Case Assignment: Module 3 Alex Rodriguez Daniel P. Velasquez ETH 301, Business Ethics June 20, 2010 The purpose of this essay is to discuss if Alex Rodriguez should be banned from baseball. I will present some arguments about the use of anabolic steroids in sports, and respond to these arguments by showing that the reason for banning steroids is not always as clear as it seems. Here is some brief background on Anabolic steroids before we start in on A-Rod . Anabolic steroids are drugs derived from the male hormone testosterone.
Steroids are used by some athletes to enhance muscle mass, steroids also help to repair tissue and reduce the athletes workouts and competitions. One example of an athlete using a steroid to promote healing was baseball’s Matt Lawton, who after injecting boldenone to heal a shoulder injury, tested positive for steroids (Antonen, 2006). Thus, anabolic steroids, like multi-vitamins and caffeine, are a kind of performance enhancing drug. They are usually effective only when used in combination with extensive training and workouts (Antonen, 2005).
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Some side effects that men might experience are jaundice, baldness, and aggravate heart problems, infertility, and permanent liver damage. Some side effects in women are similar, and also include development of a deep voice and increased body hair. The side effects differ from person to person and the duration vs the amout taken over a period of time. For these and a number of other reasons, use of anabolic steroids is taken to be morally wrong and is prohibited in almost every sport and at every competitive level.
Here are some standard arguments against the use of anabolic steroids in baseball, as I see it. The first argument is based on unnaturalness. The general form of this argument is the use of anabolic steroids in sports is unnatural; therefore, use of anabolic steroids ought to be prohibited. If this argument means “anabolic steroids are unnatural substances, therefore use of them ought to be prohibited,” it is not sound, since the explicit premise is false and the assumed premise unjustified.
The explicit premise is false, since anabolic steroids are derived from the male hormone testosterone, which is of course a natural substance. On this criterion, there would seem to be no more reason to prohibit anabolic steroids than, say, Gatorade or multi-vitamins. The assumed premise, ‘use of unnatural substances ought to be prohibited’, also seems unjustified, since it seems absurd to think that, for example, football helmets and nautilus equipment, both unnatural “substances,” ought to be prohibited.
If the arguments means the athletes who use anabolic steroids are unnatural or abnormal; therefore use of these substances ought to be prohibited, is also not sound, since the assumed premise, ‘if the athletes who use anabolic steroids are abnormal or unnatural, then use of anabolic steroids ought to be prohibited’ seems unjustified. Of course the athletes who use these drugs are unnatural or abnormal, though they are so simply in virtue of being able to perform feats that few of us can perform.
Sometimes this argument is taken to indicate something about the purity of sports. The nature of sports is that it is a competition to determine which athlete has developed, through hard work, dedication, persistence, and the other athletic virtues, his or her skills to the utmost; however, use of anabolic steroids allows those who use them to win competitions without developing his or her skills to the utmost; therefore, use of these drugs ought to be prohibited (Quinn, 2006). But the second premise is false.
Use of anabolic steroids, like use of multi-vitamins, does not enable one to become a “Superathlete”. These drugs work, to the extent that they do, only when combined with hard work, dedication, persistence, and the exercise of other athletic virtues (Rosenthal, 2005). But if the nature of sports is that it is a competition to determine which athlete has developed his or her skills to the utmost, perhaps use of anabolic steroids frustrates such a determination, since the user/hard worker may have an unfair advantage over the mere hard worker Quinn, 2005). Let’s call this argument against the use of anabolic steroids the “Argument from Unfair Advantage”. The general form of this argument is the following: use of anabolic steroids gives the user an unfair advantage over non-users; therefore, use of them ought to be prohibited. A different reason to think that the premise is true is that, if use of anabolic steroids were allowed, athletes who would use them would have an advantage over those who would not. This might be true, but it does not itself tell us why that would be an unfair advantage.
It is permissible in professional baseball for a pitcher to get daily massages in order to help his pitching arm muscles recover more quickly, and this pitcher has an advantage over another pitcher who, because of a lack of time, location or finances, cannot receive daily massages. But it is not clear why this fact alone means that the first athlete has an unfair advantage over the second—or, at least it is not clear why this fact alone means that the first athlete does not have an unfair advantage that is sufficient to warrant a prohibition against daily massages.
Now that I have briefed a little on steroids on to A-Rod. Should he be banned from baseball? Does he not deserve a second chance to prove himself, all other players have been given the opportunity. When it comes to a player that has a chance of breaking some of the most historic records in baseball I believe fans don’t want to forgive. Alex apologized and realized he made a mistake morally he did the wrong thing and should be forgiven. Steroids and PED’s have tarnished all of baseball and should not just be focused on one player.
Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, and Rafael Palmero just to name a few contributed greatly to the steroids era. How do we know who slipped through the cracks? What about Pete Rose who is banned for life for gambling on baseball? He is baseballs hits leader and fans and former players have forgiven him. The problem with Rose though involves the current commissioner Bud Selig. I believe he holds a grudge against Pete Rose and just wants to make a name for himself and his legacy as commissioner. So, these are some of my arguments on why A-Rod should not be banned.
He was not the first or the last to use steroids. He acknowledges his mistakes and has apologized. Steroids when used properly have medical value to help speed up the recovery process. If you are going to ban A-Rod for life from baseball then everyone else who has tested positive should be banned also but baseball will not do that because too many big names will be exposed. On the other hand it is cheating and if Pete Rose is banned for life for gambling then why not ban players who used PED’s.