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Steroids in Sports: Questions Answered

Get Answers to 16 Questions About Performance-Enhancing Drugs in Baseball and Other Sports

As for the tests for the things we can test for now, how accurate are those tests?

They are very, very accurate.

How do SARMs work?

Basically, they combine with either the testosterone or the dihydrotestosterone receptor and they activate it, but they do it by a nonsteroidal mechanism.

The other [class of drugs being developed] are the anti-myostatins.

Myostatin inhibits the growth of muscle and if you can block that, you will put on an extra 10% of muscle so you will bulk out pretty quickly, and there are drugs that are being developed by a number of companies now that are in phase I and phase II trials, and so that becomes yet another way to bulk people out.

There's a little boy in Germany who basically has a spontaneous myostatin deletion [a gene glitch] and he's extraordinarily strong at 5 years of age.

So all of these things are happening, and there's a very legitimate need to use these drugs if you get away from sport. For older people with disease, there's clearly a legitimate need to develop drugs that can strengthen you and allow you to function.

What else would you want to add about the topic?

We as a society have to decide what do we want out of our sports people. Do you want them to be superheroes? Is that what we really want, or do we just want to see people just playing to the best of their ability?

I think the public has spoken with their checkbooks. Over my lifetime, sports has gone from something that was not a huge moneymaker to an incredibly huge moneymaker. We're not paying to go watch the backyard players play anymore. We're paying to watch superstars and who are so much better than any of us. And there is a price to pay and it's going to come in performance-enhancing drugs.

I don't think that there's any belief that this hasn't been going on in every one of our professional sports over the last 20 years.

I would argue that this is not a new phenomenon. It's a new phenomenon for steroids.


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