Steroids In Sports

Performance Enhancing Drug and Anabolic Steroid Use In The Past

The use of performance enhancing drugs is by no means anything new to athletics or even to society in general. The modern medical and scientific advantages to the use of performance enhancing drugs have merely changed the methods and manner by which athletes utilize substances to enhance performance, making it all more efficient and effective – an exact science. But the use of these substances are nothing new to us, and this can easily be seen by looking back into ancient history as far back as several thousand years ago.

The very first use of anabolic steroids in sports and athletics can be dated back almost two thousand years in ancient Greece. Other instances of anabolic steroid use have occurred throughout history, notably in ancient Rome as well, but none was more prevalent than in the ancient Greek Olympic Games. Well documented historical records state that it was prior to and during the ancient Greek Olympic Games that these ancient athletes would consume massive quantities of sheep and bull testicles[1]. The end result was a vast increase in performance, specifically in the areas of strength, speed, and muscular size. The athletes who engaged in the consumption of sheep and bull testes did not understand the true mechanics of what was occurring due to their dietary habits, of course, but they did understand that there happened to be a direct correlation between the consumption of sheep and bull testes and the increase in athletic ability and performance. The real truth was that it was the anabolic steroid hormones within the testes, Testosterone, which had been consumed in mass quantities – enough to provide a noticeable positive change – that had been responsible for the assistance in their performance increases!

Performance enhancing drug use outside of the arena of anabolic steroids has also been a frequent and very common endeavor of athletes for a very long time as well. As a matter of fact, the use of other substances and compounds that are not anabolic steroids has been more frequent and more common than anabolic steroid use itself, although this is only limited to the time period prior to the modern development of anabolic steroids. Various herbs and foods believed to enhance athletic performance has been a commonplace practice for as long as sport has existed in human history. The true nature of many of these herbs and foods was that the active ingredients within that played a role in performance enhancement was that of stimulants, hormones, vitamins, and various other different compounds and substances contained within. Of course, once again, this was unknown to these athletes at the time. It was not until modern medicine and modern scientific investigational methods in the late 19th century that humans understood what exactly it was contained within these items that had such profound effects. For example, historical records note that the winner of the 480BC Olympic Games stated that his diet consisted of 100% meat for a period of 10 months straight prior to the Olympic Games[2]. We can see how this would have had a significant impact, as meats (red meat in particular) contains high amounts of the different B vitamins, and also contains high levels of Creatine, which has been proven to increased athletic performance in some areas to a certain extent. Ancient Greek athletes were also known to eat figs under the belief that they would assist in the growth of muscle and improve stamina, which had been based upon the ancient Greek religious and mythological figure Hercules who was said to have made figs a staple in his diet. One other practice among ancient Greek athletes was that of getting drunk from wine “once or twice”, because it was believed to heal muscle aches2. Of course, many of these practices and beliefs would today be labeled as pseudoscientific hogwash based upon flawed reasoning and logic, as the ancient Greeks had no scientific basis for any of the claims that these protocols worked. Some of them indeed did work, perhaps for reasons different from what they had believed at the time, and others just plain did not work.

ancient-anabolic-steroidsBut this brings us to one major theme and point here that must be made: The fact that the use of performance enhancing substances due to the win-at-any-cost attitude was commonplace, and very widely accepted – it was in fact a trait among individuals that was highly sought after! It was actually expected of ancient athletes (as well as warriors and soldiers) to adopt this notion and attitude of winning at any cost and to utilize performance enhancing substances of any sort to do so. These same values were held very high by the society of the time. In comparison to our society today, this can be seen as being quite the drastic difference in the values held by society then and the values held by society now – but one thing is for certain: there is no difference between the values held by the ancient athletes when compared to the values held by today’s modern athletes. The majority of people today in our modern society tend to look upon anabolic steroid and performance enhancing drug use as something immoral, unholy, and unacceptable, and that sports and athletics should be performed ‘naturally’ with the human body in the conditions as it exists with no assistance from any substances. On the contrary, the notion among ancient Greek and Roman society was one where the exact opposite was encouraged, promoted, and valued highly – and of course, the attitudes of the athletes of the time was the exact same. Today we see a society (for the most part) that shuns, discourages, and crushes these values, but our modern athletes do not share this same sentiment and have more in common with the attitudes of ancient Greek and Roman athletes as we will soon discover.

