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Quote of the Day II: Have you taken your steroids today?

Jan 25, 2010, 7:30 PM EDT

“I’ve heard the point made that now you take urine samples to make sure
you haven’t taken drugs, where in 20 years you might take urine samples
to make sure you took your drugs. This idea is approaching. Attitudes
are changing.”

— Andrzej Bartke, one of the world’s
leading experts on HGH, in a pretty darn interesting article by Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star which raises the question: when we get to a point where people are safely taking growth hormone and steroids under a doctor’s supervision, what will our objection be to PEDs in sports?

The kicker: we’re almost to that point.

  1. willmose - Jan 25, 2010 at 7:47 PM

    It will still be considered cheating by some sportwriters and bloggers even if it saves a player life. Players should die rather than take steriods or HGH. All this and there is no quantitative evidence that either improve a player’s game! There is just “the world is flat” arguments. “Dude, they are so much bigger, of course it is cheating” “Yeah, dude, the world is flat, are you blind?”

  2. scatterbrian - Jan 25, 2010 at 7:47 PM

    I don’t object to cortisone shots, Tommy John surgery, or laser eye surgery, so I imagine my grasp on evolution will still apply.

  3. The Rabbit - Jan 25, 2010 at 7:53 PM

    This subject arose last night on a TLC feature regarding a 3 year-old with a genetic condition that naturally produces excess muscle mass. The kid should have been named Bam Bam.
    The gene and chemical production have been identified. Researchers are looking at it for a potential cure for muscular dystrophy; however, the misuse for creating super-athletes was the first point raised.

  4. MarkM - Jan 25, 2010 at 8:12 PM

    All things are possible, but in that theoretical situation everything would be out in the open and there would be a level playing field. Theoretically.

  5. quintjs - Jan 25, 2010 at 10:11 PM

    It a really interesting question, because if you want to look at it this way – take the players who have dealt with health issues over the last few years – particulary the couple who have dealt with cancer. I woudln’t guarantee they would have past a drug test during their treatments.

  6. cheaters justice - Jan 25, 2010 at 11:06 PM

    I think even in the Olympics unless you actually have a medical condition for something like asthma medication you still can’t use the drug.
    Many are arguing that Dara Torres asthma inhaler helped her. Some swimmers are crying foul saying their asthma condition wasn’t approved. See where this is going.
    Just because a doctor will sign off on your use/abuse won’t make it right. But I see the MLB dragging it’s feet to get an Olympic caliber drug program. It’s the Kmart special for now.

  7. Michael - Jan 25, 2010 at 11:22 PM

    Of course, in this whole steroid brouhaha, sportswriters forget the fact that players would be bigger and stronger and hitting more home runs even if steroids never existed.
    Players in the 50s and 60s didn’t have high-tech weight rooms, highly skilled personal trainers and the finest in completely legal supplements at their disposal – and didn’t want any of that anyway.
    Sportswriters have to realize the game changed because of sports science more than it did because of steroids.

  8. cheaters justice - Jan 26, 2010 at 1:45 AM

    I agree that fitness and nutrition advancement would’ve made A difference but I don’t think the records would’ve dropped like they did unless PEDs were involved.
    And that’s the frustrating part-many fans,players and other athletes will poo-poo working out or eating right for performance and health. They’ll just write off other’s gains as being from steroids only. Guarantee you Bonds wouldn’t have broken records like he did without a serious weight lifting program. He would’ve shown some gains but records wouldn’t have dropped.

  9. Moses Green - Jan 26, 2010 at 6:26 AM

    The growing medical consensus is steroids bad, HGH maybe good. Paul Byrd sure thinks it’s good. Sylvester Stallone obviously likes it a lot. Who are we to tell an athlete in a sport that wears down muscles and joints “No, you can’t take this stuff that helps heal worn down muscles and joints. Now go back out on pitch #110 to start this here 7th inning, boy.”
    In conclusion, steroids bad, hgh maybe good, high-horses bad.

  10. PalookaJoe - Jan 26, 2010 at 8:44 AM

    As someone who went through a somewhat serious respiratory infection, I’d argue that (in the right situation) steroids are a good thing too. They were the difference between gasping like a dying fish and breathing normally. That’s the most frustrating thing about this “scandal”. The distinction between drug “use” and drug “abuse” has been buried under a mountain of hyperbole.

  11. Joey B - Jan 26, 2010 at 9:06 AM

    My guess is that by the time I get to retirement age, HGH or something related, might be okayed. But if it is the super drug, and if it does allow me to live 20 years longer than the previous generation, I’m still not going to claim my record for longevity was of my own doing.
    And for those crediting better equipment, it’s probably only a marginal gain. The equipment is much shinier than what I used 40 years ago, but not much more effective.

  12. Rick A. - Jan 26, 2010 at 9:34 AM

    Joe Posnanski wrote an interesting artice about this a few months ago.

  13. Evan - Jan 26, 2010 at 9:56 AM

    The vast majority of sports fans don’t share your cynical view Craig.
    You also left out the part about no one knowing the longterm affects of HGH and that it should be administered in “rare circumstances.”
    Steroids are nothing new. HGH is just the latest and greatest You could have posted this 20 years ago. Meanwhile, the perception has hardly changed. I find that the only fans that actually support PEDs in sports do so out of cynicism. They don’t actually care about the positive or negative effect on the entertainment. So long as this is the case, mainstream sports will never accept PEDs.

  14. ecp - Jan 26, 2010 at 10:21 AM

    Palooka Joe, the steroids given for respiratory ailments are vastly different from the testosterone-based anabolic steroids being addressed here. And the steroids you received are not banned as performance enhancing drugs.

  15. CommonNow - Jan 26, 2010 at 11:01 AM

    So does this mean I can shoot my 5 year old up legally now? AWESOME – he is going to ROCK his high school!!!!

  16. reformed - Jan 26, 2010 at 1:05 PM

    The outrage will continue. When an individual says” I will take steroids-PEDs,it is because I am unable to compete, produce and prevail on my own”. I must cheat to enhance the perception. No amount of blind ass celbrity worship will change the fact that I am a cheat.

  17. YX - Jan 26, 2010 at 1:15 PM

    And of course Bill James said all that a couple of months ago

  18. PalookaJoe - Jan 26, 2010 at 1:56 PM

    I understand that. But what frustrates me is that your three-line post has more nuance and understanding than most of the articles I’ve read on the subject.

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