There are so many myths and misconceptions that are continually being spread and perpetuated via the media – and others - with regards to steroids, that there’s a need for a lot of clarifications. This little item will not answer all the questions that people may have, nor can these words be considered the end all/be all on the subject. But we have to start somewhere.
Consider this as more of a FAQ that attempts to correct some of the major mistaken beliefs with regards to the vast subject area known as “Steroids.” So here goes….
1) Steroids Work. There is no doubt that steroids work. And by “work” I mean that, when used properly, they will make anyone and everyone – yes, anyone and everyone – better at any physical task. Steroids won’t “give” a person a skill that they don’t have. However, someone like a Major League Baseball player will become a better and more dangerous hitter on the juice. Why? Short answer: they make you stronger and help you recover quickly from training and competition. Of this there is no dispute.
2) Steroids Do Not Have to Make a Person Bigger. Too many people continue to say that they wouldn’t use steroids – or don’t think certain players use – because they don’t want/have big muscles. There are a whole host of steroids that – when used properly – do not result in “getting big.” Using Rafael Palmeiro as an example, the allegations are that he used a drug called “Stanozolol,” also known as “Winstrol.” Winstrol is a drug that - in the vernacular - people use for “cutting,” or “getting ripped,” which gives the user a lean but muscular appearance with little water retention.
The strength gains from using this drug are less than from using some of the more potent androgens, but would be extremely beneficial and appropriate for a baseball player, with the added benefit of not adding size. Getting too big could attract all kinds of unwanted attention to a Big Leaguer these days. The problem is – and Palmeiro found this out the hard way – this drug is easy to detect.
3) There’s Not a Lot of Research That Backs Up the Efficacy of Steroids. That would be correct. And big deal. Like it or not, the vast majority of “research” that has been conducted on what drugs work, how they work, how to take them and any other tidbits of info with regards to steroids, their use and the outcomes has been conducted in basements, garages and gyms over the past 40–plus years. And the people who have been conducting this “research” aren’t your typical white-coat and beaker types either, but are your body builder/power lifter gym rat types. Oh sure, there is some legit research out there on the subject, but this research doesn’t deal with the real world realities of steroids and their use. This research deals with - and must operate within - the parameters set by the ethical constrains of the real world and of the Hippocratic Oath. Athletes who want to cheat for fame and vast riches don’t care for such things.