When I arrived in Melbourne, Australia I had a very interesting cab ride from the airport to my hotel. The cabbie was an older gentleman and quite chatty. He asked where I was from in the States and what I was doing in Melbourne, etc. The usual talk.
Somehow, we got on the topic of the tour de france and he said that he had been a huge Lance Armstrong fan, and that because of the time difference, he'd actually set his alarm clock to wake up to watch Lance race when this was going on.
Then he told me he lost all respect for Lance once it came out that he had been using steroids to win.
"Do you think he really did that?" he asked me.
"Yeah. Of course he did." I said.
"But that's cheating." he said.
"How?" I asked.
"You're supposed to see what the body can do naturally." was his answer.
Just a while back Hector Lombard, a UFC fighter, was suspended from fighting for a year for testing position for the designer steroid, desoxymethyltestosterone, aka DMT.
The Nevada Athletic Commission, just like the NFL, NBA, and whatever acronym pro baseball uses, all have policies against the use of anabolic steroids that of course come with heavy fines or suspensions if one pops positive for them.
That's because of course, steroids are illegal. And dangerous.
I will tie all this back together in a bit. Just sit tight.
Media and general population ignorance -
From this site...http://thelawdictionary.org/article/why-are-steroids-illegal/
Health risks of steroids
Anabolic steroids are illegal due to their proven health risks for individuals who take them. As a powerful hormone, they can cause unexpected and unwanted side effects for individuals who abuse them beyond a doctor's prescription. Side effects include:
- Infertility and impotence in men
- Breast development and testicular shrinkage in men
- Excessive face and body hair development in women
- Deepened voice, menstrual irregularities and reduced breast size in women
- Acne, oily scalp, jaundice, mood swings, delusions and baldness in both men and women
- Increased risk of high cholesterol, liver disease, liver cancer and heart attack
As a controlled substance, anabolic steroids are kept illegal to prevent people from suffering unwanted health effects. Their illegality keeps the general public that may not know the full risks safe from harm.
Well shit, let's just tackle these one by one.
List of drugs that can cause infertility/low sperm count in men outside of steroids -
1. Heavy alcohol consumption - legal depending on age
2. Tobacco use - legal depending on age
3. Cocaine - seriously illegal
4. Weed - Illegal in some places, not in others
5. Obesity - manifestation of abusing twinkies, pizza, hot dogs, and bloomin onions
- Breast development and testicular shrinkage in men -
1. Bruce Jenner got tits and was hailed a hero. Men get gyno and are trolled online.
2. No one cares who has big or small nuts. I've never heard of a woman complaining that a guys nuts were too small. Physically speaking I mean.
- Excessive face and body hair development in women -
1. Italian women have this naturally. So do Indian women. I suppose we should just start throwing them in prison.
2. Razors can't be found at Wal-Greens anymore?
No one remembers this story?
I guess airport and homeland security missed this one. She should have been thrown in jail. What if she really was just taking steroids and this was the outcome?
- Deepened voice, menstrual irregularities and reduced breast size in women -
1. Men are used to dealing with irregularities in women in regards to their menstrual cycle. I am sure some of us would like them to be thrown in jail during certain times of the month due to this, so I can't really oppose this.
2. I am all for throwing women in jail who purposely shrink their big cans. Can we also outlaw breast reduction surgery? Since women willingly go see a surgeon to do that?
- Acne, oily scalp, jaundice, mood swings, delusions and baldness in both men and women -
1. Let's throw everyone who is going through puberty in prison immediately. Acne for days.
2. Let's also make room for those who use any drug that cause acne. Certain birth control pills can. And women were made to procreate. So they are literally fighting nature by stopping us from getting them pregnant AND getting acne.
3. ACNE IS A REASON LISTED!!!!! ACNE!!!!
- Increased risk of high cholesterol, liver disease, liver cancer and heart attack -
- 1. High cholesterol....don't get me started. We're all aware of the link to high cholesterol and poor dietary habits and obesity. The difference is, the media keeps telling us that fat is beautiful. So we're supposed to accept one standard (obesity) as being beautiful while ignoring all of the very well documented health risks with it, and shun the other for what they say causes the same thing. Makes sense.
