VIGILANT IN POLICING
The list of users of performance—enhancing drugs (PEDs) is long and covers a surprising number of sports. The users of PEDs in baseball, cycling, and track and field are probably the best known. People such as Jose Canseco, Rafael Palmiero, Floyd Landis, Ben Johnson, and Marion Jones are more famous now because of their PED use. However, other people, such as Arnold Schwarzenegger (body—building) and Chris Benoit (WWE wrestling), have also made headlines with their PED use. Other leagues, like the NFL, have a fairly long history with PED use, and some have even suspected NASCAR drivers of using PEDs. Retired NHL “tough guy” Georges Laraque (2011) claims in his recent autobiography that PED use has also been prevalent in the NHL.
There are a number of arguments against PED use that are probably not new to the reader but set the stage for our myth. The myth is not about the effects of PEDs, but rather that somehow the onus is on team owners to do something about it. One argument has it that fans view some ways of gaining competitive advantage as valid and others as invalid. Training 24/7/365, specialized diet regimens, hyperbaric chambers, and traveling to acclimate are valid. Chemical enhancement is not. The cause and reasoning of this distinction may vary from fan to fan, but according to this argument, leagues that turn away from PED enforcement are messing with the primal force in sport, the fans, and put the economic value of their leagues at risk. In a New York Times column, Buzz Bissinger (2005) put it this way for baseball, “[T]he true villains are baseball’s owners, greedy and feckless