Toby Guillette is Active.com's Endurance Online Community Specialist. He is an outdoor-adventure-sports aficionado specializing in ultra-running.
With Barry Bonds approaching the Major League Baseball home run record at a steady pace, the uncomfortable discussion of his hall-of-fame worthiness continues to underscore the priorities of American professional sports.
European bicycle racing has been the target of major doping scandals, investigations and confessions for decades. The endless cycle of use, detection and deception has recently injected its presence into professional baseball and steroid testing is now prevalent throughout the league. The slippery slope includes widespread use of human growth hormone (HGH) because there is not a test designed or administered to target the use of HGH. Now a urine test is in the developmental stages and thus the cycle continues.
The consequence for doping in the sport of professional cycling can cost an athlete his records, sponsorship and career while Major League Baseball players pay fines and serve multi-game suspensions. Even under the most aggressive circumstances, athletes in our society are encouraged to risk it all when the reward of sports success outweighs the punishment and stigma associated with the use performance enhancing drugs.
Whether Bonds enters the history books accompanied by an asterisk, or not, the origin of this subject remains the relationship of sport to our society. The complex web of commerce, media and politics will always dictate what the consumer deems moral or not. Fans will continue to buy tickets and tune in across the country to watch these modern-day super heroes “go yard.”