Lead us not into Testosterone, but deliver us from evil

Growing up a devout Catholic, I went to church twice each week. Once on Fridayboondock (with¬†my class, as I went to a Catholic school), and once with my family on Sunday. I can still recite the Rosary, although I haven’t in years. I graduated with two degrees from a Catholic University.

One of those degrees is in philosophy, and speaking from that background, I have several philosophical problems with the current anti-steroid agenda.

My problem is that it is not philosophically consistent Рit contains paradoxical rules. Erythropoietin (EPO) increases red blood cell production, and improves strength and endurance; its use is outlawed. Training at the United States Olympic training grounds, in Denver, a mile above sea level will do the same thing to increase red blood cells Рbut that is allowed. Sleeping in a hyperbaric chamber is also allowed, and does the same thing as injecting EPO.

Nike makes contact lenses that alter the contrast between baseballs and the areaaround them, to allow players to see and react to them more quickly. Taking stimulants, to improve reaction time, is banned.

Creatine, a nutritional supplement, increases strength and power, and is totally legal. Anabolic Steroids do much the same thing (some not as well as creatine), and are banned. The reasoning here is that creatine occurs naturally in food, albeit in doses 1/20th of what could reasonably be consumed by an athlete.

Some testosterone boosting nutritional supplements are also permitted, although most of them only occur in obscure plants grown in inaccessible places – they are allowed, the reasoning goes, because they are natural. Boosting your testosterone with an injection is not permitted – because it is not natural. The results, i.e. increased testosterone levels, are exactly the same, in both cases.

In most professional sports, you can use injectable testosterone (or growth hormone) if you have an existing deficiency. It’s called the “therapeutic exemption clause.” If said deficiency is your own fault (from previous steroid use), then that clause doesn’t apply. If, however, you are kicking a heroin habit, you can use methadone, regardless of that being your fault.

You can’t use heroin, because it is an opiate, but you can use as many opiate based pain killers as you want, as long as you have a prescription.

Most published research supports the fact that anabolic steroids are incredibly safe, and as they’ve been around for 75 years or so, we know quite a bit about them. Yet, every time an anti-steroid authority is interviewed in the mainstream media, they say we don’t know what the long term effects are, and that conducting those studies would be unethical and unsafe- so they won’t be done.

Corticosteroids are exponentially more unsafe than anabolic steroids, but they’re allowed – because using them to play through an injury is not unethical. Using Growth Hormone to heal that injury is unethical.

In short, you can’t use what they say you can’t use, because they said so, and you can’t question them. You can’t even argue the science or logic.

My problem, I guess, is that I’m a Catholic, and therefore: I already have enough rules that I’m not supposed to question, that I’m supposed to believe without proof, and that I can not argue science or logic against.

Lead us not into Testosterone, but deliver us from evil.

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About the Author

Anthony Roberts is the author of numerous books and articles, both online and off, dealing with all areas of performance enhancing drugs. Additionally he has worked as a coach, trainer, consultant, and nutritional supplement designer. His forthcoming book is Generation S, and slated for release in the Fall of 2009.