Performance Drugs: Dangerous and Illegal

Baseball just ain’t what it used to be, the clerk at Home Depot was telling me. The game has become slow, dull and too expensive to see in person.

The NFL and NBA have both passed up Major League Baseball in the hearts and minds of discerning sports fans, he added.

There is a solution to the slump in fan appreciation, the clerk said. The game has to go back to the days when Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa were crushing the baseball and stirring the passion of the crowd.

Excitement on the diamond

And how do you re-create those dramatic days of yesteryear when baseballs were flying out of ballparks off the bats of bigger-than-life superstars?

Simple, the tool man said. Legalize juicing. Make it legal to use performance-enhancing drugs.

Maybe he has a point, I thought, still in the hardware aisle. With the help of steroids, even I could become the next Jose Canseco or Alex Rodriguez.

Not if the U.S. government has anything to say about it I won’t.

The Drug Enforcement Administration continues to crack down on the underground trade in anabolic steroids, which includes home laboratories, gyms and local distributors.

A recent DEA sweep encompassed 30 states and included the arrest of 90 individuals. The feds busted 16 steroid labs and seized thousands of dosage units plus a mountain of raw steroid powder and an ocean of raw steroid injectable liquid.

Bought over the Internet

Most of the raw material used to make these products and keep the U.S. labs operating comes from China and is commonly bought over the Internet.

The businesses and individuals involved in this back-alley drug trade have no concern whatever for the health of the end users. They are interested only in getting their money. Athletes who use these products are putting their safety in jeopardy. Some of these products have the potential to ruin lives and even cause death.

Authorities have said that the juice producers recently busted frequently mixed their concoctions in bathtubs or kitchen sinks under the most unsanitary conditions imaginable.

Bodybuilding discussion boards on the Internet play a key role in the performance drug trade. Many of these message boards are catalysts for individuals to become users by posting advertisements and product endorsements, most of them designed to deceive.

Everyone is looking for an edge these days, but the best way to build an enviable physique and improve athletic skills is still the natural way.

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