01/13/2012 08:43 am ET Updated Mar 14, 2012

Role Models or Felons?

There are some professional athletes that everyone looks up to. Walter Payton, Babe Ruth, Michael Jordon and Hank Aaron are all famous athletes who everyone wants to be. These athletes have made themselves famous by hard work and not taking any shortcuts. But with every good there is always some type of bad. In sports, this bad comes in the form of athletes who use performance-enhancing drugs.

Up until the time that these bad athletes are caught, they normally have an amazing career with a large group of fan followers. As soon as a drug test comes back positive, they lose all of that. There will forever be an asterisk next to whatever record or accomplishment they set or achieved. When these players are caught, they bring shame to the game and have many people wondering if any other star players are using drugs to enhance their game.

One of the most recent cases of deceit in the world of sports was when Barry Bonds was caught using steroids. On his way to beating the homerun record he had been accused of steroids use but lied under oath, stating he had not used drugs. Later, after he had beaten the homerun record, he was formally convicted in court for the use of steroids. Many people think that the title should be stripped from him and remain with Hank Aaron, the true homerun king. The league has left him as the homerun king but even if he is on top, many people will always have a mental asterisk that he used steroids and did not really deserve the record. Though Barry Bonds is only one of a few players who has actually been convicted, there have been many players who have allegedly used steroids.

The Mitchell Report was a 409-page report about 89 Major League Baseball players who allegedly used steroids. With so many baseball players using performance-enhancing drugs, the integrity of the game has been compromised. The players who take drugs negatively affect the players who actually want to play the game without cheating. Besides baseball, many other players in other sports have used performance-enhancing drugs.

Shawne Merriman, a football player for the Buffalo Bills, violated the steroids and related substances policy of the NFL and suffered only a four-game suspension. The commissioners of professional leagues are being too lenient with players who use performance-enhancing drugs. Though games are more competitive because the players are stronger and faster, if players that break the rules are allowed to play, it sets a bad example for kids. When kids see a player who used drugs on the field, they will think it is okay to use steroids and the trend will continue. The only way to stop the use of performance-enhancing drugs is to make the consequence of using steroids ejection from the league.