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Myths About Steroids

Ellington Darden

There's an interesting article on steroids over on Lou Shuler's Web site: www.malepatternfitness.com.

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Winning and Losing

"No Question at All!" This was the headline of Japan's Mainichi Daily News on the day after Canadian Ben Johnson's victory in the men's 100-meter dash. A few days later the same paper retracted by running the headline: "World's Fastest Dash From Fame to Shame." Johnson had tested positive for doping with anabolic steroids and was stripped of the gold medal for which he had worked and trained so hard.

In the 100-meter race, the world's fastest man succumbed to the temptation to take drugs. That "was a blow to the Olympic Games and a blow to the Olympic Movement," said the president of the IOC (International Olympic Committee). For those caught for doping, their efforts to win at all costs included having their medals stripped from them. Altogether, ten doping cases marred the 1988 Olympics.

However, "only the uninformed get caught," says U.S. shot-putter Augie Wolf as reported in Newsweek magazine. "I feel sorry for Ben Johnson," said a Soviet coach, according to Newsweek, "but maybe 90 percent . . . use drugs. Ben Johnson's mistake was getting caught." On the other hand, Edwin Moses, a U.S. hurdler, gives his educated guess that "at least 50 percent of the athletes in the high-performance sports" would have been disqualified had they not outwitted the doping tests. If so many athletes believe that doping helps them, then why ban the drugs?

First, it is done to protect the spirit of fair play in the Olympics. Then there is the matter of protecting the athletes. Drugs in sports became a matter of serious concern when a Danish cyclist died of drug abuse in the 1960 Rome Games. More recently in 1987, Birgit Dressel, West Germany's heptathlon medal hopeful, died from using some one hundred different drugs in her struggle to win the gold medal in her seven-events competition. Anabolic steroid, the "wonder drug" to develop muscles, can also develop problems in a user's system-liver cancer, sterility, kidney damage, and heart trouble, just to name a few.

Then, why do athletes take drugs? "Doping has become a big problem in the Olympics due to the excessive desire for medals," says Lord Killanin, former president of IOC. Yes, it is the win-at-all-costs mentality that drives athletes to drugs. And the motivating force behind all of it is money.

Money at All Costs

"In reality," editorialized Japan's Mainichi Shimbun newspaper, "the Johnson scandal occurred as the lust for money and fame in the sports world went to extremes." Winning a gold medal at the Olympics enhances an athlete's commercial value, thereby jacking up the appearance money he can command for future athletic competitions as well as increasing endorsements. Some also won state pensions and bonuses because of winning a gold medal. One country offered a bonus for gold-medal winners, amounting to 60 times the average worker's monthly wage.

The Olympics are a lucrative business. The Korean organizers reaped a provisional profit of $349,000,000. Who is responsible for this commercializing of the games? "The International Olympic Committee (IOC), of course," accused a Tokyo newspaper, Asahi Evening News. "The very people who ought to be upholding the Olympic spirit have allowed the Games to be turned into a commercial show."

While trying to uphold the world's highest level in sports, the IOC winked at the professionalization of athletes. In the revived Olympic event of tennis, it has tolerated "instant amateurs." As long as millionaire professionals suspend commercial contracts for two weeks, stay in the Olympic Village instead of luxury hotels, and play free, they are considered amateurs.

Not all welcomed such a change in the Olympic principle. "It is unfair," said Kuwait's IOC delegate as reported in The Korea Times. "This will really take all sports events into commercialism."

Finish Line Ahead?

Of course, not all athletes had the win-at-all-costs mentality, nor were they competing for money. One yachtsman who spotted a drowning participant gave up the race and rescued him at the cost of coming in 21st. Many were satisfied just to have taken part in the games. However, the overall emphasis was not on fair play and the "Olympic spirit" but on winning at all costs, even with the use of drugs. Speaking of the drug problem, U.S. athlete Edwin Moses said: "Sport, and perhaps the Olympic movement, has hit rock bottom."

It is of interest to note why the ancient Olympic Games were terminated. "By the fourth century of our era," explains the Seoul Olympic Organizing Committee, "the influence of politicians and the self-seeking wealthy brought corruption to the Games and they were abolished by [Emperor] Theodosius I." Precisely these two factors, politics and money, have regained their prominence in the modern Olympics. Indeed, the win-at-all-costs spirit fueled by these factors only mirrors present human society.
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Ellington Darden wrote:
There's an interesting article on steroids over on Lou Shuler's Web site: www.malepatternfitness.com.


Excellent article. Steroids and the various other nasties such as HGH do work - that's why people take them.

A friend of mine was involved in weightlifting at international level and regularly travelled with fellow athletes competing in various sports not just weightlifting and he claimed drug use was rife. The logic was simple: your competitors take them and it enhances their performance. The only way to compete with that is to also get enhanced.

When the so-called sqeaky clean are exposed as steriod users, e.g. Linford Christie, Jones, etc, it really demonstrates the reality of modern sport. Now it transpires that it even extends to the world of golf and snooker! What next?
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Quote from Lou Schuler:

"Landis has been using the O.J. defense, saying that officials are prejudiced and his samples were mishandled. But I don't think there's any way to mishandle urine in a way that it comes up positive for synthetic testosterone in both the A and B samples. That would be the result of a criminal conspiracy, not a lab error.