- 2. The liver. Alcohol is legal. Alcohol and the liver. Read. http://www.liverfoundation.org/abouttheliver/info/alcohol/
A while back there was a steroid lab busted, and the cop who was interviewed said that it's important to get these drugs off the street because they make people angry. And that as a safety precaution, we didn't need angry drivers on the road.
So basically, what you're telling me is, every New York city cab driver is hitting the tren and halo way too fucking hard?
Makes sense now.
Seriously, it's like our government sits back in their office each day and says to each other "let's figure out all of the dumbest reasons we will make something illegal, and see how many sheep there still are in this society."
I wonder if anyone has ever bothered to show all of the completely ignorant members of society and congress this study, done by the New England Journal of Medicine...
Basically, two groups of men. One group was given placebo, the other group 600mg of test enanthate a week.
As expected, those that got the testosterone got bigger and leaner and stronger than the group that didn't get it (DUH!).
But it's the last line of the conclusion part that is most important.
Neither mood nor behavior was altered in any group.
You're telling me the group that got the roids wasn't out killing prostitutes and fighting the cops on a weekly basis? They weren't having road rage and shooting out of their window at other drivers with an Uzi? Oh wait, that's Chicago. Not steroids.
So let me get this right.
- Drunk driving kills over 10,000 people a year. And alcohol is legal.
- Overall mortality among both male and female smokers in the United States is about three times higher than that among similar people who never smoked. Cigarettes are legal.
- 1 in 5 deaths in America are now obesity related. We are told that "beauty comes in all sizes".
- Steroids shrink your balls. ILLEGAL!!!!!
I just wanted to clear up the hypocrisy in which we live in, and to show the utter and complete stupidity as to how we are governed as a people.
The general public, like my cab driver in Melbourne, thinks steroids are dangerous. But I can't find a single stat on the number of people that were killed by roid rage. Or roided out drivers.
The fact is, the great majority of people that just watch the news believe the bullshit that is fed to them because they are sheep. If you believe that steroids will turn you into Ben Affleck in some after school special, then you're a moron.
So are there health risks?
There are health risks associated with virtually every form abuse.
Drink too much - Die
Smoke too much - Die
Eat too much - Die
Steroid too much - Die
But shit man, take 30 aspirin and you'll experience the last headache you will EVER have. You can buy that over the counter right now.
Death tends to be the ending manifestation of all form of abuse in this context. But within context, for abuse to be related to death, it also needs to be abuse over a long period of time.
Pretty sure when kids go on spring break in Cancun or Florida they "abuse" alcohol for that week. They probably abuse recreational drugs during that time as well. And yes, you can die from alcohol poisoning, or overdosing of some form of recreational drug, but I'm not talking about that. I'm talking about long term abuse. Because as far as I know, you can't OD on testosterone.
So how do we draw the line in order to say "this constitutes use, and this constitutes abuse."?
There are a few factors here at play in that regard.
I don't consider a swollen clitoris or shrunken balls "health risks."
And this is where we have to get into the blurry line of "use vs abuse".
The problem is, I think most people want to attach a certain dose onto the value of abuse. I'm not opposed to that, however I don't think it's that simple either.
So let's get the most important part out of the way first.
1. USE is NOT ABUSE
There are people who consider any form of use, to be abuse. And that's like calling the guy having a beer on the weekends a raging alcoholic.
Testosterone therapy, as prescribed by a doctor is use. But it is not abuse.
Anavar is often given to children or AIDS patients.
In fact, anabolics are quite often used in those with HIV or AIDS because it fights the catabolic effects the virus has on the body. Yay for steroids being awesome.
It's also even possible, that someone with HIV may need to take what would be seen as "abuse" in regards to dose, because of their condition. I know this for a fact because I am friends with someone who has AIDS, who has to take incredibly high doses of anabolics just to maintain his bodyweight.
Unfortunately, I've seen him still wither away over the years despite his "use" (yes use, not abuse). However he has told me on numerous occasions that if not for anabolics, his life quality would have been in the shitter years ago. Steroids literally helped him live a far higher quality of life.
In his case, his "use" did not constitute abuse because it was literally what was required to get the job done JUST TO LIVE.
For someone who just needs to feel normal again that has low test levels, they obviously would not need the type of doses he took.
Both are striving for a higher quality of life. Yet both have different needs in terms of "use".
2. Use in accordance with performance
This is the blurriest of lines.
