Cushing and Other Steroid Related Issues

Derek TalibContributor IIIMay 28, 2010

HOUSTON - SEPTEMBER 27:  Linebacker Brian Cushing #56 of the Houston Texans tackles running back Maurice Jones-Drew #32 of the Jacksonville Jaguars during the game at Reliant Stadium on September 27, 2009 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Bob Levey/Getty Images

It is time to have a frank talk about steroids and HGH (human growth hormones).  Once an athlete has the stench of Steroid use associated with their name they are never quite looked at the same, and not by the fans, but by the media. The media has created a whirl wind of uninformed bites of opinion.  Bodybuilders have always been on the cutting edge and ahead of sports athletes in diet, supplementation, and yes steroid use. I am a bodybuilder and know plenty of bodybuilders that use anabolic and plenty that never have and never would.

Mark McGuire, Alex Rodriquez and a host of other famous athletes have taken anabolic steroids, but unlike current Mr. Olympia Jay Cutler they don't have 23 inch arms. Bodybuilders know protein intake, supplementation, water intake, carbohydrate manipulation and yes what combination of steroids yield the best results. Bodybuilders are not multimillion dollar athletes and still take steroids and human growth hormones. Why would the public and the media think that athletes who are paid millions of dollars would not inject a needle in their rumps in order to get one more contract.

Let's list some side effects; blurred vision; fainting; fast heartbeat; fever, chills, or persistent sore throat; loss of coordination; mood or mental changes (eg, agitation, depression, irritability); ringing in the ears; seizures; severe or persistent dizziness, drowsiness, or stomach pain; severe or persistent trouble sleeping; shallow or very slow breathing; tremors; unusual bruising or bleeding; vomit that looks like coffee grounds; wheezing. Why would anyone want to take something that can cause such harmful side effects? These of course are the side effects of aspirin.

Abuse of any drug can have harmful side effects, but when that headache kicks in or a migraine starts pounding most reach for the aspirin.  Does the average person even read the side effects? Steroids expedite healing and promote muscle recovery and growth.  Testosterone can be beneficial to males whose on levels drop as they get older.

Steroids are like any other drug and can be harmful or can be of great use, read the side effect on "YAZ". This birth control pill has been linked to gallbladder removal, heart problems, and blood clots.

These athletes are paid to play and are told time an time again by coaches and owners to get on the field. Athletes do what they can to get on the field coaches are not asking how and neither are owners, but when they are busted for doing roids, HGH, or whatever they are lepers and nobody seems to be aware that they were taking anything.

Lets' not be naive and think that anabolic steroids and growth hormones do not give an athlete a competitive edge. These drugs do turn these athletes into super human mutants with the healing powers of " Wolverine". I  remember going to my first major league baseball game and seeing Frank "the big hurt" Thomas come to the plate. The only thing that entered my mind was what is he taking. He looked like he was a giant made of concrete, blood, and muscle wielding a  bat that looked like a tooth pick in his hands. I  remember feeling sorry for the ball if he were to make contact. I also watched Brian Cushing on "Path to the Draft" a year ago and the same thoughts entered my mind.

Cushing was busted for using a masking agent that would cover up his steroid use. The NFL is one of the sports where steroid use can literally cause physical harm to others and not just the user. In a league where athletes are getting bigger, faster, and stronger without steroids imagine what happens when one of these bigger, faster, stronger super humans are running into mere mortals with the speed of Hermes and strength of Heracles?

Here is the unspoken problem about steroids. Why not administer them in matters of healing from injuries? They can prolong an athletes career by expediting their recovery time. Steroids also make "Joe Gym Rat" have the body of a 20 year old when Joe Gym rat is 44 years old. The stigma that comes from taking steroids has prevented pro and college organizations from looking into the practical uses of the drugs.

Drug abuse in any form is wrong and should not be condoned, but before everybody dismisses steroids as a drug for cheaters sports organizations should look into its practical uses.  The problem with steroids is that they work, and that they do give athletes an edge that use them. They can also be very helpful in healing injured athletes. The dark cloud that surrounds them prevents them from being studied in more practical uses.

Just like in proabition where it was illegal to get a drink steroids will remain on that "do not use" list, but unlike alcohol steroids to have practical uses and can be beneficial to the user. As of right now steroids are illegal in most sports, but  lets not think that they are death in a needle or pill form. 

The people that use steroids are not super villains from Krypton, and more athletes than we all know use them to heal from injuries. People that abuse steroids run the same risks of side effects and damage as any abuser of a controlled substance.

If the NFL wanted to eradicate steroid use as it states it would be as simple as drug testing all the athletes three times a year once in the off-season, once during the beginning of the season, and finally during the season. I think the multibillion dollar organization can afford it. There seems to be an attitude of do what you need to in order to play but do not tell us about it.

Either have a real testing process in place so all athletes are drug free or find a way to allow it in a controlled environment.  No more hypocrisy of labeling an athlete taking steroids when that same organization is numbing injuries in order to get them onto the field. It is okay if the team injects and athlete, but not if the athlete injects himself. It is okay if the team gives a player vicodin, but not if the player takes winstrol V.

Players no longer tell the public or your teams you did not know what you were putting into your bodies. Your body is how you get paid millions of dollars so do not use the lame excuse of not knowing what was in a needle or pill bottle. If you are going to use than own up to it take your punishment and move on.  Pro sports teams, athletes and the media can stop talking to the public like we are dumb or naive.  Parents are doing a fine job raising their children and do not need Brian Cushing to do it for them, or any other athlete.