Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Steroid myths

It’s unfortunate that the whole story on steroids is so rarely given out to anyone. Even though we know that doping happens on a massive scale in sports, which is better than were we were 20 years ago, there really hasn’t been a good summary about the situation. Nobody has come forward and given some basic facts about steroid use. So, I’m going to do that here, right now. I’m going to give some common myths surrounding steroid use and give you some of the information. Now, I’m not an expert but I know something about the subject and I’ll tell you what I know. Hopefully, you won’t suffer from any illusions about their use.

1. Sports like Soccer and Tennis don’t have a problem with steroids. This is just because nobody has thought to look yet. The simple fact about steroid use is that it is a snake wrapped around weight-based strength training. They’re that intertwined. So, wherever you find weight training, you’re going to find steroid use. It’s just that simple

2. Pro athletes are the only ones abusing steroids. Refer back to what I just said. Where you find weight lifting, you find steroid use. It’s not just pro athletes benefiting from steroid use. Their properties of building bulk, strength, and aiding recovery help a lot of people. Rap stars, actors, police officers, porn stars, and 40-something business executives have been known to indulge in steroid use for various reasons with a common goal: To be physically better. It’s a universal desire as old as physical culture itself and knows no demographic boundaries.

3. Well, Lance Armstrong didn’t use them, look how thin he was. Steroids don’t make everyone huge and bulky who take them. Certain steroids do certain things for the body. There are steroids good for bulking up, getting stronger without bulk, steroids for leaning out, and others excel at aiding in recovery time. These can also be taken in conjunction to get certain effect, call a stack. Lance didn’t want bulk but he no doubt would have been helped by being stronger. Just because he didn’t look like Barry Bonds doesn’t mean he wasn’t juicing. If you want to see the effects of different steroids, check out

4. NFL and the Olympics have good steroid testing programs and Baseball doesn’t. This is all an illusion. These organizations make a pile of money off from juiced athletes and they only want to catch enough dopers to satisfy the desire to look tough on doping. This is where the greed comes into sports. If you look at every sport where steroid use has become prominent, they are enjoying rabid popularity. From football in the 1970’s to Baseball in the late 1990’s to Lance Armstrong’s unprecedented Tour De France wins the message has been sent that steroid-using athletes are a gold mine.

5. The leagues have to something about this. It’s not just them, IT’S YOU TOO THAT HAS TO DO SOMETHING! I guarantee you that if you were so repulsed by all of the steroid use that you stopped watching baseball or football, the league owners would come down so hard on steroid use that it would disappear like a bad dream. The trouble is that we to want to see bigger muscles. We are statistic-driven to see records fall at all costs. We love to see 350 lbs men with superhuman strength. We marvel at 500’+ home runs. A man who can ride a bike at 30 mph for weeks on end awes us. We have to get past this wonder about raw statistical brilliance and focus more on the skill and heart that we see. We have to love the Derrick Jeters, the Hercshel Walkers, and the Bernard Hopkins of the sporting world more than the Barry Bonds’, Floyd Llandis’, and Justin Gatlins.

6. The Olympics are going to be a lot cleaner because now they’re going t have a blood test for Human Growth Hormone. Check out that steroid site link I just gave you. What you’ll find is not only are the effects of the steroids well-known, they know how long it takes to clear the body. They know what masking agents and diuretics to take to get them out of the body faster. If they really wanted to figure out who’s using and who isn’t, then what these leagues need to do is to submit all of their athletes to a scheduled test where they measure and document all of the athlete’s hormone and myostatin levels (get ahead of the inevitable gene therapy doping). Having a baseline for each athlete would make finding undetectable steroids and other doping procedures far easier. That way, if after, say, 3 years an athlete’s testosterone level jumps after being flat for 3 years, then you know something is wrong. Do I need to mention that this isn't a particularly popular idea?

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