Steen with an interesting question:
Matty offers the low-five:
SSI finds the question commendable. I totally agree that the torch-and-pitchfork media lynchings on steroids is hypocritical and unfair. The level of ostracism that McGwire and Sosa have received is laughably out of proportion. I don't know what repressed angst the crusaders have lurking, but it isn't about steroids per se, I know that.
Dr. D does quibble with the word "arbitrary", mayhaps...
Ultimately, the FDA and similar federal agencies decide whether Lasik vs. roids vs marijuana are okay or not.
Not sure how it could be otherwise, in a democracy -
Certainly human oversight committees are subject to error. But the alternatives to U.S.-style republics, those pile up the negatives associated rather quickly :- )
The FDA's decisions are certainly subject to debate, but don't know if I'd use the term "arbitrary." Fortunately, where we live, the government is subject to checks and balances.
As respects MLB's own decisions on what is okay or not within the realm of "legal," that's a tougher question, granted. Right now MLB is *not* under fire for being too INtolerant of substances. Rather, they're being told, tighten it up or we'll tighten it up for you.
Bill James, as so often, waded into the steroids brawl with a shocking argument that steroids are (or will be) actually good for you -- that they slow down aging, and that in fighting them, MLB is putting itself in a position it cannot possibly win, long-term. 50 years from now, saith the Founding Father, we'll look back on this argument like the 1950's argument that a freshman football player ought to be thrown out of school for drinking coffee.
Perhaps true in the most abstract sense, but have you ever googled "dangers of steroids"? Read an article or two and it's a cup of cold water in the face.
This may not apply to the supplements that Steen was referring to, but health problems associated with steroids ... Addiction, aggression, high blood pressure and stroke, heart attack, prostrate enlargement, liver toxicity, enlargement of the heart, etc etc.
In this case it seems there is a reason that the doctors want many PED's to be dispensed by prescription only.
James' reply, we're sure, would be that the day will come when anti-aging drugs and PED's will have health benefits that outweigh the risks.
I don't doubt that this is true, but also don't doubt that there are substantial reasons that many PED's are controlled substances.
Lasik, like weightlifting and wheatgrass, comes with few dangers associated and so it's fine for athletes to better themselves with these. What I'm wondering is why some hitter doesn't fit himself with 3x mag hi-contrast goggles and revolutionize hitting :- )