Where the ancient Olympics are concerned, the rewards and prizes for being the winner were much more scarce than they are today in our modern sports and Olympic Games. In comparison to what our modern athletes receive as prize and reward, ancient athletes received almost nothing – no medals were presented to the winners, motivation for competing at their best was not for enjoyment of the games or ‘fun’, nor did they compete for personal pride. The big number one driving factor among the ancient athletes that is held in common with our modern athletes is: public mass fame, glory, prestige, and money! Ancient Greek Olympic athletes received 1,200 days of pay as a prize reward for winning an event[3]. In comparison to today’s modern athletes, this is absolutely no different. The major burning motivating force for today’s modern athletes is the exact same motivating force for the ancient Greek and Roman athletes of thousands of years ago, and this is of course the primary motivating force behind the drive for athletes to utilize any substance, compound, food, or herb known to enhance athletic performance in order to achieve that increased edge in order to win. It is through the excessively large and highly attractive salaries, contracts, and sponsorships that provide the intense motivation to accommodate the same win-at-any-cost attitude that the ancient athletes also possessed. This, in turn, is what creates the allure for our modern athletes to seek and use anabolic steroids and performance enhancing substances in order to win and obtain these highly sought after prizes. The compounds and substances used in today’s modern age for performance enhancement have come a very long way from that which was used for the same purpose in ancient Rome and Greece. The performance enhancing substances of the modern age today not only provide significant assistance in enhancing athletic performance, but also hold the ability to heal injury to a significant extent, strengthen against possible future injury, and therefore allow the athletes to recover quicker and get back out in the ring, on the track, on the rink, or out in the field faster following injury.

Performance Enhancing Drugs In Modern Sport Not Including Anabolic Steroids

Anabolic steroids were never the only substances utilized in sports and athletics to enhance performance, and in fact many other substances were used vastly long before anabolic steroids as we know them today in their modern use were used for the first time. The first obvious substances to be used were compounds categorized as stimulants. Many different types of stimulants have been known to increase performance, and more so in the immediate sense (meaning that the benefits are seen shortly after administration whereas anabolic steroids require weeks of administration before results are seen). Caffeine, for example, is known to have performance enhancing qualities through its stimulant effects among other attributes. Other stronger stimulants, such as Cocaine and Amphetamines, have been well understood to enhance performance. Thomas Hicks is one such example of an athlete who won the gold medal in the Olympic marathon of 1904. Hicks had consumed a combination of Brandy, Cocaine, and Strychnine in order to assist him in achieving his victory. It is well known, though, that this cocktail had caused him to at one point collapse and almost die, whereby he had to be revived by a medical team. When all was said and done, however, Hicks ended up being the number one winner of the 1904 marathon. It is also well known that Cocaine was frequently used among baseball players in the late 1800s and early 1900s during baseball games. Athletes had experimented with other stimulants around this period as well, such as the use of Nitroglycerine by Olympic sprinters in an effort to induce blood vessel dilation during events. Dextroamphetamines were also a commonly used stimulant used by marathon runners and sprinters. Note that the use of all of these substances were at a point in history long before the International Olympic Committee (IOC) brought drug testing policies into effect as well as testing procedures. During this time, the use of many different substances and stimulants for the purpose of performance enhancement was quite widespread among athletes, and was widely accepted. Society in general thought nothing negative of this behavior, and it was regarded as quite normal activity.

