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Letters (May 29)

More punishment needed for cheaters

One aspect of many sports that increasingly angers me is the level of cheating that occurs. This is not a new phenomenon.

It probably started back in the days of chariot races. Decades ago baseball batters used corked bats, while pitchers relied on saliva and vasoline to doctor the ball to try to get an advantage. Boxers had something else inside their gloves other than fingers, and deflated footballs were easier to throw in cold weather.

The Russians took cheating to the next level in the Sochi Olympics. Performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) were the norm for them, not to mention the switching of urine samples. An entire nation was involved in this fiasco. Then there were athletes from many countries who were embarrassed by their steroid and other PED usage in the Tour de France. Is there anything sacred in sports anymore?

Hockey is well known for under-suspending its goons for their brainless assaults on defenseless victims. I suppose it will take a death on the ice for the perpetrator to receive more than a four-game suspension.

For all of these atrocities being committed in our beloved sports world, I am thrilled to see what MLB has started doing this year. A Toronto Blue Jay was suspended without pay for 80 games because of illegal drugs found in his system. Finally, a sport willing to give a meaningful punishment for an illegal act. I believe that’s the only way to stop the cheating in sports. All sports should follow baseball’s lead and give long suspensions with no paycheck for PED violations and other major indiscretions.

Sports fans would surely embrace fair competition and parents could use this as a teaching moment to their children on the ramifications of wrongdoing. It would be a win-win situation for everyone except the cheaters.

Dennis Weber

Buffalo

Send comments to Sports Talk, The Buffalo News, One News Plaza, P.O. Box 100, Buffalo, NY 14240. Letters may also be emailed to sports@buffnews.com. Letters should be limited to 250 words and are subject to editing. Include name, hometown and a phone number for verification.