There are some sports where for the great majority of the athletes, will need to cross over into what most people would consider "abuse" in order to be competitive.
Professional bodybuilding, professional strongman, elite level powerlifting, cycling, and probably a few others.
Does this mean that abuse is not happening? No. But in these cases the user may justify his abuse in order to be competitive at the highest levels. When I write "justify" of course, I mean to himself. After all, it's his or her choice to make in regards as to what they are willing to risk.
My biggest issue here is, it should be up to the athlete to make that choice without being made into a criminal by our government. It's really none of their fucking business what people do with their body since alcohol, tobacco, and McDonalds are all still legal.
3. Clearly defining abuse
In all honesty, I'd like to be able to do that, but I have such a staunch stance on all of us being able to decide what we want to do with our bodies that it's hard for me to reconcile this.
But I will toss out a few things here, so that I can be as clear as possible about this.
If you've been around sports or bodybuilding or the strength world long enough, you know what abuse looks like. Guys that are sporting a nice shade of magenta year round, and people that have to take blood pressure medication so that they can take even more drugs, are definitely falling into that realm of "abuse".
If a guy is getting his blood work done, and getting his heart checked out, and all of it consistently comes back with a reading of "holy shit, you're about to fucking die" he's probably abusing.
But seriously, bottomed out LDL's and atherosclerosis and elevated liver enzymes should all be pointing you to the fact that you have crossed from "use" into the land of "abuse".
The biggest problem I've seen in regards to this, is that so many guys refuse to accept they are abusing. They see the guys that have died from years of abuse, and believe shit about them having pre-existing conditions that had nothing to do with anabolics. I mean you really have to have your head in the sand if you're going to ignore all of the bodybuilders that have dropped dead over the past two decades that were between 25 and 45 years old. But people don't think it can happen to them.
People don't like to willingly acknowledge their mortality at times. That's a scary thing to come to terms with.
The level playing field -
Back in 1988 Carl Lewis lost to Ben Johnson in the 100 meter dash. Ben got popped for steroids, and because Carl Lewis was an American, and American's are wholesome and shit, congress decided that steroids, and Canadians, are dangerous. And should be made illegal.
Yet we're still letting Canadians into this country. I can't figure this out.
Anyway, that was really the knee jerk reaction that caused all of this, and of course the media then filled the sheep's heads with all the bullshit that gets repeated by the common man or woman who doesn't know a winstrol tab from a tic-tac.
But the main pile of bullshit I have to hear is how some guy should be suspended because he got caught using them.
First off, as fans we demand to see athletes perform at a high level. A level that defies our ability to sometimes comprehend how they can do such things. And PED's always have, and always will play a big part in this. They help the athlete to recover, and play on Sunday, instead of being in the trainer's room.
Steroids pretty much saved baseball with the home run race. No one gave a god damn shit about baseball until then. Then suddenly Mark and Sammy were heroes. Oh wait, nevermind. They used some designer roids to play better, feel better, look better, and baseball a bit better.
What horrible, horrible cheaters they were. I'm not sure why they aren't sitting in Guantanamo bay with the other terrorists. How dare they entertain us by hitting home runs and making baseball cool again.
How dare Lance Armstrong make the tour de france awesome by breaking foot off in cyclist ass over and over again.
Athletes are always going to find a way to "cheat". But you have to understand something. To the athlete, he's just trying to win. And he's very aware of the fact that his competition is "cheating" too. People don't remember the guy that took 5th but was natural. People remember winners. For better or worse, that's what we remember. And as fans, we demand the athletes we root for to perform at the highest level.
And then some of you have the nerve to criticize them for going above and beyond in order to meet that demand.
There is no such thing as a level playing field. The majority of athletes are going to look high and low in order to find an advantage to win. Because their passion to excel at something exceeds the limitations of their fear. And if that passion means they ride into the dark days of abuse, that is their choice. And they will have to ultimately pay for it. Not you. Not me. Just them.
Does that mean it's the choice for everyone? No. Of course not. And I'm certainly not applauding abuse. I just believe that people should have the right to make that choice without looking at prison time for it. But because of Carl Lewis, they can no longer freely make that choice without consequences from the law.
Fuck you Carl Lewis, for being such a crybaby losing bitch.