Anabolic Steroids In The Olympics and Modern Sports

Anabolic steroids in modern sports, and especially in the Olympics, began in the 1950s when the Soviet Union had put to use the data collected in Soviet-occupied Germany following World War 2. This data was data collected by the Nazis on the use of Testosterone for the purpose of performance enhancement. The Soviet Union had the advantage over all of the other Allied nations in obtaining this data before any other country or organization could. It was in the late 1940s when the Soviet Union intensely studied this information and furthered its application and development, which resulted in the administration of Testosterone to Soviet Olympic athletes. Shortly afterwards, it was during the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki where the Soviet athletes had demonstrated significant advantages in the various sporting activities. But, it would be the 1954 Olympic Games where by this time the Soviet Union had almost perfected the use of Testosterone and made leaps and bounds in progress where its application for the purpose of performance enhancement was concerned. The result in the 1954 Olympics was the Soviet domination of almost every event, especially those events where strength and speed was concerned. Following this event, the chief doctor of the US Olympic team, Dr. John Ziegler, and his medical staff had been tasked with investigating as to why the Soviets had everyone else at such a disadvantage. It was discovered that the Soviet Olympic athletes had been administered Testosterone injections in order to assist in performance enhancement.

Canada's Ben Johnson 100m event at the 1988 Olympic games in Seoul Used Winstrol
Canada’s Ben Johnson 100m event at the 1988 Olympic games in Seoul Used Winstrol

Following the discovery of Testosterone use among Soviet athletes, Dr. Ziegler and his team developed an anabolic steroid which was a chemically modified variant of Testosterone that could be administered orally and still result in a high percentage of the substance reach the bloodstream. What resulted was the development of Methandrostenolone, which was then manufactured and marketed by the pharmaceutical company Ciba as Dianabol – the second anabolic steroid ever synthesized, and the very first synthetic derivative/analogue of Testosterone. With the development of Dianabol and its use by the American Olympic team, they were now on equal footing with the Soviet Union. But it was the development of Dianabol that at this time created the anabolic steroid development race, where hundreds, if not thousands, of anabolic steroids were developed over the next few years and all throughout the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. The goal in this steroid development boom was to modify Testosterone chemically in many different ways so as to produce essentially the ‘perfect’ anabolic steroid, where all of the performance enhancing benefits could be experienced with none of the negative side effects. The result was thousands of derivatives of Testosterone, Nandrolone, and Dihydrotestosterone (the three primary natural anabolic steroids created by the human body) that were created, all with different features, advantages, disadvantages, and attributes.

By the 1960s, other participating countries in the Olympic Games had adopted anabolic steroid use in their athletes and some had gone to very large lengths to do so as well. One such example is East Germany, which actually ran state-sponsored and state-run programs for the purpose of engaging all of their athletes in anabolic steroid use for the purpose of performance enhancement – whether or not the athlete was aware of it. Dr. Manfred Hoeppner in 1968 designed the “State Plan Research Theme 14.25”, which was a plan that outlined mandatory anabolic steroid use in all of the East German Olympic athletes across the board[4]. The plan also had one other primary purpose, and that was to cheat the Olympic drug testing programs. Under this program, both male and female athletes were administered anabolic steroids with and without their knowledge. A vast amount of the anabolic steroid used in this program were also undetectable at the time, very much due in large part to their new development and tightly-kept secret status. Many of these anabolic steroids were designed by East Germany for the sole purpose of fooling drug testing procedures. Before long, East Germany became a highly dominating player in the Olympic Games for nearly 25 years when the end of the Cold War marked the end of East Germany.

