. USA Today, Retrieved March 13, 2009, from http://www.usatoday.com/sports/baseball/2005-01-12-steroid-policy_x.htm
Doherty, Allan (2006). Steroids Overview. Retrieved March 13, 2009, from Steroids in Baseball Web site: http://www.steroidsinbaseball.net/overview.html
Johnson, L. C., & O' Shea, J. P. (1969). Anabolic Steroid: Effects on Strength Development . Science, 164, Retrieved March 13, 2009, from http://www.jstor.org/stable/1726247?&Search=yes&term=anabolic&term=steroids&list=hide&searchUri=%2Faction%2FdoBasicSearch%3FQuery%3Danabolic%2Bsteroids%26gw%3Djtx%26prq%3Dsteroids%26Search%3DSearch%26hp%3D25%26wc%3Don&item=7&ttl=370&returnArticleService=showArticle.
Murray, Thomas H (August 1983). The Coercive Power of Drugs in Sports . The Hastings Center Report, 13, Retrieved March 13, 2009, from http://www.jstor.org/stable/3561718?seq=3&Search=yes&term=baseball&term=steroids&list=hide&searchUri=%2Faction%2FdoBasicSearch%3FQuery%3Dsteroids%2Bin%2Bbaseball%26x%3D0%26y%3D0%26wc%3Don&item=2&ttl=79&returnArticleService=showArticle&resultsServiceName=doBasicResultsFromArticle
steroid. (n.d.). WordNet® 3.0. Retrieved March 13, 2009, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/steroid

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