In professional sports, survival of the fittest determines who wins and who loses, competition is intense. That is why every victory is regarded as a milestone and is accompanied with praise. However, it seems that every victory today is over-shadowed by the possibility of cheating.
Whether it is local, state or national sports, cheating is everywhere. Referees can be bribed, games can be fixed, and bets can be manipulated, but cheating can also be through the fault of players. Performance enhancing drugs such as steroids have been the most problematic forms of cheating in professional sports because they are the most utilized. Undoubtedly, there are frequent drug tests to identify these performance enhancing drugs, but some of them are able to slip under the radar.
For example, on January 18, 2013 Lance Armstrong confessed in an Oprah interview that he had used performance enhancing drugs for years during the course of his cycling career. Travis Tygart, chief executive of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, was shocked to hear this information and in a response interview to Armstrong’s confession, he stated, “His admission that he doped throughout his career is a small step in the right direction. But if he is sincere in his desire to correct his past mistakes, he will testify under oath about the full extent of his doping activities.”
These were dark times for Armstrong as several International Committees asked him to return numerous medals and awards. What the public really wanted to know was how he managed to get away with cheating for so long. Armstrong admitted to using a system called “out-of-competition doping” to keep his blood clean enough during testing at races.
Other instances of cheating have been exposed over the years. More recently, the Patriots have been found to use deflated in footballs which manipulate how they are gripped by players and how easily they fly through the air. Moreover, in baseball, the Spit Ball technique is when the pitcher applies saliva to the ball to make it easier for him to pitch the ball.
Evidently, cheating is rampant in professional sports but why is it so? In truth, everyone is willing to go through any means to be the best. Going back to the idea of competition, professional sports are so cutthroat that players feel the need to gain the upper hand by cheating. When a good diet or intensive exercise regime is not good enough, cheating is the last resort, or in some cases, the first.