Originally Posted by UrbanMeyer
I completely understand where texasdave, Kilgore, and JB are coming from. It is truly difficult to grasp a situation where an athlete would accidently take PEDs twice. After all, these players are adults and this is their profession. They should be able to take responsibility for what they put into their bodies.
My argument is the second offense. Assuming an individual knowingly took a banned substance the first time, then somehow tested positive for elevated levels of testosterone (which can happen naturally, though rare) or a banned substance that they may not have been entirely aware of taking. Is it fair to this person to be banned from baseball FOR LIFE over a possible accident? I don't think so. We can argue that he was wrong for knowingly taking a banned substance the first time... because he was. But can we really blame someone for doing so when they feel their performance might be lacking while competitors could be gaining a competitive advantage illegally? Like we have established, this game is their livelihood. Therefore they are going to strive to be the best they can be.
I feel that baseball is doing their part and doing it well. They just passed legislation to increase in-season testing for all players. While there maybe issues with enforcement for some, there is no doubting that the game is MUCH cleaner now than it was not even a decade ago.
I respect your persistence in defending your argument. I acknowledge your points, and understand where you are coming from.
I think after a first offense, the player should be hyper-vigilant in knowing exactly what they are taking. I've never heard of a player getting busted for having naturally high levels of testosterone, although I do understand how this could happen (albeit highly highly unlikely).
And regarding your question that I bolded above--I think we can absolutely blame a player for cheating, regardless of the circumstances. As you mentioned, the league has cracked down on this and testing will be provided to each player next year, therefore this shouldn't be happening at all (and if it is, it will be caught). But I think a player who cheats, in order to keep with the crowd, is just as guilty as anyone else. That seems harsh, I know, but I don't see any other way to articulate that point of view.