Last updated on: 4/6/2018 | Author:

Fred Bowen, JD Biography

Author and KidsPost's Sports Columnist for the Washington Post
Con to the question "Should Performance-Enhancing Drugs Be Accepted in Sports?"

“Steroids are illegal. But unlike other sports, MLB [Major League Baseball] does not test its players to see if they are taking so-called performance-enhancing drugs.

In my opinion, MLB has to start testing its players for steroids. I will give you three good reasons why:

The players. Steroids are dangerous. They can hurt a player’s heart, liver and other parts of his body. Some doctors also think players are tearing more tendons and ligaments because their bulked-up muscles have gotten too big for their bodies.

And no one knows for sure how steroids may affect a player’s health over the long run. Players may be risking their lives for a chance to be bigger and stronger today.

The game. Like millions of fans, I love baseball. But I’m afraid that fans will start losing interest if they suspect that all the star players are juiced on steroids — that many of those 500-foot home runs and 100-mile-per-hour fastballs are, well, rigged. Other sports — such as bicycle racing and track and field — are losing fans because so many of their athletes are coming up ‘dirty’ (testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs such as steroids).

These are good reasons, but I’ve saved the best reason for last.

Kids. Millions of kids still dream about playing in the major leagues. They have posters of Nomar Garciaparra, Barry Bonds and Randy Johnson on their bedroom walls. MLB is setting the worst possible example and sending the worst possible message to kids by doing nothing about steroid use. Baseball is telling kids that they may have to take dangerous and illegal drugs if they want to reach their dreams of playing in the big leagues.

It is time for MLB and the players to step up to the plate and do the right thing: Test for steroids. Catch the cheaters. Clean up the sport. If not for the players themselves, if not for the game, then for the kids.”

“It’s a Dangerous Game,” Washington Post, June 7, 2002

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Columnist, “The Score” column, KidsPost’s Sports page, Washington Post, Apr. 14, 2000-present
  • Former attorney, US Department of Labor
  • JD, George Washington University Law School
  • BA, History, University of Pennsylvania, 1975
  • Born on Aug. 3, 1953 in Marblehead, MA
Quoted in:
  1. Should Baseball Players Who Have Used Banned Substances Be Voted into the Hall of Fame?
  2. Should the Teammates of Athletes Who Are Found Guilty of Using Performance-Enhancing Drugs in the Olympics Also Return Their Medals?