However, perhaps the most notable marker of anabolic steroid use in the Olympic Games that made perhaps the biggest impact in history was that of Canadian Olympic sprinter Ben Johnson. It was in the 1988 summer Olympic Games where Canadian Olympic sprinter Ben Johnson tested positive for Winstrol after his victory at the 100 meter dash. Ben Johnson was stripped of his Olympic Gold medal and suspended, and it was the event in history that would be the swan song for the freedom of anabolic steroids. This 1988 Olympic steroid scandal sparked congressional hearings on the issue of control over anabolic steroids, and shortly afterwards during that same year anabolic steroids became a controlled drug. Ben Johnson was perhaps the one athlete in all of history that had suffered the worst punishment and fate of all athletes caught using anabolic steroids – past, present and future athletes included.

Anabolic Steroids In Baseball

As previously mentioned, Major League Baseball did not have anabolic steroid testing procedures or even any bans until long after many other major sports leagues and organizations implemented them. It was not until the late 1990s and early 2000s that anabolic steroids became an issue brought to the forefront in the MLB and in the media. During the early 2000s, a reporter had supposedly spotted a bottle of Androstenedione in Mark McGwire’s locker, which was a legal nutritional supplement at the time. Androstenedione is a prohormone, which is a precursor hormone to anabolic steroids. On their own, prohormones possess little to zero hormonal activity. It is not until prohormones are consumed by the human body, where the liver undergoes conversion of the prohormone through various biochemical reactions and processes to form the end result, which is an active anabolic steroid hormone. The development of prohormones and the bioactive mechanism through which they work effectively avoided the laws surrounding anabolic steroids. The result was the free sale and purchase of prohormone supplements on the shelves of any supplement store.

Mark McGwire during this time had been very close to breaking an untouched home run record. The sighting of Androstenedione by a reporter, however, had triggered a large amount of attention and hysteria concerning anabolic steroids in Major League Baseball. McGwire did end up breaking the home run record, and almost immediately afterwards retired from the sport. Although McGwire had virtually dodged the anabolic steroid commotion with his quick retirement, the hell that had been left behind on the sport itself would continue to wreak havoc afterwards. Over the next few years, more baseball players would come out to the mass media with anabolic steroid use confessions as well as accusations among their fellow players. Ken Caminti would be the first to do so, admitting to the use of performance enhancing drugs to Sports Illustrated, and while that had raised enough commotion, he also made the claim that 50% of baseball players had also been using performance enhancing drugs, anabolic steroids included. This had been perhaps the most influential and impacting move, where hundreds of pieces of media had been published by magazines, newspapers, and television media surrounding the issue. The gates of hell had opened up on Major League Baseball as a result. What would then follow would be Jose Canseco’s claims and admissions about anabolic steroid use in the MLB. Canseco wrote a book as well, where he had claimed that it was actually 85% of MLB players that had used anabolic steroids, including his personal confession of use.

Barry Bonds and Jason Giambi followed afterwards in landing in the next big spotlight of media attention and hysteria. Bonds and Giambi were both implicated in a scandal known as the BALCO (Bay Area Laboratory Cooperative) scandal. At the time, BALCO was a pharmaceutical company that had developed and manufactured various anabolic steroids in secret that were new and unknown compounds designed to beat drug tests. These anabolic steroids were then distributed to a vast list of athletes, of which Barry Bonds and Jason Giambi were found on. The notable undetectable designer anabolic steroid at the time was Tetrahydrogestrinone (THG), also nicknamed as “the clear”. It was during an investigation in Spetember 3, 2003 where a BALCO warehouse was raided and searched, and within were containers filled with anabolic steroids and growth hormones, as well as the list of athletes previously mentioned. On this list were several MLB player names that included: Barry Bonds, Benito Santiago, Jeremy Giambi, Bobby Estalella, and Armando Rios. Other athletes from many other different sports were also found on this list and implicated in the BALCO scandal.

