Who next?

Posted: April 30, 2016 by souldysfunction in General Sports Rant, MLB
Tags: , ,

Just this month we have had 2 Major League Baseball players get busted for Performance Enhancing Drugs(PEDs). Chris Colabello of the Toronto BlueJays and now Dee Gordon of the Miami Marlins. Two well known names in the MLB community and both really not your typical steroid stereotypes, Colabello is 6’4″ 210 and Dee Gordon 5’11” 170. Neither are those muscle bound hulks of home run hitters that we have really focused on from the steroid era (Bonds, McGuire, Sosa, Canseco, ect, ect). Even with Andy Petit and Roger Clemens we noticed some increase in size even though they were pitchers which until Clemens we didn’t even think they did stuff like this.

So what next? Who next?

We need to fundamentally change how we think of PEDs and who uses them. Is that possible though?

We already had Lance Armstrong prove all of us wrong when at the very end of this incredible battle of cancer and bicycles he comes out as a PED user. Lance was a skinny lean muscle guy 5’9″ 165 and he was taking steroids and testosterone(Cortisol and HGH). So why didn’t we change our thinking about what a ‘steroid user’ looks like?

Why do we still think of this:

Now I’m not saying German Markus RUhl is a steroid user but he is the embodiment of what we think steroid do to you. What do Steroids actually do to you and why do we use them?

To answer that we have to look at a couple different things. First the definition of a steroid is:

Steroid: any of a large class of organic compounds with a characteristic molecular structure containing four rings of carbon atoms (three six-membered and one five). They include many hormones, alkaloids, and vitamins.

That doesn’t sound dangerous at all, heck I bet you didn’t even know that your body naturally produces steroids to deal with stress and to grow larger during puberty. However your body knows how much to produce to keep your body on the growth path it is supposed to have. There are also medicines that your doctor will prescribe for certain things that will be steroid based. Those steroids are normally used to keep internal inflammation or swelling down so that it does not damage organs. They can also be used to gain weight if the patient has gone through severe illness, injury, or infection. Again here the dosage is controlled by the Doctor to make sure you are only using the correct amounts for what is needed.

Now down to the tacks of brass, the steroids where your body or a real legitimate doctor is not controlling the dosage or frequency of use. We often hear them referred to as Anabolic steroids, this is just the proper term for synthetic steroids which doesn’t mean they are illegal. Many legitimate drug companies manufacture synthetic or Anabolic steroids for doctors to prescribe to their patients. You can’t really lump all the bad ones together for the Anabolic term even though a lot of people will throw it around like it does. What do we call them then? Black Market Steroids would be a good name because you aren’t getting them from a legitimate source for health reasons, you are getting them to put on muscle mass, or to recover faster then your body would normally, or to gain an advantage that would otherwise not be available. So what kind of advantage would it be you might wonder, lets look at Dee Gordon for a second. He’s a singles/doubles hitter and speed guy. So he might not need the ‘bulking up’ effects but he would definitely benefit from muscle recovery faster then the normal person because of the amount of wear and tear his leaner muscles would have to endure on a regular basis when going from zero to full speed repeatedly. Another thing that I’ve heard talked about is the fact that hitters see the ball more clearly while using steroids. This could be related to the muscles in your eyes being stronger, or less worn because of the unnatural recovery.

So far the advantages sound pretty good, stronger bigger leaner faster recovering muscles. Who wouldn’t want that? Steroids however come with a couple downsides though, the rest of your body is also affected. Some of the short term problems you can face when taking Black Market Steroids is a very large increase in face and body acne, swelling of the feet and legs, purplish or reddish spots on your skin, and persistent foul breath. Those don’t sound all that bad… if you’re a creepy person living in their parents basement of course.That’s not all folks, there are some really fun long term health issues they cause too!

