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Roid Rage

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Dcc001, Jun 13, 2012.

  1. Dcc001

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    The Lance Armstrong thing got me thinking...

    Should steroids be allowed in sports? Given that performance enhancing drugs are so prevalent, and usually outpace the technology to detect them, should sports simply allow athletes to do as they wish at their own peril, or does the whole idea of steroids set a bad example?

    Mmm...just look at all that natural muscle...

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Omegaham

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    Athletes are already fucked in half as they are. The average NFL player lasts a few years and retires with horrible injuries that affect him for the rest of his life.

    If steroids are made legal, that will obligate all pro athletes to use them to stay competitive.

    Another thing that makes me leery of legalizing steroids is the fact that pro athletes, like it or not, are role models. Especially among athletes. If pro athletes are on steroids, high school students (who should NOT be juicing, unequivocally) will follow suit. And I think that'd be fucked up.

    Edit: (Damn you, KIMaster, for ninjaing me) On the other hand, as KIMaster has posted, steroids are pretty much already a requirement in many sports. Should we bring them out into the open so that we can better study their effects? I don't know. The idea just doesn't seem right to me.
     
  3. KIMaster

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    It ties into the other topic, but that's where we're at already. Steroids and other performance enhancers are illegal, but pro athletes have to take them just to stay competitive in a lot of sports. (Cycling probably being the best example)

    A lot of high school students who are hyper-serious about athletics already juice, though. And so do even more college athletes. Passing the NCAA piss tests is a piece of cake.

    I don't know. It's a hard question. Ideally, I would like to see certain performance enhancers allowed in certain sports, while others are punished by a lifetime ban.
     
  4. JoeCanada

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    I think both of these points are bang on. What I don't get is why they don't make it impossible/extremely difficult for pro athletes to take steroids. Why don't they test every single athlete every X months (whatever amount of time makes it impossible to sneak a cycle or two in)? I'm sure that would be expensive, but come on... we're talking about pro sports here, how strapped for cash are they?
     
  5. bewildered

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    I lean more with Mister Joe.

    Just because a lot of athletes DO take illegal steroids doesn't mean that they should. Making it legal would create an unspoken but understood requirement that athletes must take these drugs, which can and often are extremely dangerous, to remain competitive. I think that testing needs to be more often and cover more substances.

    You can be a career athlete in some sports for quite a few years, but some sports have very short careers due to their nature. Take American football. The daily pummeling of their bodies takes a toll. What was that case from a couple years ago, of some pro players developing brain problems with dementia like symptoms who committed suicide? Here is the article that I am thinking about: <a class="postlink" href="http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/23/sports/football/23duerson.html?pagewanted=all" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/23/sport ... wanted=all</a> . Apparently there are many cases of retired pro players with symptoms like this. The cause of it is repeated and severe trauma to the head.

    In sports that are so physically demanding and that may very well likely contribute to lifelong injuries or even death, saying, "Hey! These drugs that will make you more likely to be a starter/picked/successful are legal! I know they have terrible side effects. Tough shit," is irresponsible and, in my opinion, immoral.
     
  6. FreeCorps

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    Wait, are we equating steroids with head trauma? The two are completely different subjects, although you could make the argument that making the players bigger, faster and stronger results in more violent collisions, the fact remains that a lot of the older players who are now coming up with dementia or concussion related problems played in an era where steroids weren't as widespread. The very nature of football demands that head trauma will be a part of the game, steroids or not.

    I'm going to spoiler my wall of text because this is a subject I care about.
    I will talk here about my view on steroids as they relate to football. I realize it's spread across all sports, but football is the part with which I'm more familiar with. I played all through high school and very briefly in college. Due to my love for athletics I've trained with several guys who were playing college ball and some ex-NFL guys. Noone big, but let's face it, even making it to a practice squad is a worthy accomplishment. Years ago I actually went to a try out for a semi-pro team here in Florida. I got a call to come back, but they don't make squat and lets face it, it's not like I was going to go anywhere with it.

    I will say this. I think few people here know what it's like to perform at your chosen profession at such an elite level, and the competition in it makes it even more paramount to remain on top of your game. Imagine if at your job every year your company brought in kids right out of college who had been trained for your specific job, and told you they would sit in the cubicle right outside your office, learning your job, ready to step in. And if your performance declines, or if you get sick and they take over and it turns out they can do a better job, then you're shit out of luck. Now imagine that someone came to you and told you that they have these pills that you can take that will boost your mental acuity and help you perform your job at a top level and stay, if not ahead, at least in par with said kids. It's your livelyhood, and I think few people could perform well under that kind of pressure.

    As a quick aside on the subject of concussions, it makes me laugh how many people are complete hypocrites about the whole thing. ESPN used to have a "Jacked Up" segment FFS. Now they cry over concussions like the NFL is this giant evil juggernaut that threw the players back in and the public knew nothing about it. Let's face it, football is the closest we have in the US to a gladiatorial sport. We demand the best athletes and the biggest hits. How many people applauded Colt McCoy for staying in the game even after he got demolished by James Harrison? For the most part, people that are now decrying the NFL's treatment of concussions really need to get off their high horse.