It was not long afterwards until congressional investigations and hearings were held, where Giambi told a US Grand Jury that he had used THG, manufactured by BALCO alongside other anabolic steroids. Barry Bonds’ story was slightly different, however, where he claimed that he was administered anabolic steroids unknowingly by his trainer, who Bonds claimed told him that he was being given nutritional supplements and pills for Bonds’ arthritis. The truth had come out shortly after, however, when a Dec 4, 2003 transcript of Bonds’ testimony to congress was leaked to the mass media. In this transcript, Barry Bonds had admitted to the use of THG, topical Testosterone creams, Human Growth Hormone, Injectable Testosterone, insulin, and masking agents for the purpose of beating drug tests. Despite the commotion and investigations, none of these substances at this point in time had been on any MLB banned substances lists.

steroids-in-baseballFinally, what must be discussed and cleared up are the mass misconceptions regarding anabolic steroid use in baseball as to what anabolic steroids can and cannot do, and how they really benefit baseball players. The first point to note is that the sport of baseball prior to Mark McGwire’s home run record breaks was stuck in a rut – massive losses of profits, dwindling popularity, and continual loss of interest in the sport of baseball was rampant. It was in fact the use of anabolic steroids in baseball in all aspects from the increase in performance in the athletes, to the massive amount of media and public attention that was drawn to the sport that had essentially revived baseball in the early 2000s. Whether directly or indirectly, it was the use of anabolic steroids that influenced fans and people to purchase more tickets to the games in order to watch their favorite baseball players enhanced on anabolic steroids to continually break homerun records and play ever more spectacular games. The truth of the matter is that anabolic steroids, and the media attention it created alongside the scandals, actually helped bring Major League Baseball back onto its feet. However, it must also be understood that anabolic steroids are NOT the sole reason for the increase in home run records over the years. As anyone properly educated in the subject of anabolic steroids would know, these substances do not create superhuman strongmen out of nowhere by swallowing a pill every day or injecting a needle every week without proper nutrition or training – anabolic steroids serve to only enhance and amplify the training and nutritional habits that the athlete is already engaged in. They serve to amplify the end product of what the user is already doing. With this understood, it can be said that anabolic steroids are not the number one reason as to why there have been many home run record breaks over the previous couple of decades – however, the use of anabolic steroids certainly has played an important role.

This leads to the next major point: depending on which sport or activity an athlete is engaged in, anabolic steroids may do very little to benefit him or her. Or, anabolic steroids may not necessarily benefit the athlete in terms of performance enhancement, but instead benefit the athlete in the area of injury prevention and recovery. Such is actually the case with the sport of baseball. Anabolic steroids do not enhance the form of a particular movement (such as a bat swing or golf swing), they do not improve hand-eye co-ordination (one trait in baseball that is particularly far more important than strength), and nor do anabolic steroids improve the accuracy or form of a ball pitch. Anabolic steroids serve to do essentially one thing and one thing only: to facilitate greater and faster muscle growth, leading to better increases in muscular strength and speed, provided that the individual’s anabolic steroid use is tempered with proper training and nutrition. Now, considering everything that has been said about the applications and limitations of anabolic steroid use, the majority of anabolic steroid and human growth hormone use by baseball players has for the most part been for the purposes of preventing and recovering from injury, and decreased recovery periods allowing the player to be back in the game quicker. This is a well-known fact, and the truth is that a sport such as baseball (or golf) is not a sport where the common performance enhancing benefits of anabolic steroids are of a large benefit. In contrast, sports such as powerlifting, Olympic weight lifting, sprinting, and strongman competitions are sports in which the use of anabolic steroids are better suited for direct performance enhancing benefits. The fact is that the overwhelming majority of baseball players that have been caught or known in one way or another to use (or have used) anabolic steroids have stated clearly that their anabolic steroid use was primarily directed towards the purpose of faster recovery and injury healing.

Anabolic Steroids In Football

Football is perhaps the second most common mainstream sport to be associated with vast amounts of anabolic steroid use. After all, it is strength, speed, and size that are the three big factors in determining the efficiency of a professional football player – the three factors that anabolic steroids facilitate the most where performance enhancement is concerned. The NFL has brought anti-drug bans and drug testing procedures into the sport well before Major League Baseball had. NFL steroid bans and testing policies were established in 1987. In order to see how anabolic steroids have affected football over the decades, the average statistics of players over this period of time must be observed.

