Former Braves star outfielder Dale Murphy, who started his I Won't Cheat foundation with thoughts specifically of preventing children from using steroids, said today that, in his eyes, golf's biggest star is a suspect.
"Performance-enhancing drugs, with Tiger Woods, is a concern for me," Murphy said at a luncheon for Biscuits season-ticket holders. "I don't feel golf has addressed (steroids) and 75 percent of golfers said in a survey that they think Tiger Woods took something."
Actually, 24 percent said in a survey by golf.com and Sports Illustrated that they believe Woods has taken PEDs.
Murphy said Major League Baseball has helped fight the spread of steroids, though he feels there should be harsher punishment. Under baseball's drug policy, a first offense for PEDs brings a 50-game suspension, a second 100 games and a third nets a lifetime ban.
He pointed to how baseball survived the Pete Rose gambling scandal and said it would survive losing drug-tainted stars "who can hit a ball a hundred miles."
"I think we ought to end careers a little quicker," Murphy said. "Then, it will trickle down."
Murphy held up disgraced track and field star Marion Jones as helping teach young athletes that steroids are bad because of the remorse Jones showed after admitting steroid use. She had to forfeit her Olympic medals. Also, Jones' relay teammates were stripped of their medals, too.
The NFL? Well, just this week, Houston Texans linebacker Brian Cushing kept his NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year award despite a positive drug test. The Associated Press even revoted the award and Cushing still won.
"This is the kind of thing you deal with," Murphy said. "To most kids, it doesn't seem like that big a deal."
Murphy is appearing tonight at Riverwalk Stadium. There's an on-field speech at 6:40 p.m. and an autograph session from 7:15-8:15.
"Whether we put an asterisk by their records or careers or not, it's still there in our minds," Murphy said. "It's a tough message to get across to kids because, as we know, kids don't look that far in the future.
"To say, 'It really didn't help me,'" Murphy said, rolling his eyes. "Kids hear these messages."
His I Won't Cheat foundation started with steroids, but has spread into academic cheating and general drug use.
"Whatever you want to achieve, you can do things the right way," Murphy said. "If you cut corners or take shortcuts, you'll never be able to look back and say you did it the right way."