Should Kobe Bryant be asked the PED question?

By  Charles Glover Jr.

Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant

Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant

Athletes across the sports globe have been riddled with accusations and revelations of Performance Enhancing Drug use this summer. Top-named athletes in Major League Baseball (MLB), the National Football League (NFL), the National Basketball Association (NBA) and Track and Field have been caught using PEDs at what seems like a heightened rate, sparking debate amongst sports columnists, analysts, and fans about which athletes they can actually believe have achieved success without cheating.

The debate has been further amplified due to sports media publicly questioning athletes who have been phenomenal performers without positive tests or acknowledged links to PED use. In baseball, Los Angeles Angels’ slugger Albert Pujols is in the midst of filing legal action against former St. Louis radio host Jack Clark’s unfounded accusation that a former trainer admitted to injecting Pujols with PEDs.

Olympic Champion Usain Bolt

Olympic Champion Usain Bolt

Track and Field superstar and fastest man in the world Usain Bolt responded to news of several track stars testing positive for banned substances by asserting: “I am confident in myself and my team, the people I work with.  And I know I am clean.”  Female track star Lolo Jones was asked to submit to a drug test at her birthday party.

Current NFL MVP Adrian Peterson

Current NFL MVP Adrian Peterson

While some athletes have responded with stern comments about PED use, NFL’s current MVP Adrian Peterson has taken a different approach. In a recent interview with USA Today Sports, Peterson remarked, “When you know you don’t do it,…It’s a compliment. I don’t get mad about it at all.”



Baltimore Orioles First Baseman Chris Davis

These athletes were asked about the authenticity of their performances due to the growing number of their peers busted after achieving marvelous feats in sports. In this era, many athletes have been found guilty of using banned substances, after achieving near iconic status for prolonged excellence in their sport. Sports media has a responsibility to the public they serve to ask those top athletes, whose performances marvel the masses, if they are accomplishing these feats naturally. Most athletes nowadays are beyond receiving the benefit of the doubt regardless of their public reception. Baltimore Orioles slugger Chris Davis recently responded to questions about his current break-out season by stating, “It’s extremely frustrating that people would just assume I was on something because I’m having success.”


Kobe Bryant moments after he ruptured his Achilles tendon

Sports media has taken the necessary steps to avoid being duped by remarkable performances by athletes. While they have started questioning just about everyone, a particular superstar, Kobe Bryant, has escaped major questions about the possibility of him using PEDs.  Kobe Bryant stated recently that he is ahead of schedule in recovery from his ruptured Achilles tendon, heading into his 18th season in the NBA. Two summers ago, Bryant underwent an innovative procedure on his right knee in Germany after dealing with right knee pain throughout the previous season. Bryant’s physical response to the procedure has helped him to a boost of nearly 3 points per game. Also, he has added 5 minutes per game since the trip to Germany. In the wake of numerous superstars getting caught using PEDs, doesn’t it make sense that mega-stars across all sports be asked about possible PED use? Isn’t it time for the question to be posed to someone who enjoys iconic status in the NBA, someone like Kobe Bryant, for instance? —

Charles Glover Jr. is a sports aficionado.


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