Friday, April 14, 2006

Steroids Will Never Be Permitted In Legitimate Sports

As the Bonds story drags on more people are weighing in on the subject of the use of performance-enhancing drugs known as steroids. There are way too many people who don’t understand this issue, but this lack of knowledge hasn’t resulted in a corresponding lack of opinions on the subject.

People need to realize that the use of steroids will never be permitted in legitimate sports.

Athletes – and others - will continue to use them on they sly, and in the future competitions may be organized that permit the use of these drugs, but Major League Baseball, the NFL, NBA, NHL, boxing, international sports organizations and any other sport or independent minor league organizations will never permit the use of steroids.

Liability for the health problems and injuries that will come about as a result of the use of steroids is the simplest and most obvious reason that these organizations will never allow the use of these drugs.

The current state of research on the subject of steroids and health problems can be considered a work in progress. There have been studies that indicate that there are very real, serious and dangerous side effects that can come about from the use of these drugs. And like it or not, there are anecdotal findings that reveal there are a great deal of problems associated with the use of steroids as well.

Anecdotal evidence usually has no place when it comes to matters of science and research results. However, with regards to steroid use, anecdotal evidence cannot be ignored, for this evidence is some of the best evidence that exists on the subject.

Legitimate studies have been conducted in which individual steroids, administered in clinical dosages over a short period of time, have shown possible negative side effects.

In the real world steroids are not used one-at-a-time, in clinical doses over a short period of time. The reality is that several kinds of steroids are used at one time – “stacked” as they say – in dosages and for durations that far exceed what could be considered responsible. There is no way that legitimate science will ever be able to conduct valid experiments on this family of drugs under these irresponsible and dangerous conditions.

There are volumes of anecdotal evidence on the subject of the damage that steroids can do. From local and big time body builders and power lifters to known and unknown professional wrestlers, illness and death have shown their faces time and time again. Young men – supposedly fit – have fallen to heart attacks and other various ailments for decades.

The lack of real science on the subject, combined with the fact that steroids mess with the body’s very delicate endocrine system and that there’s plenty of scary anecdotal evidence, guarantee that the various sports organizations will never allow themselves to be vulnerable to the potential health-related lawsuits that would result from the legalization of steroids.

If in at some point in the future science is able to determine that there are real dangers associated with the use of steroids – after these organizations had sanctioned their use - there wouldn’t be enough insurance in the world to cover all of the claims that would need to be paid out. As a matter of fact, on the day steroids are legalized I would enroll in law school – along with my three sons - in anticipation of the future need for lawyers well versed in the matters of steroids and steroid-related injury liability.

The next generation of performance-enhancing drugs and therapies may result in these substances and treatments being part of an athlete’s preparation, but the liability risk of steroids is to great of a risk to take for any sport to consider.