What's Cheating?

Mark Knoller is a White House correspondent for CBS News.
I'm not much of a baseball fan and I don't get all the hubbub over steroid use.

So explain to me why it's different than taking vitamins, which can also be said to enhance player performance.

If a player undergoes eye surgery that gives him better than 20/20 vision, is that cheating?

If a trainer tapes up a players arm, leg or chest, is that cheating?

If a doctor numbs up a painful elbow for a player, is that cheating?

If right before a game, a ball player downs a can of soda enriched with caffeine, is that cheating?

The only reason steroids can be seen as cheating is that it's against the rules, which are certainly arbitrary and subject to change.

Does steroid use guarantee a player's performance will be enhanced. We know it enhances muscle growth, but doesn't a player still need the skills to use those muscles?

Similar questions about cheating can be raised in other fields of endeavor:

If a TV reporter uses makeup to enhance his or her appearance on the air, is that cheating?

If a student takes a course in speed reading, is that cheating?

If the president reads his State of the Union address off a teleprompter, is that cheating?

I'm certainly not advocating steroid use by athletes, but unless we make them play naked without helmets, shoulder-pads, and other specialized equipment that enhances performance, what's the difference.
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    Mark Knoller is a CBS News White House correspondent.

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