Monday, October 8, 2012

Don't Do Drugs (Athletes Edition)

I've been sitting on this ''news story'' for two weeks or so and am unsure where I stand on it...

Former Los Angeles Dodgers closer Éric Gagné released a tell-all book where he admits (for the second time) using HGH (Human-Growth Hormones) during the last few (injury-prone) years of his career, claims 80% of his Dodgers teammates also did, and says he used the drugs to come back from injuries faster, hinting that he was clean when he saved 84 straight games  over the course of two seasons, one of which he won a Cy Young award as best pitcher for.

It looks an awful lot like ''I wasn't the most guilty'' and smells a bit like ''I may be hiding some other shit so I don't get sued for money I've spent a long time ago''. And it leaves a taste of ''I have a legacy to protect'', too.

The guy who was nicknamed ''Game Over'' says:
It was sufficient to ruin my health, tarnish my reputation and throw a shadow over the extraordinary performances of my career
No shit, Sherlock.

But the effects of HGH (and steroids, which I suspected him of taking in the first place when he  would tear muscle after muscle, year after year) were already well-known at the time, so it was a conscious decision of ''high reward in the present, high risk for my health soon enough, and permanent damage later''. The guy's just about my age, from Montréal like myself. He's lived through the Ben Johnson Olympic doping scandal of 1988, he knew many variations of them were illegal - but they were permitted in baseball; he also knew they weren't in many other sports, including hockey, which he is a fan of.

So I don't really care that he chose to put those poisons in his body. I drink alcohol, aspartame-infused diet drinks, sugar-filled energy drinks, eat microwaved processed foods, etc. Those are choices, to a certain extent, of poisons to consume.

I just don't like the bullshit, and despise the justifications. Just like cycling, where the main excuse for decades was ''if my competitors are juicing, I'd be doing myself a disservice to not do so too'', becoming part of the problem, instead of deciding to live comfortably and finishing in respectable positions and doing so ''au naturel'' and setting the example for doing things correctly.

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