THE MAIL

February 18, 2013

Presumed performance enhancers like snake oil have been around forever because athletes will try anything to get a leg up on the competition. While it's easy to laugh at those naive enough to pay for these types of gimmicks, the comedy becomes a real tragedy when those seeking to treat serious medical conditions are lured in and the science fails.

Catherine Coffman, Moraga, Calif.

Buyer Beware

Hopefully your article about S.W.A.T.S (Snake Oil for Sale ...) will make people more skeptical about outlandish medical remedies. It is maddening that a person like Christopher Key can go unchecked for so long, and equally sad that so many people don't question claims that are too good to be true.

Eric Harris, Raleigh

Jailhouse Recreation

I have mixed feelings about Jeff Deskovic's essay The Most Captive Audience (POINT AFTER). While I think it's awful that Deskovic spent time behind bars for a crime he did not commit, I have no sympathy for the guilty inmates watching the Super Bowl from jail. The fact that they need sports to feel free and escape their current situation is something they should have thought about before they decided to break the law.

John Jacocks, Kenosha, Wis.

Vigilance

Tom Verducci's essay about performance-enhancing drugs (SCORECARD, Feb. 11) suggests that the NFL's policies on PEDs are no longer effective and that based on the lack of HGH testing and the NFL's inability to disclose specific substances that cause player violations, the league's desire to detect and discipline violators has diminished. These assertions couldn't be further from the truth. The NFL's policies seek to completely eliminate PEDs from football. The league has been using longitudinal analysis and CIR testing to identify the use of testosterone, and has proposed measures to allow more disclosure about the substances players are accused of using, and to allow HGH testing.

Adolpho A. Birch III NFL Senior Vice President Labor Policy and Government Affairs

Lead Us Not into Temptation

The challenges that Christian athletes face in their daily lives (In the Fields of the Lord) are identical to what all Christians face. We are often so aggressive in our careers that we compete with behavior that is contrary to what God commands. Temptation will always be at battle with what the Lord commands, regardless of your profession.

Piero DiClemente, Glenwood, N.J.

Corrections

In a photo illustration for the Feb. 11 SCORECARD essay on PED use in baseball, a picture identified as former Yankee Melky Cabrera was actually that of then teammate Eduardo Nuñez. Nuñez has never been implicated in PED use. SPORTS ILLUSTRATED regrets the error.

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FEEDBACK

Michael Vick and the Eagles have agreed on a restructured one-year deal for 2013. Do you think Philadelphia made the right decision to keep Vick?

Jason Peak: Not a good deal. Vick is injury-prone, so he won't make it a whole season. He had a chance to prove himself and failed, so it's time for him to go.

Howard Joseph McTaggart: Yes, it is. He is still a valuable commodity at QB, especially if he has some decent protection in front of him.

Jason Morrow: I like the decision. There are just not that many good QBs on the market or coming up in the NFL draft to choose from.

Ryan Huck: Vick never had an elite arm, and he's getting too old and fragile to run with the ball. So no, not a good move by the Eagles.

Bob Wells: With this move, Philly just made it clear that they don't want to make the playoffs in 2013.

TWEET OF THE WEEK

THE ONE UPSIDE TO THE POPE'S RESIGNATION IS THAT IT FREES UP SALARY CAP ROOM FOR THE CHURCH TO SIGN DWIGHT HOWARD.

DYLAN WILBANKS (@DYLANW)

PHOTOMICHAEL O'NEILL (COVER)FOR Feb. 4, 2013 PHOTOAL TIELEMANS (VICK) PHOTOTWITTER.COM (TWEET) PHOTO

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