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Steroid policy not tough enough
Posted September 30, 2005

This column is for all you sports enthusiasts out there. I am sure you have heard the word steroid enter your brain a thousand times and I am sure you are sick of it by now. Take it from me, its not going away anytime soon. It has only just begun.

Let me start by first saying the steroid policy for Major League Baseball sucks. First time offenders get 10 games and if you are a second time offender, well you can just kiss your baseball career good bye because of the PR hellhole you will have dug yourself.

Most of the players caught during the first year of the new policy were mostly minor leaguers or insignificant major leaguers.

I will get to Raffy later.

These guys, for the most part, are entering their prime of their careers or are working their tail off just to make the roster.

How is a measly 10 game penalty going to stop a player from continuing to take steroids?

Steroids can seriously help a player’s physique and seriously enhance their performance.

It is easy to see where some of these players could think that the suspension is a great trade off for the results they will get from taking steroids.

I will be willing to be there are a few of those players out there who believe just that.

Of course, the new policy is a lot better than the previous but it just is not good enough. If 15 percent of baseball players still do steroids, it just is not good enough.

First time offenders need to be banned for at least 50 games.

People make mistakes and a 50-game sentence is sufficient for an individual to sit back and think. Loss of pay, integrity and respect from other players and fans alike would be engraved on the player’s profile forever. I will bet they would think twice before the next time they shoot up.

Look at what Rafael Palmeiro has done to his career because he was caught doing steroids.

Talk about a complete 180 in a matter of a month and a half. The man went from a possible first ballot hall of famer to possibly never making the Hall of Fame.

Of course, then you ask would he have put up those Hall of Fame numbers if he were not on steroids in the first place?

Then after digging his own grave, he engraved his own gravestone by throwing teammate Miguel Tejada under the bus by saying the substance he tested positive for could have come from the B-12 vitamins that Tejada gave him a while ago.

How do you think Tejada feels? Like it or not, depending on long-term public reaction, Tejada will be linked to steroids because of big Raffy.

Did Tejada ever do steroids? I do not know but to this point his tests indicate he is clean.

Take a look at Yankee slugger Jason Giambi.

After all but admitting that he had taken steroids to a grand jury in San Francisco, Giambi became engulfed in one of the largest hitting slumps in recent memory, for any hitter.

Was it because he was finally off the juice?

I think Palmeiro is the first example of what can happen by using steroids.
I think that is exactly what Major League Baseball has made out of him,
an example.

I think it is a good first step but the policy has to be stricter. They are talking about increasing the first time offense to 20 games for next season.

For many people, that just is not good enough.

Steven Falls, a senior communications major, is sports editor for the Campus Times. He can be reached by e-mail at fallss@ulv.edu.