Comment: Allowing performance enhancing drugs will level the playing field
Such arguments may seem galling to fans who delude themselves into believing that sports are beholden to some rubric of purity or grace. In the words of the conservative commentator George Will, “Sport should be the triumph of character, openly tested, not of technology, surreptitiously employed.”
Yet there exists no arena of unadulterated virtuousness to permit for such tests of character. As soon as an athlete lifts a dumbbell, or puts on a ball cap to shield himself from the sun’s blinding rays, he becomes in some respect augmented by technology. It’s the wishful thinking of should be that sees athletes like Colabello (or, more recently, Florida Marlins second baseman Dee Gordon) railroaded for keeping pace with their competitors. The ritual of public shaming and excommunication is now part of the spectacle of pro sports — with scandalized, scapegoated cheaters conspicuously cast to the side, re-purifying the sport by virtue of their exclusion.