  • premature balding
  • dizziness
  • mood swings, including anger and sadness
  • seeing or hearing things that aren’t there (hallucinations)
  • extreme feelings of mistrust or fear (paranoia)
  • problems sleeping
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • trembling
  • high blood pressure that can damage the heart or blood vessels over time
  • aching joints
  • greater chance of injuring muscles and tendons
  • jaundice or yellowing of the skin; liver damage
  • trouble peeing
  • increased risk of developing heart failure, stroke, and some types of cancer
  • increased facial hair growth (Girls only)
  • deeper voice, like a man’s (Girls only)
  • shrinking of the breasts (Girls only)
  • period changes (Girls only)
  • shrinkage of the testicles and penis problems (Boys only)
  • pain when urinating (peeing) (Boys only)
  • breast development (Boys only)

This of course isn’t a full list as there might be even more wonderful things in store for you when you put this crazy cr@p inside you. Heck if you are injecting the steroids you have a chance of getting all those great diseases and conditions that come with dirty needles!

Now tell me does this look like something you might want to endure for a few more muscle inches or a few more dollars? If you said yes you really need to rethink your life, like go play in a freeway or something to save the rest of us from your decisions.

So why do pro athletes do things like this to their bodies?

Short answer, Money. Pure and simple unfortunately.

If you perform better you get paid better and in a society in which everything seems to revolve around how much money you have or can get it is sometimes all consuming. Again take Gordon his last contract signing was 5 years 50 million dollars. That’s quite a bit of dough and how did he get that, well you can speculate just as much as I can. Honestly there is not as much stopping them from using PEDs. The penalties and fines really aren’t very much to deter them.

NFL

  • First time caught with PEDs 2-6 game suspension depending on the PEDs found
  • Second time caught 10 game suspension
  • Third time two year suspension

NBA

  • First time caught 5 game suspension and mandatory attendance in the leagues anti-doping program
  • Second time caught 10 game suspension, continued counseling.
  • Third time caught 25 game suspension, continued counseling.
  • Fourth time Minimum 2 year suspension.

MLB

  • First time caught 80 game suspension plus ineligible for ASG or Playoffs
  • Second time caught one year (162 games) suspension
  • Third time lifetime ban from MLB

NHL

  • First time 20 game suspension without pay.
  • Second time caught 60 games without pay
  • Third time Lifetime ban.

For NFL or NBA players the penalties are not very harsh for guys that are making millions of dollars. MLB and NHL are a bit stricter with the final offense being lifetime ban with some change of a reinstatement after a certain amount of time. Still there you can get popped a few times before you really have to worry.

The other angle of this is the ‘random’ testings.

NFLPlayers are tested at least once per year. Ten players per team are randomly selected each week to be tested during both the preseason and regular season. This continues in the postseason for teams who have made the playoffs. In the offseason, only players under contract are subject to testing. They may be tested up to six times.

NBAAll players are subject to four (4) random tests each season (from October 1 to June 30). All players are also subject to two (2) random tests each off-season (from July 1 to September 30).

MLBEach Player shall be tested upon reporting to spring training. All Players will be selected for an additional unannounced urine specimen collection on a randomly selected date.

NHLTesting occurs randomly up to three times a year. and is done through urine analysis. Testing takes place on teams off days during the regular season. No testing is done during the playoffs or off season.

Can you see where these random tests could be easily circumvented? I mean seriously you could use certain PEDs with little possibility of being caught. So if you are the type where you want to get the edge without the extra work where is the deterrent?

Before I sum all this up and leave you scratching your head trying to figure out all the stuff you just read I want to throw one more idea in your head. As much as the higher ups in all the sports say they want to eliminate PEDs from their respective sports do you really think that bigger, stronger, faster athletes are bad for their business? If their athletes recover faster and perform better doesn’t that mean more wins which means more fans which means more money? Where is the incentive for owners or CEOs to have their athletes clean of PEDs?

I’ve thrown a lot of information out at you and in the end we have to look at three things, first there is no stereotype of a PED user, second the penalties really aren’t that harsh, and third the testing schedule isn’t all that often or random. All of these things together could alter sports as we know it but how do we get there?

More questions then answers but if we don’t start trying to answer them what will happen to our youth sports athletes in the relatively near future.

SD Signature

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