Friday, August 7, 2009

Here Comes Trouble

It might have fallen on deaf ears to some because basketball is not a very great product these days, but yesterday Rashard Lewis was suspended 10 games next season for testing positive for a banned supplement during the playoffs this spring. This might just be the tip of the iceberg for the NBA, and will probably lead to questions about other sports as well.

The NBA is not necessarily a league where you need to be the strongest person in the world. Speed and shooting accuracy supplant strength in terms of importance for a lot of players. Guys like Allen Iverson, Earl Boykins, Mugsey Bogues and Spud Webb have been able to make their mark on the NBA without having size or strength. Because of this I think it has always been assumed that steroids were not really necessary in the NBA.

However, there have been 9 positive PED tests in the NBA in the past 20 years or so. Therefore, some players are benefiting from the use of these drugs. Moreover, I think that the use of these is probably more rampant than we think, as was the case in baseball. Personally, several players stand out to me as guys who EASILY could have been taking performance enhancing drugs. The appearances of Karl Malone, Alonzo Mourning, Ben Wallace, Dwight Howard leave a lot of questions to be answered to me.

Basketball may just be the beginning too. If people are taking drugs in basketball, then for all we know they could be in other sports like tennis, golf, hockey, etc. We may never know just how rampant steroid use has been since it appears to be on the decline. But with positive tests appearing in a sport like basketball, my guess is that there is a lot out there that we don't know about.

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