October 1, 2020

Sports Supplements as a Gateway to Anabolic Steroid Use

I asked Dr. Jay Hoffman, Professor and Chair of the Department of Health and Exercise Science at the College of New Jersey,  about the theory that sports supplements are a gateway to anabolic steroid use. He replied in an email:

I do not believe that this is the case. There really isn’t any documented evidence to support such a claim. Although all anabolic steroid users I would venture to guess use sport supplements – I do not necessarily support the hypothesis that increasing supplement use would increase anabolic steroid use.

[Read more…]

Does Texas High School Steroid Education Video Work?

The State of Texas University Interscholastic League (UIL) produced a steroid education video entitled “The Making of a Champion.” The steroid education video was released in conjunction with the introduction of steroid testing in public high school sports in Texas.

The video features lengthy segments featuring high school teenage athletes who used steroids and suffered. The video implies that anabolic steroids caused stroke and paralysis in one case; it implies that steroids caused suicide in the other case (Taylor Hooton). This type of “scare tactic” approach is common in state produced steroid education and anti-drug productions. [Read more…]

Critical Comments on Texas High School Steroid Testing Program

I applaud Laurie Fox of the Dallas Morning News for breaking ranks with the sycophantic cheerleaders for Texas’ UIL Anabolic Steroid Testing Program.

The short history of steroid testing in public schools has yielded little, if anything. In the handful of local school districts that already test for steroids, no positive test has been reported. The same is true for limited state programs in Florida and New Jersey.

“It’s like looking for a needle in a haystack,” said Lloyd Johnston, a noted researcher at the University of Michigan. “My guess is that the payoff relative to the cost won’t be high.” [Read more…]

Recommendations for Steroid Education in Baseball

The Mitchell Report noted problems with current steroid education programs in MLB that focus on severe steroid dangers and deleterious side effects:

[T]hese health risks… generally will not deter a player from using these substances. This is because players who use or are considering using performance enhancing substances do not consider them dangerous if used properly. This view is reinforced when players see that other players who they know are using performance enhancing substances arc not experiencing the adverse health effects described in the educational materials.

This makes sense. If steroid use is rampant and the clubhouse, yet no one is experiencing any of the negative side effects, then why would players give any credence to the MLB “steroid education” programs? Perhaps overstating and exaggerating the side effects and related scare tactics are not effective in a drug education program? [Read more…]