A positive sign in recent days has demonstrated that bad life choices will have consequences for professional athletes, who often have been treated as special or have not been subject to the same rules as the rest of us.
The times are a changing.
Cycling star Lance Armstrong, long revered for his seven-time Tour de France domination and his recovery from testicular cancer, has been banned for life for the use of doping. His ban even extends to his new passion of triathlons and other competitions.
Baseball writers this week failed to nominate any player to the sport’s Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. The vote specifically rejected first-timers Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens as well as Sammy Sosa. Those three have reportedly been connected with the use of performance-enhancing drugs, including steroids.
Professional athletes at this level have always received special treatment for the majority of their lives because they were talented athletes. They grew up believing they were different and could live by a different set of rules.
These four former professional athletes are prime examples of the athletic star complex.
Armstrong was a legendary cyclist, who conquered the Tour de France circuit seven times. Bonds and Sosa were renowned long-ball hitters of their era, while Clemens was an outstanding pitcher of his era.
The fact remains that these four all cheated by using doping or performance-enhancing drugs and gained an unfair advantage over their opponents and teammates.
Today justice is starting to catch up with these cheaters.
Bonds, Clemens and Sosa all received less than half the votes required for election into baseball’s Hall of Fame.
Armstrong has been banned for life. He also is facing significant legal challenges concerning fraud concerns as well as a request for repayment of previous payments on libel settlements, contract and bonus payments plus legal costs. If he loses on these legal issues, the cost would be extremely high.
It is hard to feel sorry for these former athletes for their current situations. They cheated and reaped significant benefits in the past.
Now it is only just that they also reap the consequences for their previous unfair practices, often termed cheating. There is no reason to feel sorry for these cheaters. They will live with their cheating consequences for the rest of their lives.