In your opinion, are professional wrestling entities taking an active enough role in curbing substance abuse and steroid use amongst athletes? —Sergio Pantsios, Bladensburg
Any moment now, if he hasn’t already done so by the time you read this, Barry Bonds will break Hank Aaron’s home run record. Sure, it takes a certain level of hand-eye coordination to strike a baseball. But that extra body mass will help the ball go farther. Over at the Tour de France, officials are hoping Michael Rasmussen will not win the race, since he has a history of noncompliance with the governing body’s testing policies. Sean Sherk became the third UFC champion to test positive for steroids; blood was drawn right before his July 7 title defense against Hermes Franca (who also tested positive). And Gary Player says he’s seen steroid use on the PGA Tour. I didn’t see that one coming. What’s next—late-night poker players?
Pro wrestling is under serious scrutiny at the moment, rightfully so. Is it doing enough? No. There have been several deaths in the past 10 years that show telltale signs of steroid and painkiller abuse. In all of these sports, those with exaggerated or enhanced physiques are typically rewarded with the best positions in their field. UFC training is incredibly demanding, and fighters are injured while training. Their careers are short by nature, and prime positions are few. When stakes are high, and athletes see their peers disregarding the drug and doping bylaws, some simply follow suit. Endorsement deals, status, big salaries—there’s a lot to be gained. Magazine covers are doctored so subjects appear not as people but as re at the moment. It’s not hard to point the finger at wrestling, but sports and entertainment as a whole have to be questioned. —Bob Mould