Between 1973 – 1961, the average high school football teams’ size and weight changes were virtually nonexistent. There had been no observable or notable changes in Body Mass Index (BMI). The average high school football teams’ BMI from 1972 – 1989 marks a significant difference in the BMI of the football players when compared to the years preceding it. This marks a significant increase in BMI of the average high school football player[5]. If we move on to examine the university level football players, the same pattern in this trend is once again found. The football players of Michigan State University of 1975 weighed an average of 213 lbs., and when compared to the same university’s football players in 2005, the average weight of the football players increases to a whopping 236 lbs. [6].

steroids-in-footballThe evidence in the statistical records clearly demonstrates a widespread trend of football players becoming significantly larger and stronger than they once were decades ago. Combine this with the fact that anabolic steroid “education” programs (designed to deter the use of anabolic steroids in high school football players) has been proven to not work[7], it is very evident that anabolic steroid use among football players at all levels (especially the professional level which will soon be observed) is quite common and widespread. As far as the professional level (beyond high school and university) of football is concerned, statistical data demonstrates 25 years ago, NFL linemen weighed approximately 250 lbs. on average, however today the average NFL lineman is tipping the scales at an average of 300 lbs. 14.

Leaving the statistical data alone for a moment, let us observe a couple of key football players that have impacted the face of anabolic steroids in the sport of football. The first to be discussed, of course, would be that of Lyle Alzado. Alzado is well known for his claims that anabolic steroids were responsible for his brain lymphoma (brain cancer) in 1992, a brain cancer that is known to be very rare and only found among certain groups of individuals (this will be explained shortly). It was due to this blatant smear of misinformation by Alzado that he became the face of ‘steroid abuse’ in the media, and he would be referenced for years to come whenever anti-steroid hysteria would take hold of the news. Alzado himself told the mass media that anabolic steroids were the cause of his brain cancer, and everyone took it as the absolute truth. The real truth, however, was very different – anabolic steroids had absolutely nothing to do with Alzado’s brain cancer, and there exist no medical links between the use of anabolic steroids and brain cancer – Alzado’s claim had been straight out of left field and had the medical establishment shaking their heads at him. Even Lyle Alzado’s own personal physician himself had made a statement in his own words that “there is no know association between Alzado’s death and his use of steroids”. The real dark truth is that Lyle Alzado’s claims that anabolic steroids lead to his brain cancer was a perverted media spin concerning his medical condition, which was then directed and twisted to accompany the anti-steroid propaganda and agenda at the time in the early 1990s. The real truth here is that Lyle Alzado’s brain cancer was T-cell Lymphoma, a very rare form of brain cancer found almost exclusively in HIV/AIDS patients. The T-cell Lymphoma is a complication which develops as a secondary result of what the AIDS virus does to the immune system. Although the ultimate truth as to why Lyle Alzado had pointed to anabolic steroids as the sole cause when we have ample evidence that anabolic steroids have no link what so ever may not be known (whether or not he truly had AIDS), there are some rumors as to what was really going on here. Some rumors/theories state that Alzado’s brain cancer’s real cause was AIDS, and that Alzado desired this detail remain a secret due to the embarrassing/stigmatic nature of the situation.  Instead, he would place the blame on anabolic steroids in order to draw attention away from the issue of possible HIV/AIDS being the cause for the brain cancer. Rumors also persist that Alzado was known as being bisexual, and as a result had engaged in promiscuous sexual acts. What sheds some light on this whole issue of Alzado attempting to keep a possible HIV/AIDS link to his brain cancer a secret by shifting the blame squarely on anabolic steroids is his attempted comeback for the Oakland Raiders in the late 1980s – a widely publicized event. The comeback had resulted in failure and abortion of the attempt, and following this he claimed that it was an injury which was the reason for the aborted comeback (which had occurred quite promptly). However, many sources (newspapers and sports magazines) had stated that it was a failed HIV test which had been the real reason why Lyle Alzado swiftly disappeared shortly afterwards. At the end of the day, with the medical evidence and statements from Lyle’s personal physician stating that anabolic steroids played no role in his brain cancer along with the rumors surrounding the real reason for his ailment; it is a very safe conclusion to make that anabolic steroids did not cause his brain cancer.

