As the world has finally caught on to the fact that world-class athletes from all sports have been using steroids and other performance enhancing drugs (PEDs), the athletes themselves have moved on to the next generation of substances.
And they wonâ€™t be caught anytime soon.
Bear with me for a minute and Iâ€™ll explain. Well, Iâ€™ll attempt to explain.
But before I start explaining that, I want to explain this. This article is not an attempt to justify the use of existing PEDs, nor is this a justification for using the next generation of PEDs. This is simply a matter of recognizing that these substances are out there and that people are using them, and will not only continue to use them but will forever seek out new and better substances to use.
This piece represents acknowledgement of a reality. You can be against the use of all forms of PEDs, but this doesnâ€™t mean you can ignore the fact that these substances are being used.
Steroids represent the Stone Age with regards to these drugs and Bill Romanowski, Jason Giambi, Jose Canseco, Gary Sheffield and Barry Bonds and his trainer Greg Anderson are primitive cavemen. The drugs these guys used â€“ even Human Growth Hormone â€“ and the archaic and ham-fisted manner in which these guys used steroids are embarrassing.
The Balco Labs scandal publicized the fact that underground labs â€“ â€śUG labsâ€ť - exist and have the sole purpose of synthesizing drugs that cannot be detected and/or cannot be acquired legitimately.
These labs create â€śdesigner steroidsâ€ť by altering existing compounds so that they wonâ€™t be detected, while maintaining their effectiveness. These labs can also synthesize compounds that are no longer â€“ or never were â€“ produced, and can â€ścopyâ€ť drugs that are in production but are not available for consumption for a variety of reasons.
The scenario of UG labs is seemingly cutting edge. However, for the most part the drugs that these labs have been producing, especially in the Balco case, are anything but. The building blocks for these designer steroids are steroids that are a product of the aforementioned Stone Age of PEDs.
If steroids are akin to a fire started by banging two rocks together into a pile of dry grass, than the designer steroid â€“ such as THG - is like a cigarette lighter. By comparison, the next generation of performance-enhancing drugs is like harnessing the power of the atom.