A good Comeback Story: Doping Edition
I spoke about some of the biggest doping scandals yesterday and how many talented athletes got themselves entangled in a mess that they probably did not need to in other to excel in their fields.
The fallout from doping can be quite severe if caught. There is obviously no place for cheats in professional sports and the repercussions are can be extreme.
Of course the consequences are dependent on several factors such as the motive behind the PED, frequency of use and extent to which athletes benefit from their use of such said drugs. For instance while an Athlete like Justin Gatlin was allowed to come back from a four year ban after testing positive to Testosterone.
However, it is highly unlikely that an athlete like Lance Armstrong would have been given the chance for a comeback given the duration of his denials, titles won on the back of the PEDs and a general dishonesty towards the public.
Forgiveness in these scenarios are quite difficult, and very unlikely. When an athlete is caught for doping it could mean the end of not just their career, but any shot of an opportunity at noticeable financial success. The public wants to hear none of it, quickly moving on from an idolized cheat to the next available person.
Many athletes who doped all but accept their fates after some time and some may spend their lives trying to make up for the sins of the past in one form or the other. Some open up on their experiences and teach life lessons, while others try to mentor kids into making the right kind of choices as potential athletes. While all very commendable, What are the chances of a proven doper from being reaccepted by once loving fans.
The first call for every proven PED user is to have them pay for committing such an offense. For this there is no negotiation, especially for those who take such drugs knowingly and with intent to cheat. Having them face punishment for such mistakes helps keep the system functioning.
For some their athletic bodies already have a list of drugs to stay off as well as consequences for going against the ethics of their given sport. Fans can get emotionally involved to the extent that they feel personally cheated when their favorite athlete cheats.
Time Heals All Wounds
After some time however, the onus is left on the athlete to Pick up the pieces and rebuild. It becomes less painful for supporters and a few of them are even willing to forgive.
Tim Montgomery has been trying to piece his life back together since being released from prison. This he has done with some level of success and increasing effort from those around him.
Doping allegations may be severe, but there is an opportunity to always make amends no matter how grieve our offences are. The important thing is the willingness of the athletes themselves to seek forgiveness and retribution, refusing to be defined by past mistakes.
I wish there were more leagues where these guys could still use PED and that be the common ground. I completely get the desire to keep the substances out of sports in general but at the same time I'd be interested to see a league where officials were supportive of the concept. Everyone was on the same playing field because they were all doing whatever was possible for the edge.