Bill Romanowski is the second most popular athletic figure in the sport of football to come under the spotlight of the mass media concerning anabolic steroid use. Romanowski was in fact one of the athletes involved in the BALCO scandal mentioned previously in this article, where his name was located as one of the several NFL players on the list that was found in a raid and investigation on a BALCO warehouse. It was discovered through this that Romanowski had utilized the anabolic steroid THG, as well as the topical Testosterone cream that both Barry Bonds and Jason Giambi had reportedly used as well. Both of these compounds were provided to Romanowski by BALCO, much in the same manner they had been provided to the baseball players implicated as well. On October 16, 2005, Bill Romanowski appeared on the TV show 60 Minutes and it was here where Romanowski admitted using anabolic steroids and human growth hormone. He had claimed that these substances were provided to him by BALCO owner and founder Victor Conte[8]. Aside from his implications in the BALCO scandal and his admissions on television about his anabolic steroid use, Romanowski was very well known for his role as a very skillful linebacker alongside his reportedly amazing tackling skills. It is interesting to note that his aggressive and incredible tackling ability had commonly been attributed by many to his anabolic steroid use after the fact. He is most popular, however, for his reckless, barbaric, aggressive, and crass behavior in the game, which had commonly led to fights and altercations with other fellow players. He has been known for causing intentional injury to other players both inside and outside of football games. This behavior, as anyone could guess, was blamed by the mass media on his anabolic steroid use under the guise of “roid rage”. One incident had Romanowski attack a fellow teammate Marcus Williams, resulting in Williams’ eye socket getting crushed from a punch from Romanowski. A lawsuit followed, and in court Williams claimed Romanowski had acted out due to “roid rage” during the attack. However, this idea had been rejected by the judge, as it could not be proven that Romanowski had been using anabolic steroids at that time (specifically on that day of the incident) [9].

Anabolic steroid use is extremely common and widespread among all levels of football as demonstrated by the statistics, and it is not something that will ever be going away – it has become an intrinsic part of the sport. The fact is that it is strength, speed, and size that are the three big factors in determining the efficiency of a professional football player – the three factors that anabolic steroids facilitate the most where performance enhancement is concerned. The sport of football, after all, favors the bigger, stronger, and faster player. Of course, one cannot also forget perhaps the biggest determining motivation: the fact that there is always a large sum of money to be won by professional football players. As long as the salaries and contracts remain big, then so will the players  – and they will use anabolic steroids to get there and remain that way.

[1] “A Brief History of Drugs in Sport” by Charlie Francis

[2] Neos Kosmos Newspaper English Edition, 23/8/2004, page 8

[3] Wm. Blake Tyrrell, “The Smell of Sweat: Greek Athletics, Olympics, and Culture,” Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers, Wauconda. 2004.

[4] “Hormonal Doping and Androgenization of Athletes: ” Franke et. al

[5] Percept Mot Skills. 1993 Apr;76(2):379-83.

[6] Michigan State University Dept. of Athletics

[7] .J Adolesc Health Care. 1990 May;11(3):210-4.

[8] “BALCO investigation timeline”, USA Today, 11/27/2007

[9] “Battle lines drawn in Romanowski trial / A brutal punch, or a quest for ‘payday’?”, by Lance Williams, San Francisco Chronicle, Wednesday, March 2, 2005