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Bob Knight: Gatorade Is a Performance-Enhancing Substance

Jan 11, 2010 – 4:15 PM
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Michael David Smith

Michael David Smith %BloggerTitle%

I'm not sure why ESPN turns to Bob Knight for commentary when a baseball player uses steroids, but it does -- and Knight has an interesting perspective on the subject.

When asked on Baseball Tonight what he thinks of Mark McGwire admitting to using steroids, Knight said he doesn't understand the distinctions between substances that enhance performance and are legal, and other substances that enhance performance but are illegal.

"I have a different approach to performance-enhancing drugs than a lot of people do," Knight said. "My question is, Who decides what can be used and what can't be used, and on what basis is that decision made? You know, Gatorade is a performance-enhancing substance. It replaces electrolytes in the human body that are used up through extreme exercise. So I've always had a really skeptical approach to all this performance-enhancing stuff."

Knight made similar comments last year about Alex Rodriguez, and I think he's got a fair point: Our society has drawn some rather arbitrary lines on which substances athletes are permitted -- even encouraged -- to put into their bodies, and which substances athletes are prohibited from putting into their bodies.

None of this excuses McGwire violating the law or the rules of baseball, as Knight acknowledged. But I'm glad Knight is pointing out that the Congress and the media have gone overboard in their condemnation of athletes who have used certain substances.
Filed under: Sports