By Dave Begel Contributing Writer Published Jul 16, 2013 at 5:37 AM

Back when our country was born the founding fathers have one overriding principle that they were bound and determined to be a bedrock belief of the new nation:

Individual freedom.

In more than two centuries that individual freedom has been what separates our country from all the others.

Given that, it makes me wonder why in the world sports makes such a big deal about performance enhancing drugs.

I mean, who cares, really?

People say athletes who use PEDs are cheating. Well, the only reason it’s cheating is because the league has a rule against it. No rule, no cheating.

There are a few things in life that I believe, many of them focused on keeping the government from prohibiting all kinds of behavior. I think people should be free to marry whoever they want. I think people should be able to smoke if they want. I don’t think government has any right to tell us how to behave, unless our behavior will have a negative impact on other people.

Well, who gets hurt by Ryan Braun taking steroids, if he did? Or Alex Rodriguez? Or Barry Bonds?

The answer, of course, is that nobody really gets hurt. Oh, because of the rules of Major League Baseball there is a public relations stain on these players. They may not be great role models for Little Leaguers.

But as far as real harm goes, forget it. Lance Armstrong didn’t hurt anyone by cheating.

Maybe using this crap has an unhealthy impact on the lives of those who use. But it’s their choice. If they want to risk growing a third arm or another toe in order to be better at baseball, who are we to tell them not to do it.

Let’s just say that baseball actually showed some wisdom and repealed all the laws and rules against the use of PEDs.

Every player in the league would be able to make the choice whether to use them or not. And there is nothing wrong with giving people a choice as long as one of those choices doesn’t cause any harm.

People say that using PEDs is bad for the game. I just don’t see it. The only reason it’s bad is because there is a rule against it.

The intentional walk rule in baseball is stupid and just makes the game longer. Nobody would be hurt if the team in the field just waved a hand and the hitter took first base. We wouldn’t have to suffer through those four stupid pitches.

It’s the same thing with a rule against PEDs. There is no rational basis for having such a rule. It’s a set of rules enacted in response to some kind of public and media frenzy. It makes no sense at all.

Get rid of all those anti-PED rules and let it be a matter of individual freedom if a players wants to use them or not.

It’s the American way.

Dave Begel Contributing Writer

With a history in Milwaukee stretching back decades, Dave tries to bring a unique perspective to his writing, whether it's sports, politics, theater or any other issue.

He's seen Milwaukee grow, suffer pangs of growth, strive for success and has been involved in many efforts to both shape and re-shape the city. He's a happy man, now that he's quit playing golf, and enjoys music, his children and grandchildren and the myriad of sports in this state. He loves great food and hates bullies and people who think they are smarter than everyone else.

This whole Internet thing continues to baffle him, but he's willing to play the game as long as keeps lending him a helping hand. He is constantly amazed that just a few dedicated people can provide so much news and information to a hungry public.

Despite some opinions to the contrary, Dave likes most stuff. But he is a skeptic who constantly wonders about the world around him. So many questions, so few answers.