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I'm not altogether sure what you're arguing here.ReplyDelete
The use of steroids and certain other anabolic substances is banned by most athletic commissions/regulatory bodies. Use and possession of steroids is also illegal. So Lance Armstrong was cheating when he used steroids, since he took part in a competition in which the use of said steroids was banned. There is absolutely nothing ambiguous or hypocritical about that. He should also have been taken to court on criminal charges.
By taking part in a competition under the auspices of an athletic federation that prohibits steroid use, you are effectively stating that you are not taking steroids. If you then get busted or admit to taking steroids, you are not only a cheater, but a liar. That's pretty straightforward too. I would go so far to call you a piece of shit, but that's just my $0.02, and I don't really follow cycling so my opinion is also shit.
Similarly, individuals who use, possess or distribute steroids in the US and Canada (and wherever else these are illegal) should be fined, arrested, etc. in accordance with the law, without exception. Same as users and peddlers of heroin and other recreational drugs. Nothing ambiguous here either.
The use of steroids and other hormones is not illegal if it is done under the supervision of a qualified medical professional. Prescription drugs can be prescribed by a physician. Abuse of prescription drugs (i.e. without prescription) is illegal, regardless of whether said drugs are anabolic or not (opioids, depressants, non-OTC stimulants, etc.).
I completely agree with you that the potential health hazards of steroids have not been researched thoroughly (which, since steroid use is illegal in most countries, isn't really THAT surprising), that the public/sponsors are hypocritical regarding the demand for bigger/stronger/faster in sports (but crucify drug users as "cheaters") and that the the majority of top-flight athletes take steroids, so any arguments about a "level playing field" are moot. And yes, if people want to abuse steroids to make money in sports, I think they should be allowed to - it's their bodies.
But none of that matters. If the law prohibits steroid use, steroid use is illegal. If anyone has a problem with that, they should change the law and/or sports federation regulations. Not cheat.
I think you totally missed the point. But that's uncommon for you.Delete
Well, may I have a quick clarification, then? I hate to miss the point.Delete
I'm confused are you saying using banned substances is not cheating and that its ok ?ReplyDelete
I'm saying we have a double standard as "fans". We want our athletes to go above and beyond but then, SOME people want to act holier than thou when they make an effort to do so. I personally don't consider them cheating because there are so many things that are PEDS that aren't even on the god damn list of banned substances.Delete
Creatine is a PED. Is that cheating? You will say no, because some committee didn't ban it. But caffeine is a PED too, but it's not banned. If it were banned are they now cheating just because some group said they can't use it?
even the term PED is completely arbitrary because there are lots of "performance enhancing substances". My other issue is that they were essentially made illegal because Carl Lewis lost. Yet HE was cheating too. Look it up.
But Carl Lewis has said in interviews that he wasn't "cheating". Olympic athletes wouldn't lie would they? I'm still pissed, as a Canadian, for the bullshit they pulled on Ben Johnson.Delete
As someone who knows nothings about PEDs, what about the argument that less developed countries will find it even more difficult to be competitive if we simply open the floodgates and let anything go in terms of PED use? At least currently Olympians have to be fairly modest in their PED use (Olympic weightlifters don't look like World's Strongest Man competitors). Wouldn't a totally open approach mean that those with the best, highest funded labs/scientists win (in aggregate)?ReplyDelete
It's a valid point in theory, but PEDs alone do not make a champion. It's not like the US would overcome the massive gap in weightlifting between us and less developed nations magically by drugging more. Nor does PED use continue to yield advantages indefinitely, i.e. 5g of test per week is probably no more effective than 3g, or whatever.Delete
Paul two wrongs don't make a right so I don't need to look up what Karl Lewis has done in the past and putting caffeine in the same bracket as steroids seems a bit over the top.ReplyDelete
I have always enjoyed your articles in the past but I don't think justifying steroids is the way to go sorry.
I was surprised you didn't mention in the health section the lifelong impact to a long term blast/cruise has on testosterone post cycle(s). The overwhelming majority of people who has been on the bicycle for years knows they can look forward to TRT the rest of their life. Thats the only reason i've never considered running cycles the way you do, i just dont want to commit to TRT to be 'normal' again when im older.ReplyDelete
Same here. I am surprised when this does not get mentioned as a "health risk" - but maybe this was already discussed in the 'Dark Sidin' series?Delete
I'm with you iamtraderjoe - I fear the reprecussions of "riding bicycles", and I am surprised many young (25 or younger) guys will do it for that reason. You want to stuck on TRT for the rest of your life? It's not a certainty, but is is a possibility.
