NBA All-star suspended for using PED’s, when will it end?

Orlando Magic’s forward Rashard Lewis is the latest athlete to be suspended for failing a drug test. Lewis tested positive for elevated testosterone levels Thursday and will serve a 10-game suspension to begin the 2009-10 season.

As expected, Lewis claims this drug was bought over the counter and that he did not know its contents were included on the NBA’s banned list. My response, I don’t believe any athlete that makes nearly $20M a year is unaware of what products go into their bodies, most of them pay someone, a trainer or nutritionist, to keep tabs.

In an apology, Lewis said, ” I apologize to Magic fans, my teammates and this organization for not doing the research that should come with good judgement.”

Are these sincere, heartfelt words from a man that acknowledges he made a mistake, or is this just lip service from someone who’s sad that he got caught, I believe its the latter. Though he’s only the sixth NBA player to test positive for PED’s since the league began testing in 1999, this adds fuel to the fire of all that believe sports are rigged and all athletes are cheaters.

Here’s the problem, at least my version. Top athletes in America are spoiled, coddled and treated like superstars from their early teens. The enormous pressure that’s placed on them by agents, universities and professional sports franchises can make a young man do some illegal, or unwise things.

These guys are mesmerized by $20M, $50M and $100M contracts and sometimes feel that PED’s can help them secure those huge paydays. I’m not making excuses for Rashard Lewis or any other star athlete, but if someone offered me $18M/year, Lewis’ salary, I’d look for any and every way possible to make sure the bucks kept coming in.

Steroids aren’t a MLB, NBA or NFL problem, nor is it a black, white or hispanic thing, it’s America’s problem. We must find some way to ensure our younger generations don’t make steroid use a way of life. As it stands now, that’s the road we’re heading down.

Magic’s Lewis fails drugs test, must sit 10 games(

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