Players who cheat

The sanctions of 13 baseball players who doped to improve their performance are another sad chapter in the recent national history of sports. The heroes who set an example yesterday are the cheaters to be condemned today.

Somehow, professional sports reflect today’s society, in which individual success is valued at all costs and being number one is extolled no matter what. In this world, known secrets include the cyclist who won the Tour de France several times, the baseball player who broke records and the athlete who won numerous Olympic medals. The media’s focus on achieving success collapses when faced with the deep disappointment of idols who turn out to have feet of clay.

Being suspended for doping is a punishment these baseball players deserve. But many others share the responsibility.

The players are the ones responsible for using stimulants. However, their surroundings—including their union and the teams—cover up these illegal actions by looking the other way. As long as everyone makes money, cheating and players damaging their health do not matter.

The authorities of Major League Baseball are now trying to impose order, after turning a blind eye for a long time to the steroids that invaded this sport. It is better late than never; but to truly wipe out doping, punishments must be exemplary.

For instance, it is important for the penalty to have a significantly impact on the team of the player who is doping. That way, organizations will focus on prevention instead of considering it part of the unwritten rules of the game.

Today, maybe more than ever, illegal temptations are available to improve sports performance, with the potential to earn attractive millions. In that environment, the heroes to be emulated are not always the ones who stand out the most, but the ones who don’t cheat.