How was the rest of the conversation?ReplyDelete
Was he drinking coffee to be the best damn natty cab driver around?
Its simple drinking caffeine doesn't give you a triple body weight bench etc and taking steroids is the easy way out. No doubt hard work is requires regardless of what steroids you take out but no matter how you paint the picture and try to justify it, its still cheating.ReplyDelete
Taking steroids won't give you a triple bodyweight bench. In fact, I don't know of anyone with a triple bodyweight bench. At all. Steroids may not even get you a double bodyweight bench.Delete
And the matter of simply taking steroids is not cheating. You sound like one of the typical uneducated, uninformed sheep I am talking about.
I don't understand how you get entertainment from intentionally making yourself look like an idiot online. Again and again and again. I won't bother reading your response to this comment(and I know you will respond) because it will be the same old crap.ReplyDelete
You'll come back. And you'll read it. And the best part is, you keep reading my stuff regardless. So you're not a hater....bitch, you're a fan. And I love renting that head space of yours for fucking free. Now, go finish your juice box and shut the fuck up and sit in the corner.Delete
With respect to you I disagree with this article. If you will allow an extreme example:ReplyDelete
Suppose we had Torture Competitions where we tested men to see who had the greatest pain tolerance. If one of those guys used pain killers and got drunk before competition, I would consider him a cheater. Why? Because he is using chemical substances to achieve things that he would not otherwise be able to achieve without them.
It wouldn't make me feel any differently if I found out all the competitors did the same, I would think they were all cheaters.
I would pose this question to you: other factors being relatively equal, who would win a powerlifting comp: the man who was natty, or the man on steroids? Compare 100 of each group? How about a hard training natty who has lifted for 6 years, vs a hard training lifter using anabolics that had only lifted for 3 years?
The answer to who is likely to win 99% of the time in the above questions, is exactly my point. Because the same cannot be said for coffee, or creatine, or alcohol, or any other "comparable" substance that steroid supporters try to suggest are the same.
I still believe anabolics deserve to be banned from competitive sports, because they are simply not fair to those who choose to follow the rules and remain natural.
"I still believe anabolics deserve to be banned from competitive sports"Delete
Deserve or not deserve is not at issue here. The essence of the argument is that they ARE banned, and, until that changes, anabolic use = cheating.
Obviously I'm exaggerating with a triple body weight bench but you know what I'm getting at, however as long as you work hard when in the gym if using steroids virtually any programme will work.ReplyDelete
I get the impression from your txt that the programmes you promote are really only suitable for people who do indeed use steroids as you seem all for there use or at least that's how it comes across.
However just because we don't agree on one subject I still wish you every success regardless of the methods you use in order to get there.
If this is what you believe, your loss. Lift-Run-Bang programs will produce results, drugs or no drugs.Delete
Clearly, program templates based on moderate volume with moderate weights and infrequent maxing out will ONLY work for juicers.
Strong logic is strong.
timely post, good one. i've just finished reading "speed trap", the autobiography of the late legendary canadian sprint trainer charlie francis, whose charges set 32 world records and won 9 olympic medals. he was also ben johnson's coach right up to that famous 100m final at the '88 olympics. he writes open and candidly about how he introduced ben johnson to performance enhancers when he realised that all the closest competitors in the field were also using them. indeed, apart from ben johnson, 6 of the 8 finalists from that 100 final were subsequently implicated in doping scandals, including the loudmouth carl "i'm clean, me" lewis.ReplyDelete
the irony is that the very top performers who are tested positive are found with amounts of gear in their system that can be called modest at best, often no more than residues. what isn't made very public by the anti-doping authorities is the fact that there are countless others not even within shouting distance of the podium who are juiced up to the eyeballs. the question then arises - if using gear is cheating, why are so many who are on gear not performing far better than they should? surely not the fact that they train harder and longer and better than anyone else!
