Whenever I see an athlete getting caught using steroids I end up having the same repeated gutted response… they looked physically superior at winning!
Why the vilifying disgust at performance enhancement drugs that do in fact make you bigger, faster and stronger? Shouldn’t we be striving towards the combination of science, nutrition and exercise to reach full athletic potential? And shouldn’t the choice be available to you?
So, I’ve estimated 2 possible reasons why steroids (testosterone replacement therapy for simplified reasons here) get all the hate.
1) Steroids are dangerous 2) It’s cheating…. Let’s tackle both of these…
1)Toxically unsafe: If dangerous is a real validated reason and let me preface but what I mean, when I say, steroids should be legal. I’m not suggesting putting vials of testosterone in the same aisle as Ben-gay at our local pharmacy. The kind of legalization I’m talking about is by doctor prescription(accepted legally in sports) like Adderall. You know that safe, non-addicting speed drug that all the kiddos love. Who knew before the year 2000 there was such an epidemic of 18 yr. old girls in deathly need to shop and text faster. Ask yourself a question…who is more likely to be carless with the development of the human body: athletes who are focused on winning physical arduous competition by using their bodies. Or young adults, who are looking to stay up late while eating fast food and cramming for final exams. The plethora of legal paths one can take which leads to a sickened physical state is not exactly slipping through the cracks of legislation.
Cigarettes, soda, fast food, tanning beds, no sleep, alcohol, prescription drugs, physical contact sports are all legal. Heck I’ll even throw in motorcycles! Why are motorcycles legal? See my point? Everything that has great reward comes with risk of side effects or some negative effects. Skiing is risky, it’s all risky!
And it should be the right of athletes to choose the risk, just like it’s the right of non-athletes to also consume the risk with bad lifestyle and non-healthy choices. As this famous survey suggest …50% of athletes will agree to take a drug that helps them win a gold medal but kill them 5 yrs later. I say give them those rights just like you give smokers the right to inhale themselves to death. We risk all the time, we want to risk, nothing great happens without risk.
2)Cheating: Hmmm…so consuming anything in your body that enhances your performance that’s not sanctioned by USADA is considered cheating? Let me break this down to you. Life is unfair and there will always be circumstances that give advantages one over another. All athletes who are winners have an unfair advantage, that’s why they win! Whether it’s better training, trainers, training facilities, diet, genes, healthy relationships, luck, etc. It’s all advantages the losers didn’t seem to poses at the time. Floyd Mayweather will always have the unfair advantage in a boxing ring, he has it all. Should Floyd be banned? And don’t you even think about it Conor McGregor!
It’s a deliberate assault on sports medicine by an older generation that doesn’t understand sports science like athletes. The so called banned substances in the US are designated by special interest’s groups and lobbyist as being too harmful. These good Samaritans are the same vultures who are paid by liquor, tobacco and pharmaceuticals companies to make our livers, lungs and minds melt away while our muscles are well preserved. They have their own agenda and believe me, it’s not about keeping us from getting sick. Like I, pointed out at nausea anything you do worthwhile has risk, elevated level athletics carries its own risk involved. Testosterone therapy in the UFC (mixed material arts organization) was once legal. It helped increase low hormone levels in fighters but has since been banned due to safety concerns and non-using fighters being at a disadvantage.
Think about the logic here…in this sport you are legally allowed to knock your opponent out cold! Does anyone realize how unsafe a knockout is? Again, does this sport sound safe or fair? What about American Football? Go see the movie Concussion and let me know how healthy concussions are to anyone’s health. But God forbid testosterone should be given to relive the horrible effects of training and concussions as Dr. Gordon points out on the Joe Rogan podcast. Yeah, you heard that right, concussions repeated for over an extended period decease the natural testosterone in the body which leads to poor training, fatigue, rage and depression. So not taking steroids gives the other fighter the advantage. Instead of getting an antidote to play longer and better with limited ill effects of brain damage we are forcing athletes to be more at risk during and later in life.
Sports aside, what if I just want to look good? Should I be prevented from doing that? Well again, are you prevented from all the other things like plastic surgery that pose risk? Are tanning beds illegal? What about making it illegal for the government and private colleges to legally give out student loans to innocent students who will never be able to pay them back? Should that be illegal? Or should it be lesson learned it was your choice? I choose the latter all day…
Now back to sports… Suppose I’m having a big sports event coming up and a week before my girlfriend breaks up with me. I’m a mess! I can’t concentrate! One would argue this is giving the other team an unfair advantage, right? Point is should my team be allowed an extra 2 points? You would agree and say, it’s my choice to let it get to me, bad luck, whatever the case may be…but the risk was mine to date someone who might hurt me. The risk in taking steroids is like everything else in life you may get hurt but you may reach your full potential from it as well.
Geez now that I’m all stressed out… I need to ride my motorcycle to the sky slopes after my cup of coffee and cigarette. cause that’s my right!