Baseball: What causes illegal drug use in America’s sport?

Nothing is better than sitting in your favourite ball park on a hot sunny day and watching your favourite team play, a hot dog in one hand and a beer in another. Baseball is America’s sport.

Fans scream at every foul ball, and every home run. They sport is symbolic of American culture, and because of this, baseball players feel the pressure to perform.

In the Unites States, baseball has the largest number of cases – thirty-nine – of illegal drug use by players, the most recent doping scandal involving New York Yankee Alex Rodriguez, also known as A-Rod, and his connection to an anti-aging clinic in South Florida. Due to his connection to the clinic, Rodriguez was given a 211-game ban.

Rodriguez was not the only one linked to this scandal; at least 15 other MLB baseball players were linked to and punished for their involvement.

The pressure felt by baseball players to perform comes from everywhere. From managers, agents, promoters, advertisers, their team, fans, commentators … the weight of the country is felt on their shoulders. Athletes only have a short time to show the country their best work, and if they perform well they can earn a lot of money and fame. As reported by Craig Freudenrich and Kevin P. Allen, athletes send the message to the public that, “training is the best path to victory.” However, athletes are aware that “some drugs and other practices can boost their efforts and give them a shortcut, even as they risk their health and their athletic careers.”

This pressure can prove to be too much for some baseball players. Along with the overwhelming pressure, baseball players may also feel the need to use performance enhancing drugs to relax, to relieve stress and enhance their self-confidence.

With America watching them, they find a way to ensure that they perform at the highest possible level.

After all, they play the sport of America.

Shea Thomson

Journalism student, and future Sports Broadcast Journalist, with a passion for the beautiful game of soccer.

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