CHEATING IS BAD, MMMMKAY?
Throughout sports history there have been many cheaters. Regardless what sport you are discussing, there are at least a handful of notable athletes that were accused of, or proven to be, cheating. Many of which are still fondly remembered as some of the very best in their sport.
Most sports fans will hear an accusation of cheating and immediately condemn the athlete accused as if the claim was supported by irrefutable evidence. Many times no one pays attention to the outcome of the investigation as the athlete is already considered guilty.
IF YOU AREN’T CHEATING, YOU AREN’T TRYING
It can be easy to take the high road of an infallible human being, but most of those that do, are far from perfect themselves. If you shift your perspective, you may be able to relate to the motivations of the cheating athlete.
Those motivations can vary widely, but often they stem from something noble like wanting to support your family, helping their struggling team, or achieving personal milestones. Those are all goal worthy achievements. Once a competitive person gets a goal in their sights, success can become like a drug. Lines may be crossed to obtain the drug.
By changing your perspective to one of understanding and compassion, you might be able to find a silver lining in the actions of the athlete. They obviously care deeply about something, and will stop at nothing to achieve it. As a fan of competition, even if you cannot condone the actions themselves, surely you can appreciate the motivations.
THESE GUYS CHEATED…AND IT’S OK
Here are five MLB players that cheated at some point in their career, and it has not really tarnished their legacy as some of the best to ever play the game. We still manage to recount the ups their careers had, instead of dwelling on the incredible lows of being caught.
Andy Pettitte (P)
Pettitte, a pitcher for the New York Yankees, admitted to using HGH (Human Growth Hormone) during the 2002 and 2004 season. This substance is banned by most professional sports, and is considered a performance enhancing drug. Pettitte claimed he used it to assist him in returning from injury.
Alex Rodriguez (SS/3B)
Alex Rodriguez played both SS and 3B in his career and played for the Seattle Mariners, Texas Rangers, and New York Yankees. Rodriguez admitted to taking Primobolan, or “Boli”, which is an anabolic steroid. By his own admission this took place from 2001-2003. He also tested high for testosterone in 2003.
Sammy Sosa (RF)
Sammy Sosa was a power hitter for the Chicago Cubs. During the middle of his career Sosa went on a run that is on par with some of the best power hitter seasons in baseball history. He was caught using a corked bat during the 2003 season against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Sosa had also reportedly tested positive for a banned substance in 2003, but what substance exactly, is not clear.
Albert Belle (RF/DH)
Albert Belle was one of the most feared power hitters of the mid-1990’s. Belle played for the Cleveland Indians, Chicago White Sox, and the Baltimore Orioles throughout his career. In 1994 Belle was caught using a corked bat, and then went on to get caught replacing the confiscated bat with another due to using one with another player’s name on it.
Barry Bonds (LF)
Most of the allegations against Barry Bonds are unproven, but there is an overwhelming amount of circumstantial evidence and when coupled with Bond’s being charged with perjury, it is widely accepted that he did in fact use performance enhancing substances. In 2001, when Bonds hit 73 home runs, it is believed that he was on a complicated cycle of several substances and steroids.