    Another thing is that people fail to see what steroids/HGH really do for these guys. At its heart, it helps them recover quickly from injury and the wear and tear of an NFL season. People don't grow when they train, they grow when they rest. And aside from the steroids these guys have to bust their ass. Dismissing an athlete after he gets busted for steroids is, to me, idiotic due to the fact that you can't just take steroids, sit on the couch, and remain an elite athlete. You have to bust your ass, day in and day out. I had one former player tell me that steroids don't make you a player. You either are or you aren't. What they do is help you survive the season.

    While for the most part I hate the argument of "well if you can't catch everyone you might as well make it legal", in this case it may be the best thing. The NFL's full player roster is at about 1,700 players. This is a ridiculously small percentage of the population, and it goes to show how insanely competitive it is. Sure, you can try to ban them all and have more comprehensive testing and blah blah blah, but let's face it. For the most part the users stay ahead of the tests, and even if they don't for a while, someone will make some new synthetic and pass the test and be able to perform just that sliver better because of it, and then the floodgates will open because of it.

    With all this being said, I do realize as KIMaster pointed out that it's also widespread in college and HS. While I would never begrudge someone the chance to try to become better at what they do, I've had plenty of kids ask me about them. I've taken cycles in the past, although I've been as careful as I can about their use. Have a good post-cycle therapy (Nolvadex, HCG, Clomid) on hand for afterwards, only take the cycle amounts and when you're supposed to take them, and be very careful about sleeping well and not drinking while on them. However, I often quote Dave Tate when asked about them as far as HS/College performance. I watched a video of him talking about human potential and how he didn't think it was a bad thing for someone to take anabolics in order to break a record or things of that sort. However, he also pointed out that you should try to get as far as you possibly could clean, since once you use that trump card there's no getting it back. It's your one Ace. I'm paraphrasing, but as he put it very well, if you need it to make your HS Varsity team, chances are you won't play in junior college. If you need it to play in Junior College, chances are you won't start in D-I. If you need it to play in D-I, chances are you won't make it into the NFL. But if you can play in D-I without them but want to get better for a real shot at a pro career? Then you have to do what you have to do.

    tl;dr Let them do it. It's hyper competitive and at the elite level any small advantage gives an edge. Besides, as KIMaster pointed out, the playing field is pretty level as it is already.
     
  7. bewildered

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    I was using the head trauma as an example of how dangerous some sports are already, and that they shouldn't be made more dangerous than they already are.

    Just in case that wasn't clear.
     
  8. trojanstf

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    One of the major problems with this discussion (not just here but everywhere) is that most people (me included) don't understand what different steroids/PED's do and how they effect the body.
    From what I've been told the negative effects of HGH when taken properly are very limited. So something like that I don't think should be banned. But drugs that have negative effects on the body should be. I would usually be more on the side of educate people and then let them do what they want, but because sports are so ingrained in our culture and people start so young kids will get caught up in them before they are old enough to understand the consequences just because they see their favorite pro athlete using.
     
  9. KIMaster

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    Let me preface this by saying that I'm just an interested layman who has read some sports biology and chemistry articles. I'm sure FreeCorps, BrianH, and lhprop know more than I do.

    But to answer your question, it really depends upon the specific growth hormone or steroid (they are not the same thing) being used, in what amount, for how long, by whom, etc.

    There are also other performance-enhancers, too. In the 70s, various methamphetamines were popular as a way to improve endurance (major leaguers would "pop greenies", for instance), and I would imagine they're still used in certain sports today. "Blood doping" is also common, especially for track and field. That's when you take a vial of your own blood out by syringe, then re-inject it a day before a big race. Very dangerous for the heart.

    As is well-known, certain performance enhancers wreak havoc on the male reproductive organs. In general, they cause problems for the kidney and heart. I don't know about the liver, but I haven't seen any strong evidence that they impact the brain. I think that part is media-sensationalized bullshit.

    Can you take a certain regimen of performance enhancers in a way that won't cause you to die before the age of 60? Sure. Steroid use in sports has been around since the late 1950s, after all.

    And as FreeCorps noted, in a sport like football, HGH is abused so much because it helps the body recover faster. There, performance enhancers aren't taken only to become bigger and stronger, but more often to survive the hellacious beating of an NFL regular season.
     
  10. rei

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    Things should not be banned for their performance boosting capabilities, but simply for their health effects - mainly as an issue of liability, as I don't think pro leagues want to be seen as condoning things that may kill their athletes later.
     
  11. Bourbondownthehouse

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    If steroids were legal (for anyone not just athletes) the danger factor would be significantly lower. If I wanted to run a cycle, I would probably have to use some Mexican street ass test. If I could go to the doctor and say "I wanna get bigger and stronger" and they would provide me with monitored treatment; I would would be in much less danger.

    Women go to the doctor every day to trick their bodies into believing they are pregnant via hormones. Why can't I benefit from our abilities to synthesize hormones?
     
  12. BrianH

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    The reason they don't go after steroids very hard is because if they did it would allow everyone to peer behind the curtain and realize just how many players have been using them, and for how long.