ben johnson, like lance armstrong, trained like a monster, absolutely working at the very edge of what's physically possible. but by trying to make themselves faster and better than they already were they are villified to a point which makes them out to be worse than war criminals. i can only assume the spectacle of watching successful athletes fall from grace allows people the gratifying sensation of (self-perceived) moral superiority and the opportunity to rationalize away the physical superiority of these athletes as simply being due to drug use (and not the countless hours of hard and systematic training they perform on a daily basis).
before i finally shut it, here's a great anecdote from that book: ben johnson would place his power rack on the 100m starting line, load it up with plates, belt out an absolutely fuck-off set and then immediately explode out of the cage and hurtle down the track. awesome. at that's the great tragedy of the man: when you re-watch that race, you realise what an outstanding athlete he was, gear or no gear.
so i, for one, have zero right to call anyone a cheat who trains all-out like that, so i'm not even going to try and take a view on that. just a shame that the argument has been reduced to baseline cliches with zero intellectual rigour.
Again, this seems to be besides the point.Delete
If your sport federation's rulebook bans the use of steroids, and you are competing juiced in a competition organized by that federation, you are a liar, and a cheat. That is an indisputable fact.
There's no need to vilify juicers, or to feel bad for them. They take on a calculated risk (money and fame vs. shame and disgrace), and, as with all risk, sometimes it doesn't pay off.
All this pretty much rings true. Like any drug steroids most certainly can kill you if abused however like you said that's the users own personal business, unless it's a person I'm close to then it's none of my business. Also even the most mediocre athletes on a professional level probably have or do take PED's at some point and there still not that good so steroids alone won't make you better.ReplyDelete
I think as far as WADA and drug testing goes, it's good and bad. I think the good that has been done, and WADA almost eluded to this fact when a guy wrote a news article about him micro-dosing EPO and not getting caught, is that they have more or less stopped abuse of steroids and other drugs in sports. We don't have bald 20 year old weightlifters, we don't have East German style female swimmers, etc. So in this regard I think WADA and drug testing has been a success, as the health of athletes is much better than in the old days. In the 60s, cyclists were taking amphetamines and opiate painkillers and cortisone, and in the 30s, they even used cocaine. So I don't think it's possible or a good thing to do to go to a full unlimited drug policy in sports, as the athletes would be quite unhealthy. I'm sure some fucking idiot would say "so, not my problem, entertain me damnit" but that's a bit callous and ridiculous.ReplyDelete
I think the problem that's been shown is that drug testing I think definitely does make sport a LOT more corrupt. For example, with TUEs it's a prime example, they could deny one guy a TUE for testosterone, and give one to another. Nevermind things like outright payoffs and bribes to cover up drug tests, or spiking a rival athlete's drink, etc, which all while rare, does happen. But I think the main problem is nowadays, only a rich person in a pro sport can afford to dope easily. If a guy wants to take testosterone, he'd have to find or get made some with the human carbon isotope ratio, run labs on himself, check for certain genes, etc, to make sure he can do it without getting caught, and this is how people are still managing to take it without getting caught. So it creates a big game, of designer substances, figuring out all kinds of tricks, running labs, etc. So people are still doping, but the guy using cheap stuff is the one who gets caught. In this regard, it likely makes life worse for athletes not under national support, sponsorship, etc, as those athletes get the money to dope (and likely do) but someone poor and upcoming cannot. So this is what I see as the biggest problem of anti-doping regulations in sports, the amount of corruption and tricks that comes with it. But, you'd have to be a complete idiot to want to go back to the 1960s with no doping controls at all.
I don't know what WADA/etc will do, as they're getting even more strict with the things they ban, for example giving a warning to rowers for using energy bars with glycerin in them, to the point it gets very ridiculous. I would say ideally, WADA should eventually move to allow therapeutic doses of some of the drugs now associated with doping, testosterone, HGH, etc, but then still ban, say, halotestin and trenbolone, etc. For all we know, ____ star athlete might already be legally using said substances under a TUE under WADA or their national anti-doping agency's blessing.
Was too lazy to actually read the article, though. Just Mendes getting popped again has made me think about all this more. I do think most powerlifters and bodybuilders do fall into the "abuse" category of steroid using, though. The actual medical doses of said substances generally are pretty small, so anyone taking a gram of testosterone or 40-50mg of dianabol is abusing it, the same way someone taking 100mg of Adderall or Ritalin would be abusing their medication as well.