Drugs: Hurt Players and Sports

Michael Smoak Professor Rudolph English 101 15 November 1996

Brett Favre, Diego Maradona, and Darryl Strawberry are all big name
sport stars. They all play different sports, but all have the same problem:
they tested positive for using illegal drugs. Cocaine, anabolic steroids, and
painkillers are just a sample of drugs found in sports. Cocaine is described
this way, “It makes you feel like you can do anything, and for athletes who
long to be in control all the time, that\'s a strong temptation” (Coffey 1).
Anabolic-androgenic steroids are synthetic forms of hormones that produce muscle
faster (Rozin 176). Over fifty percent of the players in the National
Football League are weekend or recreational users of cocaine (Burwell 1) .
Forty-four Olympians have been caught with steroid use since 1972 (Corelli 28).
Through Favre\'s painkillers, Strawberry\'s and Maradona\'s cocaine, one can see
that drugs hurt the athletes as well as the sport.
First Brett Favre, who was the Most Valuable Player in the National
Football League last season, entered a drug abuse center for his addiction to
Vicodin, a very strong painkiller (Plummer 129 ). Favre had problems because
of Vicodin. Favre suffered a seizure in February while in surgery to repair a
broken bone. The seizure resulted from the abuse of the painkiller (Howard 1).
Favre states, “I went to Topeka, because the pills had gotten the best of me”
( qtd. in Plummer 129). Favre\'s daughter Brittany asked his wife Deanna, “Is
he going to die?” (qtd. in Plummer 129). He not only scared himself but his
family as well. Favre not has to submit up to ten urine tests a month. His
losses were internal as well. “It is kind of embarrassing,” says Favre; “I
will do whatever it takes” (qtd. in Plummer 133). He spent several weeks in
rehabilitation but was not be fined or suspended. If caught again his charge
will be a four game suspension with loss of pay.
Another famous athlete, Diego Maradona, was once considered the most
skilled soccer player in the world. Now he is considered a loser. Maradona
was banned from international soccer play for testing positive for cocaine.
Shortly after that, he was arrested for cocaine possession (Longman 1). The
fifteen month suspension ended in time for Maradona to play in the 1994 World
Cup. He was then caught with five illegal drugs in his system. One doctor
called it a “cocktail drug" (Sports Illustrated 10). He was then kicked out of
the World Cup. “This latest behavior will no doubt further damage Maradona\'s
already sagging reputation, "said U. S. soccer team member Claudia Reyna
(Longman 1). Drugs hurt Maradona\'s health and reputation and prevented him from
becoming a World Cup champion. Maradona wanted to leave the World Cup stage a
champion. Instead he left as its most pathetic figure (Sports Illustrated 10).
As a final example, National League rookie of the year for 1983 and 1986
world series champ, Darryl Strawberry had a great future going for him, but not
anymore. Strawberry checked himself into the Betty Ford Center for cocaine
abuse (Verducci 16). Five months later he tested positive for cocaine. After
this, Strawberry had no team to call his own, as he was suspended from baseball
(Verducci 17). Strawberry entered his third rehabilitation center in five
years (Verducci 18). Drugs kept Strawberry away from his family. Ruby, his
mother, said, “He didn\'t care what was going on with the family. He was not in
touch with us” ( qtd. in Verducci 20 ). Cocaine can take a person away from a
lot of things, but taking away from a family has to be the worst. Strawberry
has had three wives, and five children by those three. Ruby said about the
second, “His marriage was a bad one from the beginning”( qtd. inVerducci 22).
Cocaine took many valued things away from Strawberry: his wives, children,
family, baseball, and, of course, money. Strawberry has since come clean and
was a member of the New York Yankee World Championship team.
These athletes not only hurt themselves but their respected sports.
These professionals are looked at as heroes. Little children think these
athletes can do no wrong. It would be dangerous for parents to let their
children to have Daryl Strawberry as a hero. Drug charges are also an
embarrassment to the sport. “It dents the sport a little,” said Roy Wegerle
about Maradona\'s charges. Fernando Clavijo said that soccer players, like other
athletes, are role models, and “we have to be careful what we do” (Longman 1).
It would be difficult to