Not a pedophile, but PEDphiles — athletes who take performance enhancing drugs (PED) to get the extra edge to win. Here in Wisconsin one of the star athletes on one of our professional teams is constantly the subject of doping stories. Unfortunately, this story is following the same trajectory as the Lance Armstrong saga.
PEDphiles — Intense Pressure to Perform
Star athletes have more to worry about than simply paying their mortgage. In fact, that is the problem with being a high-profile figure, others depend on you so they can pay their mortgages too. In my college days I recall hearing of a study that established a rigorous connection between the wins a star player is responsible for and the extra revenue those wins bring (this a study in baseball) and if I recall correctly the that magic number is 10 wins.
Of course, it is not all about the money. Star players are star players because they are competitive and it is only after the competitive drive turns them into the best in their fields they get the pay. With or without the money they want to win. I have been around a few people who were hyper-competitive and losing to anybody is devastating to them. That drive does not turn off with million dollar contracts, they still want to figure out how to improve and become better.
PEDphiles — Continued Improvement
Professional athletes are well tuned for the athletic job they need to do. They have staff to make sure they exercise, train, eat, and recover properly. In many ways they are interchangeable with each other. The only way a professional athlete can truly outshine his or her peers is to dope. In fact, professional athletes do not have a lot of time at the top of their game due to age, they are pretty much at the peak of their physical fitness and time is going to do what it inevitably does. The only way to reverse or stall it is to — dope.
PEDphiles — Lawyers Do Not Necessarily Argue for the Truth
They argue what their client pays them for.
Lance Armstrong too beat a positive test on a technicality involving chain of custody questions. Of course, Lance has confessed to the doping charges. That was the angle taken by the current figure in the PED stories. I bought the story then but the recent round of stories and further consideration of the Armstrong story wash that belief out to sea.
PEDphiles — Skiing
Cross country skiing is subject to PED use by its athletes and if one Googles the subject one can find such stories. This is unsurprising as it seems those sports requiring high levels of endurance are the most subject to PED abuse. However, search for downhill skiing and PED use turns up very little (except for some skiers arguing for allowing their use). I wonder why? I do not think these athletes are anymore pure than the rest of the human lot.
PEDphiles — Do Not Idolize Athletes
Top performing athletes deserve our admiration, even those using PEDs. Even if I took PEDS I am still not hitting 95 mph fastballs 400 feet, I am not cranking 1000+ watts up a 12% 5 km hill climb, and I am certainly not blowing out a 300 pound offensive lineman and getting a sack. However, there is a huge difference between admiring and idolizing a person. Even when the drugs were whiskey and tobacco they athletes were bound to disappoint if viewed too closely. The whole PED thing simply serves to remind us no matter the level we compete at, the temptation to cheat to cut corners other go around is very strong.