As a fan, parent and media member, I’m frustrated. The sad and discouraging overtone of PEDs is enveloping the sports world.
According to an ESPN report, Jonathan Papelbon was given a legal anti-inflammatory called Toradol by his former team, the Boston Red Sox. The shear fact doesn’t surprise me because we have heard about players getting Cortisone shots and the like for years in order to reduce swelling or play through pain. Now, Cortisone and Toradol aren’t PEDs. But the problem lies in the side effects associated with Toradol. Although he hasn’t suffered any, Papelbon said he was never told of the drawbacks of receiving the injections, nor were other players in MLB and the NFL who received injections.
A New York Times report in April 2012 listed bleeding and gastrointestinal damage as two side effects of Toradol. The same report states that two team doctors ceased using it as an anti-inflammatory – even though most doctors view it the way they view Advil – because of how widespread Toradol use was becoming.
When Papelbon got to the Phillies, they informed him he could no longer be injected with Toradol.
"They told me, 'We don't do that here.' That kind of surprised me," Papelbon told ESPN's Gordon Edes. "I haven't had a single Toradol shot since. They use safer anti-inflammatories here, have other ways to keep you strong."
If professional teams are using legal drugs without disclosing side effects, who can we trust? Having the “drugs talk” with your kids has taken on new meaning in this new sports realm. Telling your kids to “just say no” means saying no to street drugs, prescription drugs that have not been prescribed to you, excess dosages and whatever else a team physician may try to poke you with that you have not discussed in depth. Who can you trust?
Sports has lost all of its innocence. The games have forever changed and we can never return to the way things were, we all know that. There is no more plausible deniability, drugs are too rampant. In the name of winning, players and apparently teams and organizations are willing to risk it all, and that seemingly includes compromising their integrity.
Vince Lombardi once said “Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.” Winning at such a cost is probably not what he had in mind.