Looking back over the Landis case, and other cases of doping among elite cyclists, I wondered what other myths about steroids are commonly accepted by sports fans. My list is by no means complete, so feel free to add your own in the comments."

Having worked in a laboratory setting for a few years, I can tell you from first hand experience that mishandling of a specimen for testing is a technician's nightmare. This being testing for the Tour de France, I would think that an out effort on the part of the laboratory staff to ensure accuracy would occur.

After all, these laborers had heard these liars before spew their accusations of mishandled specimens. These lying athletes know full well that the ignorant public will believe them before the story of the lab ever gets told. Marion Jones proves that these athletes are very good at lying.

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Michigan, USA

I find it saddening that sports have become a chemical test bed for chemists all over the world.

I used steroids back in highschool so did half the football team (they still lost). The roids do work, but there can be some extra stuff thrown in like roid rage for one I have seen it and experienced it first hand. Any time I see a fight on the field, ring or on the ice I can't help but wonder if someone is "juicing".
Are they truely a good athlete or a chemist?
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liftforlife wrote:
Any time I see a fight on the field, ring or on the ice ...

Don't blame fighting in hockey on steroids use ; there was fighting in hockey from the very first first face off back in Cro Magnon times. They didn't just draw up the '5 minutes for fighting' major as a result steroid use, it's been in the books forever.

IMO, there are few things as exciting in sports than a good square off between two tough hockey enforcers ... I think it's the toughest role in all of sports.
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A whole lot of the myths about steroids can be boiled down to one source: irresponsible journalists. We constantly hear of the dangers of steroids: heart disease, cancer, etc.

Any male in his mid-thirties is well advised to have a full hormonal profile taken by his doctor, then save it. Once passed 40, then 50, comparison of then current hormonal levels to those of the optimal period of life can be compared to measure the subtle effects of andropause or viropause, aka male menopause.

Unlike women whose monthly cycles run over 28 days, the male hormonal cycle occurs within a scant 24 hours. As hormones decline, loss is not so profoundly impacting as with women's night sweats, mood swings, sleeplessness, etc.

Everything bad you've read about steroids is largely unscientific, reports of irresponsible journalists out to create a panic in order to make a buck. Those so-called dangers become genuine dangers once andropause sets in, while their remedy lies in hormone replacement therapy - using anabolic steroids to bring testosterone back up to acceptible levels.

Life Extension Foundation's magazine reported on an innovative new therapy pioneered by an MD. Asked by a friend to see what he could do for a relative of that friend who was hours away from amputation of a finger, he stepped in. Turned out the relative was diabetic, and constant monitoring of blood sugar levels by drawing blood from one finger had resulted in an infection which got worse, turned gangrenous. Surgery was required to remove it. The doctor injected the guy with 100 mg of bio-identical testosterone and within hours healing was visible. That got the doctor on the road to using testosterone therapy with diabetics, noting how that steroid lowered insulin requirements for all patients in short time.

It's well known that test hrt improves health of the heart, lowers risk of cancer, and improves metabolic syndrome associated with sarcopenia.

Some claim testosterone can increase risk of prostrate cancer. Unfortunately, many doctors - including urologists - are not up to speed. The biomarker necessitating observation is not PSAs but the testosterone to estradiol ratio; it is now throught the culprit in prostate cancer is Bad Estrogen. Keeping dht levels down, easily accomplished with topical application of progesterone, also helps.

If Landis used test, he's an idiot. The author of the article must be an idiot if he thinks a single dose of test is sufficient to percipitate roid rage. But he seems to be a journalist - a profession requiring no accountability, but ensuring a notion of a free press in which any idiot can have their say and perhaps win an award for it when they should be tarred & feathered before being run out of town. Having been close to the Irongame for 48 years, I've heard and learned enough about steroids to know that a single dose isn't going to do anything - not bring on aggression, much less than bring on libido, horniness or priapism. Like Nancy Grace, the author seems to be yet another journalist fooled by the roid rage talk. I've seen versions of roid rage among huge guys who've been juicing in large, large amounts for long, long periods of time. And long before roid rage, libido kicks in - making one very very horny. I'd suggest some of these airhead journalists do some steroids to find out what the juice does - and how getting horny is far more common, and far faster acting, than their darling roid rage.

Jerry Brainum writing in the Nov 2007 issue of Iron Man Magazine reports on a recent study in which test subjects took test enthanate for a period of time in doses resulting in muscle mass increase but undetectible to standard testing.
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Michigan, USA

Not pointing fingers or calling cheap shots. I think I got away from the subject. I know fighting will and and always be a part of contact sports. But It realy makes me wonder, did so and so win because they were better or was it beacuse he shot up 50 mg. be for going out on the field. Are they athlete's or lab rats.

I guess it's like a crew chief in nascar said reguarding tech inspectors. "It's our job to cheat and it's their job to catch us".
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Seems Ironic in a way...

We all know what 'The Secret' is...
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