"The strongest point on the side arguing against drugs in sports was the effect allowing performance enhancers would have on youth athletes. But the counterpoint to that, while slightly simple and unrealistic, was education. Much like alcohol, we teach children the pros and cons of using and allow them to make an educated decision on whether to partake when they become adults. Now, of course it's not a black and white issue and there will never be an easy answer.That's disappointing to read that Pound apparently (important qualifier) didn't bring more to the table than to say "against da rules" like he was the goalie in Slap Shot.
But while in this debate the arguments against drug use were stale, the arguments for it were fresh, researched, and made me think twice about what I came into the debate believing, which was that PEDs should not be allowed in sports.
"Surprisingly, the weakest arguments came from Pound who repeatedly used the 'it's against the rules and it's unethical' point. The highlight of the evening for me came when, as a 'respected' member of the media I was allowed to ask a question of the panel. Naturally, I chose Pound and asked him if, taking the legal issues out of it, he saw a difference between an athlete using PEDs to stay in the game and an actress getting cosmetic surgery and Botox injections to stay in the movies.
"His response was 'You're an idiot.' Well, not really. But it may as well have been. He sidestepped the question, showing such contempt for me that you'd think I had personally sold crack to his kids. He refused to address the issue directly, and instead rambled on about it being against the rules.
"Not satisfied, I pressed further. 'So what you’re saying is that if it were not against the rules, you would have no ethical problem with an athlete using steroids?' I asked. 'No, I would not,' he replied." (Emphasis mine.)
In all honestly, a common visceral response has been to side with Pound when he goes all high dudgeon on the pro sports establishments and their carnival clowns in the media (especially the ones with a preference for high collars) start hammering away at him as someone who's out of touch. However, after reading Schorno's piece, it seems like there's a point. Society's at a point where saying something is against the rules doesn't cut much ice, no matter what kind of mantle you have in the sports world.
(There's no word if the the debate featured Eddie Izzard doing his comedy bit about the Stoned Olympics.)
Debate recap: Should PEDS be allowed in sports? (Sarah Schorno, SportingNews.com)