Congratulations everybody! We all now have as many Tour de France titles as Lance Armstrong officially holds.
Recently Armstrong became the most recent scapegoat of the sport world when his doping was revealed, demonstrating yet again, the consequences of athletes being involved with performance enhancers.
“A lot of people looked up to him as a cancer survivor. Now a lot of people’s images of him have been tainted of him using performance enhancers,” said senior swimmer Zach Reuther.
Lance Armstrong’s doping added to the always growing list of athletes linked to performance enhancing drugs. The 90 minute first part of his Oprah interview where he admitted using performance enhancers was watched by 3.2 million viewers, according to USA Today.
Maddie Schuler, a sophomore track and cross-country runner, watched the Oprah interview.
“I can see how it’s easy to get so swept up in the idea of being number one,” Schuler said.
To ensure Pioneer athletes are not getting “swept up” like Armstrong or other high-profile athletes by using performance enhancers all athletic programs follow the NCAA guidelines.
This means that besides the numerous other changes during the switch to the GLIAC and NCAA, another one was the Pioneers drug testing program.
“The policies have changed,” Athletic Director Charlie Grimes said. “We are part of the NCAA screening program. It’s a randomized call and they’ll randomly pick ten to fifteen students. We get the results a few weeks after that.”
“I haven’t been tested, but I know they do tests monthly,” said junior outfielder Frank Dufour. “They are all random so they might test five baseball players and four soccer players.”
All the athletes have signed a compliance form agreeing to be tested whenever they are asked to.
“Anyone of our 470 some athletes could be tested at any point during the school year,” Grimes said.
[pullquote]Performance enhancers are taking it out of God’s hands and into your own hands,” Reuther said. [/pullquote]
The tests can show if a player has performance enhancers or recreational drugs in their body. Either one affects their eligibility for playing in NCAA sports.
“We have a penalty. As a part of a performance enhancing situation they would be suspended for one complete year. That even counts if they don’t show up for the test,” Grimes said.
In the case of recreational drugs the penalty is slightly different.
“If a student is caught with a positive test for marijuana or other recreational drugs then we certainly have a suspension and counseling and a rehabilitation process,” Grimes said.
Pioneer athletes are aware of the consequences of being caught with these substances in their body.
“Performance enhancers are taking it out of God’s hands and into your own hands,” Reuther said.
“As a Christian you want to do what’s right first. What I put in my body and how I perform and carry myself is what I want to leave behind, rather than just how I play on the field,” Dufour said.
Both the player’s refusal to cheat to win and the policy held by the Pioneers are an example of Christian ethics in practice.
“Malone’s policy is more conservative in how harsh they are but there is this factor of redemption. …We don’t just write you off,” Grimes said.