    All baseball records would be locked in stone.

    Football would become far less entertaining to watch.

    Basketball players would go back to being extremely lanky.

    Track and Field world records would be locked in stone.

    Swimming world records would be locked in stone.

    People want to see records broken when they watch sports. They want to see people do things that have never been done before. Steroids allow that to happen, and as the drugs get better, so do the feats of strength. The fans WANT steroids, they just don't know it.
     
  13. The Village Idiot

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    Really? I don't, not that way. My take on steroids is a simple one: either everyone does them or no one does them. Competition is what sports is supposed to be about. Ability, training, intuitiveness, physicality, mental toughness, and the will to win are paramount. Nowhere in that equation, for me, does enhancing one's physical abilities through pharmaceuticals enter into the equation. However, if everyone has equal access, then you just level the playing field, and it's the effort, not the drug, that will determine winners overall.
     
  14. lust4life

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    Sure. And while we're at it, let's make Adderall OTC so our students can be more competitive academically.
     
  15. Frank

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    Well I mean coffee, energy drinks and (I think still?) ephedrine are all OTC already and have known side effects, so should we make all those illegal?
     
  16. Frank

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    All I ask is leave our Olympic athletes alone and let them get the same cycle as the guys in other countries, we just lost our best shot at Olympic lifting when Pat Mendes got busted.
     
  17. MoreCowbell

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    That's not quite what he's saying: he's saying that as long as you give the fans a sort of plausible deniability, they'll gladly buy tickets and not ask hard questions.

    Really? I bolded the parts where it does. If you think will to win is paramount, aren't the people taking steroids displaying a higher level of it by subjecting themselves to known physical side effects to be better? Isn't the guy who works out for an hour and then takes steroids displaying a higher will to win that the guy who just does the former?

    I'm not advocating for steroids, I'm merely pointing out that your own standards seem inconsistent. Steroid users train harder and are putting in more effort and costs, all else being equal. No one takes steroids INSTEAD of training.

    I imagine there is a difference in your mind, but I'd like to hear what it is.
     
  18. lhprop1

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    The bolded part is exactly right and you proved it with your proceeding paragraph. Some of the primary side effects of HGH are acromegaly (the enlarging and swelling of organs-particularly the heart and head), diabetes, and liver damage. Somatropin, which is the active ingredient in HGH effects every single organ in the body indiscriminately. It doesn't only go to the muscles or tendons. When taken in low doses, it does wonders for anti-aging, but those doses aren't what are needed to enhance performance. HGH is far from safe when taken in doses necessary to enhance athletic performance.

    What you don't realize is that new PED's are being developed all the time. There can't be a test for something that doesn't exist, so the drug is always a step or two ahead of the test. The lengths athletes will go to beat a test is astounding.

    The following example is how one member of the US Track & Field team went about beating the test:
    WADA testing procedures require you to submit to random tests at all times throughout the years. They will call you and you have either 24 or 48 hours to report to an approved testing facility for your test. You would think this would solve the problem, but it doesn't because of a loop hole. What this athlete would do is go out of the country to train while they were on cycle. They would then have someone call their cell phone and leave messages until the mailbox was full. When the officials from USADA would call, they would get the message that the mailbox is full. Being unable to contact the athlete, the USADA couldn't punish the athlete.
     
  19. FreeCorps

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    lhprop makes a couple of excellent points. Maintenance levels for HGH are about 2 IU's per day. Some of these guys take around 10 IU's per day. And, as I mentioned in my post, the athletes stay ahead of testing all the time. At this point people that get caught get scorn from me simply because there's no reason for you to.
    Many anabolics, like anything else, are extremely dangerous when taken repeatedly, in dosages way over what one would normally take. The stereotypical "roid rager" muscle bro people think of when they think steroids is usually someone who doesn't take time off between cycles, never does a proper post-cycle or even down time, and after a while is forced to stay on anabolics since their body stops producing test on their own. At this point, these guys are fully aware of the risks and are looking to push their bodies to an elite level most of us can't fathom. If you're making informed choices then I can't find fault with it. Of course, this is different for high school or college students. But if you need juice to be good enough to make it on your HS team, you probably aren't good enough as it is to go much farther than that.
     
  20. effinshenanigans

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    This seriously works? I guess I'm just going to go live in the Caymans and let the IRS call my full voicemail box with all their requests for the taxes I'm not paying.

    It sounds like the USADA is a bunch of useless pussies. What's their next move, writing a stern letter?

    Getting back to the focus, I don't support PED use. I know that the majority of sports fans want to see a human monster truck rally at every football game, and that mentality is what helps to continue the use of performance enhancing drugs, but personally, I like the idea of a clean athlete--someone who worked the shit out of themselves to get where they are with no outrageous chemical assistance along the way. That's the person I'll cheer for because they've really earned it.

    I'd rather see a guy who has used no PEDs hit a home run that barely makes it over the wall than some superhuman refrigerator crush a ball into the upper deck that still has enough velocity to kill the fan who attempts to catch it.