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The Steroid Debate… 30 Years and still going…

By on March 2, 2008

There are many sides of this coin. I have used steroids only once in my life and it scared the hell out of me when I was 17. I had a near career ending shoulder injury and wanted to wrestle so bad I could taste it. A doctor that used to train at my gym told me that something called “Winstrol” could fix the muscle tear in my shoulder. So I took it. The results were amazing. Within 2 days I was back at wrestling practice and throwing people around the mat. That’s where it scared the hell out of me. My way of thinking back then was that if this worked on muscular repair the way it did then it could wreak havoc with the rest of the muscular system. I abstained. A friend of mine from way back wrote a book called “Death in the Locker Room“, his name is Bob Goldman. After reading the book I convinced myself I was correct to not get involved with Anabolic Steroids.

I am a huge research freak. I don’t think many people do as much research as me on controversial subjects. The research shows by all the agencies that the video showed, as well as 20 different accredited University studies. Here is just a tidbit from Dr. Stephen Kirshner, MD, Residency Program Director, Professor of Clinical Medicine, Department of Medicine, Section of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Louisiana State University School of Medicine

“Almost with their inception, testosterone and anabolic-androgenic analogues have been used and abused by those seeking to augment both anabolic and androgenic potential to improve physical performance in athletic endeavors or to improve physique. Stories of Eastern-bloc athletes receiving testosterone and anabolic-androgenic steroids as part of their training regimens as early as the 1950s abound. The Eastern-bloc weightlifters and track athletes subsequently ruled the athletic stage for decades.

The degree to which anabolic-androgenic steroids affect performance enhancement in healthy athletes is widely debated, as are the precise mechanisms of action. Certainly anecdotal evidence, including increases in strength and lean body mass (LBM), is reported, but steroid effect is difficult to study in a true placebo-controlled double-blind fashion. Most athletes would notice testicular atrophy if receiving anabolic-androgenic steroids, which interferes with the double-blind structure. Dosing, nutrition, and training parameters would need to be monitored extensively to completely satisfy the most critical review.

Certainly, the use of anabolic-androgenic steroids has become a worldwide phenomenon, slowly trickling down to collegiate, high school, and even junior high levels. The early assertion from the medical community that “anabolic steroids have not been shown to enhance athletic ability,” still in print in the 2002 Physicians Desk Reference, contributed to this phenomenon. Technically, the statement is correct; however, people misusing and abusing these drugs quickly realized that the performance-enhancing effects were real and subsequently dismissed the rest of the medical community’s contraindications, dosing recommendations, and warnings.”

The reality is that Steroids can be harmful when used by adolescent boys because of the massive production of testosterone being produced in their own bodies during puberty. Introducing synthetic testosterone can limit production in the future and can minimize masculine characteristics promoted by naturally produced testosterone. With that said, I don’t think women should use them unless they want to take on the male characteristics set forth through testosterone. This is going to be weird to write but there really is no evidence that anabolic steroids are harmful to adult men over the age of 25. Every death to bodybuilders, football players and other athletes group steroids in the death but the death usually was caused by another drug that was used such as diuretics.

I am by no means promoting the use of steroids but there is absolutely no evidence that supports the claims that steroid use can cause death or proposed maladies. The only reason why steroids are a big issue is because America’s pastime is getting a black eye from it…and it’s a great diversion from what Congress should really be doing…making and passing laws. I wonder what is actually going to come from all of this? Oh that’s right, nothing.