Lifting Like a Champ
WWE Superstar John Cena dishes on 'roids, reps, and rap
MF: Since you're a pro wrestler, someone who's been criticized and dragged through the mud about performance-enhancing drugs in the past, we were hoping to get your take on the MLB steroid scandal. How do you respond to the inquiry into Roger Clemens and MLB?
Cena: I think it's something that needs to be done. I don't think baseball has taken the right approach, just like I don't think the media has taken the right approach as far as scrutinizing professional wrestling. The absolute correct approach would be the same as the war on drugs. These drugs are illegal, they're not for any prescription, they're not for any athlete. So make the penalty if you get caught using an illegal substance arrest and jail time.
The government is allowing each sanctioning body, whether it's sports entertainment, the NFL, the NBA to police its own. If an athlete fails a drug test, they get a 30-day suspension, where if I'm John Q. Public, walking around the street with a bunch of anabolic steroids, I'm going to jail. There is a severe double standard. If the government and Congress want to step in, they have to start at the source and make sure the athletes know these drugs are illegal. I think if the penalty is severe enough, the amount of offenders will go way down. In baseball, if it's a 30-day suspension, that might be the equivalent of a 15-day suspension. For an athlete, a lot of times, that's worth the risk.
There was just a sprinter who was put on four years' suspension, which basically equals two Olympic Games and the end of a sprinter's career. So, I think, the IOC, even though they're not trying these guys under governmental law, really has it down. If you do it once, your career is pretty much over. There's a big difference between sitting for 15 games, or, man, if I get caught, I have to find another job. I think that's Step One.
I think the Mitchell report was a mistake only because it was based off of opinion and heresay, like in the case of Roger Clemens. There's no paperwork to support that he ever purchased performance-enhancing drugs and, most importantly, there's no failed drug test. It was basically one guy's word against another guy's word. That's a battle that could go on for the dawn of time. So if they had done more investigation into the purchasing of anabolic steroids and failing drug tests, then you'd have a little bit more to go on. I think the blame falls on the major league for not having a drug-testing program.
For so long, the players' union protected the players, so they did not have any sort of drug testing program. If you're not going to be tried by your government, and you're not going to be tried by your sanctioning sports body, there's no freakin' risk. Absolutely not. Major League Baseball-I hate to say it because it is the National Pastime- Major League Baseball almost encouraged the athletes to go ahead and take part, because for so long there was no penalty.
I think that was a big flaw in our entity. For so long, there was no penalty. As soon as it got to the point where it became an issue, immediately a policy was instituted that "we can't fix what happened yesterday," no one can friggin' turn back the clock, but as far as today, if you're caught, you're going to be looking for work. The best that baseball can do is pretty much what everybody else is trying to do, really tighten up that policy, because this is an issue that is going to be talked about for so much longer.
MF: Ain't that the truth.