Dale Murphy, the Atlanta Braves great, said on Monday that Major League Baseball needs to treat performance-enhancing drugs like gambling and have “zero tolerance” for players who violate the drug policy in order to deter players from taking banned substances.
Murphy tweeted his comments after Milwaukee Brewers slugger Ryan Braun admitted he violated baseball’s drug policy and accepted his suspension without pay for the remainder of the year. Others have called for lifetime bans for players caught using performance-enhancing drugs and for teams to have the ability to void the contracts of players caught using banned substances.
To get to the next level of deterrence, baseball must treat PEDs like gambling. Tougher penalties, zero tolerance-players seem ready for it.
— Dale Murphy (@DaleMurphy3) July 22, 2013
The cultural shift to zero tolerance of PEDs, from a culture of relative indifference, is a long slog, but we’re getting there.
— Dale Murphy (@DaleMurphy3) July 23, 2013
Murphy, who now runs the iWontCheat Foundation to discourage drug use and encourage ethics into sports so athletes can leave the game in better shape than they found it, may have been hurt considerably by the performance-enhancing drug use the last two decades that inflated the stats of some of baseball’s most prominent stars. The Atlanta Braves slugger known for his clean play did not make to the Hall of Fame on the regular ballot. He may have, though, had his tremendous accomplishments had not been dwarfed by baseball players that came after him who used drugs.
Murphy won back-to-back MVPs in 1982 and 1983 and is considered one of the greatest hitters of his era. His election to the Hall of Fame last year would have been symbolic, given how cleanly he played the game.