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Manny Ramirez suspension, PEDs and sports

I realize this is not a baseball site and I realize we have many Giants fans who are elated at the Manny Ramirez suspension.  Personally, I thought Manny Ramirez could be annoying, but I respected what seemed to be some seriously amazing abilities. 

Earlier today, MLB announced that Manny Ramirez was being suspended 50 games for a violation of the league's drug testing policy.  Although there is a lot of speculation flying around, it seems that there is general agreement that Ramirez had testosterone in his body that was not natural and came from an artificial source.  Additionally, Ramirez was identified as using the female fertility drug human chorionic gonadotropin, or hCG.  Apparently hCG is often used by steroid users to restart their body's natural testosterone production as they come off a steroid cycle.

Whether you believe Manny's "excuse" about a doctor's prescription, or you don't, it really doesn't matter.  Manny will be forever attached with the steroid stigma through nobody's fault but his own.  Even if he thought it was legit, he should have spoken with MLB to make sure it was ok.  If there's even a doubt, why put it in your body?

However, for the sake of this post, we're going beyond just Manny being Manny.  Just over two years ago, early in the days of Niners Nation, I posted something about a Chuck Klosterman article discussing why we look the other way on the issue of PEDs.  Nowadays it seems like sports are cracking down, but as long as there is no legit HGH test, how will we ever know who's clean?

This is of central concern to me with football because of what I think is an apparent PED problem in the NFL.  The Klosterman article points to the freakish size, speed and general athleticism of a guy like Shawne Merriman (who tested positive for steroids in 2006).  That discussion can be applied to numerous football players.  Have you ever looked at a hulking defensive end or linebacker showing amazing abilities and wonder how they're able to do that?

I'm certainly not pointing fingers at anybody.  However, it does seem football gets more if a free pass than baseball when it comes to the issue of PEDs.  One reason I see that is they did institute a steroid testing policy WELL before baseball could get their act together.  I also think baseball has a certain pure image to American sports fans.  Football is the proverbial battle of the gladiators, and do we really want our gladiators in some watered down version?

Anyways, I just thought that given the events of today, it was worth opening this discussion back up.  I'm not asking anything specific, but more just your general thoughts on this topic.