It’s a shockingly regular occurrence, an MLB superstar busted using “performance enhancing drugs”. This time it was Philadelphia catcher and fan favorite Carlos Ruiz.
Ruiz failed his second test for amphetamines, more specifically Adderall.
Adderall is a drug commonly prescribed to people that suffer from ADHD or those with difficulty focusing on tasks. It is mostly used illegally by college kids looking to get an edge in a cram session but it’s also pretty common among athletes too. Weslye Saunders of the Pittsburgh Steelers was suspended four games this season for the same offense.
Doctors say it’s a performance enhancer and the major sports leagues agree.
The question is whether Ruiz should be suspended or not, he obviously should. The rules are clear and he violated them… twice.
The real question is what exactly is a performance enhancing substance? Just illegal narcotics? Misused prescriptions? Steroids?
I’m sure everyone would say those are performance enhancers. They would probably be right.
But what about those things that aren’t illegal? Those things that give a certain group of players a pretty pronounced advantage.
I’m talking about Tommy John Surgery specifically.
The general consensus these days is that Tommy John Surgery is nearly always successful. That doesn’t mean the player goes on to be a successful pitcher, that still depends on his ability amongst other things, just like those who use steroids.
Doctors also claim Tommy John Surgery makes the recipient stronger.
So a highly successful surgery that also increases what guys get out of their arms? That sounds exactly like a performance enhancer.
There have been rumblings about this before, but Tommy John surgery is not only becoming a potentially attractive option for student athletes, it’s aiding in the abuse of arms by college and high school coaches.
If you want to ban a performance enhancer, don’t look only to the pills, look to those enhancers that are done with a scalpel as well.