Kindred’s Special: Drug Use in Sports

It never ceases to amaze me that the whole issue of drug abuse in chess centered around an attempt to introduce chess team play as an Olympic sport. It is the old adage: Once you open Pandora’s Box, beware what you unleash!

Really, I think the only pills that might affect the brain for chess is something like vitamin B-12, and herbs like Ginko biloba extract, Hawthorne, Gotu Kola, Billberry and Rosemary extracts probably with a few extras tossed in. These might tend to aid concentration and alertness in strategic and tactical motifs. But to suggest that these items should be illegal because they enhance brain functions just as milk, vegetables, fruit and other dietary needs for health are absurd.

American cultural society is fast becoming defunct if not already in the tank. A perfect example is the baseball humbug of players using enhanced drugs that build bodies to abnormal levels enabling great leaps forward in breaking all kinds of records. And this is not only baseball but I suspect is part of American sport today across the board.

The national desire for instant gratification, of great leaps in performance, of record-breaking statistics, of mammoth home runs into the upper deck, of players reaching new levels of speed on the base paths, of possible extension of player longevity into their 40s in the pro leagues maintaining top performances is perhaps the one major reason why baseball continues to be an American dream of youth from tots to elders who keep young with such dreams of past memories and present exhaltations of events taking place on the field. And what about umpires who widen the strike zone for certain pitchers? TV really nails them cold and plays where a 2nd base is not actually touched in creating a double-play at times. Close enough should not count. It demeans the game and it also tells kids that cheating is really not so bad if it wins.

 The crux of my debate herein is that we as a people, of our institutional structure for ever advancing greatness in results of our favorite teams, has labeled unjustly the use of such enhancement drugs as criminal if not unsportsmanlike behavior being put on the shoulders of our athletic heroes. It also disturbs me that congregional investigation of these charges is wasted in the halls of our Congressional committees who care more about brownie points while appearing on TV with their holier than thou attitudes to investigate wrongdoing in baseball when everyone has known for years that something stunk in BASEBALL so-to-speak.

But was it only Baseball? I challenge that. Just look at FOOTBALL with the enormous size of some of these players, the great exceleration by many as they race down the field after negotiating through the defense and or carrying two or three defenders several feet before being brought down. How some of these guys cover the yardage they do today is amazing if one goes back and examines games played years ago.

How about BASKETBALL? Years ago a player was called for walking, for touching any part of the body other than slapping a hand that held the ball by an opponent. Today we see players dribble, run three strides, jump, come down and then jump again to slam dunk the ball in the hoop. Really? When I played basketball, that was illegal!! and the whistle was sure to blow that one dead. And we have the scandal of referees aiding gamblers to affect point spread and unjustly affecting the possible result of wins and losses of pro and college teams.

Probably Umpires and Referees are more guilty and the sport establishment more loose with the rules that only make some form of player behavior more acceptable to give excuses namely: “Because it is wide spread and to be able to compete, I have to do it too.”

Finally we return to chess. Years ago it was thought that chess was the only game where the truth of a result lay on the board. That was the supposed code chessplayers lived by. But it was also false. Over the years, games were arranged, they were falsified, prearranged draws to guarantee prizes for both player or where one was paid off for throwing a game to a prize winner. Now it has even entered the realm of computer chess, of listening devices, of bathroom skullduggeries that malign character and throw what should be great matches into the cesspool of chess life.

But should I suggest that the cause of these go to the heart of a mental condition based upon liberalism of thought that only results matter–not character, good sportsmanship and generalship, or respect to honor our love for the sport or interest we hold dear in our hearts.

Human nature is in many ways evil and good. One comedian noted that SAINTS no longer exist today because they of old heard voices and did not have the drugs that would treat such insanity in today’s societies or words to that effect. Perhaps there is much truth in her worded attempt to be funny.

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