After the Mitchell Report that named Roger Clemens as a player that took performance enhancing drugs, Roger went on '60 Minutes' to emphatically deny the results from the Report. Roger Clemens is also suing his longtime trainer Brian McNamee, who told the Mitchell Report that he injected Clemens with the drugs, for defamation.
Whether you believe Clemens or McNamee, there is a bigger issue that we should look at. All of the baseball purists are upset that Clemens supposedly cheated. But during the mid to late 1990's, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Barry Bonds and many others 'home run explosion', no one seemed to care about the steroid issue. It was baseball's version of 'don't ask, don't tell'.
If you look at all of the baseball players from the mid-1990's to present day, it's crazy how many of those players make the list for the All-time Single Season Home Run Leaders.
Now I don't want to single professional baseball out as pro football is just as bad. You can test positive for drugs and after (maybe) a 4 game suspension you can play the rest of the season and still be eligible for the Pro Bowl (ie. San Diego Chargers Shawne Merriman).
We need to look at the governing bodies of these sports and find out why they are easily letting drugs into their sports. Baseball, after their strike in 1994, started to see a major decrease in their attendance records. Once the home runs starting flying, especially in 1998, the fans came back and baseball started to make more money. So, major league baseball, as a business, seemed to worry more about revenue then drug allegations.
Now let's look at what's being promoted on TV. One of the biggest revenue entertainment shows is World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). These larger than life characters in a known steroid business are being viewed by millions of people every week. And now the American Gladiators show is back.
It's getting a little out of control.
The blame for steroid use definitely starts with the athletes themselves that make a choice to use. With all of its flaws, I applaud Track & Field since they have the newest and most strict testing policies, but a month can't go by with a new track athlete testing positive for performance enhancers. It goes to show that some athletes will do whatever it takes to have an edge in any sport.
Children growing up look up to these stars and want to emulate them. Over a year ago some of the top athletes in their sport who were loved by young fans who someday wished to grow up and be them were Marion Jones, Justin Gatlin, Chris Benoit, Roger Clemens, Shawne Merriman, Rodney Harrison, etc. The list can go on and on.
As a coach, this is disturbing and frustrating, but it also motivates me. We all need to work harder to get the message across to our athletes.
Let's go back to the basics and teach the fundamentals. There is no instant success or any shortcuts. It will take hard work, but if your athletes trust you, they know it will pay off.
Let's train our athletes with a strong system that will show improvements so they will not have to find other ways to get better.
Let's focus on youth development, mentally and physically. Athletes sometimes feel pressure to be the best, and it doesn't always come from within. Supporting them is crucial.
Let's ensure that our athletes will reach their full potential by giving them the best possible training programs.
Let's put the responsibility back on us, the coaches, parents and mentors of today's youth athletes and give them all of the information and support they need to make the right decision for themselves.
Sorry for my rant.
Yours in speed,
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