Steroid In Sports, Myth Or Fact

Bryan SpiottiContributor ISeptember 1, 2010

As a cyclist I'm no stranger to the incidents that take place in professional sports regarding the use of performance enhancing drugs. Like dominoes the athletes tend to stop making declarations of innocence and start pointing fingers!  Like a child getting caught with their hands in the cookie jar, these role models begin deflecting suspicion when the heat is on them. Giving up doctors, trainers, coaches,  and even fellow athletes as a last ditch effort to work the system.

Now I've never personally seen a professional athlete inject steroids so what I'm about to say can only be considered my opinion. Being a cyclist I've come to realize what it takes to train on a regular basis at a high level of intensity. I can say that training as I do over multiple days is taxing to your body to the point that it's painful to get on the bike from one day to the next. Now I have heard of amateur cyclists who use steroids to help them recover between workouts. The recovery time gets cut down and the ability to train  hard  from one day to the next  greatly improves.  

My training weeks are usually between 150 and 200 miles in one week. By my rest day on monday, I'm fried. I ride 12 months out of the year and also cross train.  I ride as much as I do and it still hurts. Imagine, if you will, the riders in the tour de France, riding an average of 100 to 150 miles per day for three weeks with only two rest days. The body, without artificial means would not recover overnight enough to allow them to perform at the level they compete at.

Now let's look at a sport like baseball. Though not as taxing on the body, baseball players need recovery, strength and stamina like any other athletes. Try throwing 100 pitches plus warm up throws and you'll see that your arm will feel like it is ready to dismember itself from your body and crawl away to join the French Foreign Legion. That is what a pitcher has to deal with on a daily basis. Now look at other positions such as catchers, they are squatting down behind the batter for say 150 pitches a game. Do you think their legs are sore from squatting down for the better part of 4 hours a day. Try squatting for 10 minutes and see how you feel. You'll be looking for the ibuprofen as soon as you get home. These people need not only strength, they need to recover from day to day. It's no secret how some of these big time home run hitters have gone from lifesize to larger than life giants!  Do you think that their diets contain some sort of protein the rest of us don't know about? They seem to come out of nowhere and start hitting home runs like it was a backyard wiffle ball game. Bang right over the shrubs and into the neighbors yard! 

Now without really getting into such sports as hockey and football, have you been tackled by a 300 pound guy lately? How about slammed into the boards by a 6 ft 250 pound guy coming at you at say 15 miles per hour? Those are some painful thoughts, imagine doing that from one day to the next? How many 300 pound plus guys do you know? These people aren't really common to every day life.

Okay I can go on and on about pretty much any sport, tennis, golf, basketball, you name it. The point is that to compete at a high level as these professional athletes do, it takes dedication, talent, strength and disclipine. It also takes entering into a dark world of lies, sacrafice and subjecting their bodies to things most would never consider enduring. It's no big surprise to me that so many athletes are testing positive and or admitting to using performance enhancing drugs.

The next time you are watching a sport and you think "awe that guy is on steroids," I have news for you, if one is on it they're probably all on it or on something anyway! Take comfort in knowing that the playing field is probably even when it comes to professionals. The only time it isn't is when they get caught. After all how many baseball players have continued their success after testing positive? They test postive and the next thing you know they're not hitting home runs anymore.Just sayin!