It is my personal opinion that steroids or some other sort of enhancer is being used by professional athletes. Personal opinion aside I will give you all some inside facts. I played minor league ball for Cincinnati and there were plenty of headline stories then as I am sure there are now.
First off I never took steroids even though I was offered several times. To this day I wonder if it could have helped? But that is not me. Being a health major in college taking human physiology and anatomy I know what drugs will do.
Not only were there steroids in the minor leagues and college, there where a ton stimulants guys would take to get a high for a game. Playing everyday will take its toll and guys will do anything to keep there energy level up. I think the main reason young players turn to these drugs is poor diet.
The only places to eat in the majority of these minor league towns after a game at 11pm is fast food. Not what you want to be feeding your body after 7 or 8 hours of training. Thats right we usually got to the ball park at 2 for a 7pm game. We had fruit in the locker room before the games but nothing after. Except maybe the occasional beer that was left over from the concession stand.
Now everyone was not on steroids or took stimulants. But they were there for the temptation. Not out in the open but it was easy to find out who to go to. The same holds true for every level of sports down to high school. Big money is the problem. The dream of making millions.
The problem lies with paying a 18 year old out of high school a million dollar signing bonus. The millions they spend on signing flame throwing kids that have not proved themselves against pros would be better spent in the minor league salaries. In rookie level our take home check twice a month was around $370.00. How can you live off that?
The money is prompting kids in high school to use steroids. If you are a junior in high school and are throwing a fastball in the high 80's and maybe even low 90's more than likely the summer before your senior year you will be on some select team traveling to play in tournaments. This offers a lot of exposure for young talent but also offers time away from parents where temptation lies. All it takes is for someone to tell this young teenager about the millions some senior (who could throw in the upper 90's) just signed for. And to tell the junior that this senior was just like him last summer until he took steroids. That is a lottery ticket waiting to be cashed in.
Where will it end? My opinion is that it needs to end with the big signing bonuses. Instead pay them a good annual salary or even spend the money on healthier post game foods. And when a player gets caught taking steroids or performance enhancers they are out. That is it, no three strikes just one. There is plenty of young players waiting to make a name for themselves. Give them a chance. Keep the millions at the pro level and make them pay a price for cheating.