Congressmen introduce anti-andro bill

The crusade to outlaw performance-enhancing drugs continues. I think there are perfectly valid reasons for organized sports to forbid use of these drugs. They upset the ideal of competitive balance and arguably ratchet up the pressure on athletes to improve performance at the expense of their long-term health.

But giving these good intentions the force of law is a different story. It should come as no surprise that one of the co-sponsors of the legislation is former University of Nebraska head football coach Tom Osborne. But once andro is illegal, athletes looking to take a short cut to the top will find that if they are already breaking the law, there’s no reason not to skip right over andro straight to anabolic steroids, whose deleterious effects are much more well known and pretty much beyond debate.

The Olympics rules committee, the NCAA, and professional sports have a perfect right to make rules regarding what substances they allow players to use. But stretching those rules to cover the whole of society is to overstep their bounds and use government to punish people for bad judgment. If sports as a collective want to engage in a crusade against andro — through random testing, education, whatever — that’s fine. But leave the rest of America alone. The last thing we need is another illegal drug on the streets.