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Steroids in Football

(By Alen Hao Sales Manager from Shenzhen OK Biotech Technology Co., Ltd.(SZOB))

Steroid policy in football and the NFL as we know it began in 1987. But to understand the use of steroids in football, first we need to take a look at the emerging trends in the high school and collegiate ranks. So what′s going on in high school? Well, if we look at an examination of the heights and weights of members of the annual Parade Magazine′s High School All-American Football Teams from 1963-1971, we see no significant changes in the Body Mass Index of these elite high-school athletes. Now, if we take another look and examine those same players′ heights and weights but this time we compare 1972-1989, we see a clear trend towards an increased pattern in Body Mass Index . These are interesting results, to say the least. If we take a look at an elite collegiate program such as Michigan State University, we see this trend again. In 1975, their average player weighed 213lbs, and by 2005 that weight had jumped to 236lbs .

With regards to football, it would seem that current educational efforts are not working well, either. At the high school level education about steroids was studied on six different. Two football teams received a lecture on steroids and a four-page handout, two of them were given just the handout, and two teams were controls (and didn′t receive any education on steroids). Also, at this level of football, the incidence of self-report of current steroid use was 1.1%. After the education was given to the athletes, focusing of the adverse effects possible with anabolic steroid use, no differences in their attitudes toward the use of anabolic steroids occurred as compared to controls, at all . So that′s the starting point we have to look at anabolic use in professional football. Education, in its current form isn′t changing the attitudes of high-school players, and at the elite level of high-school and college, the players are getting significantly bigger. So what does the landscape of professional football look like? In a story that is very similar to its roots in high school and collegiate football, NFL linemen are weighing well over 300lbs on average today. Roughly 25 years ago, they weighed over fifty pounds less, on average .

The most famous story of steroid use in the NFL is that of Lyle Alzado. Seven years after having a successful career in the NFL, in 1992, Alzado died from brain lymphoma, a very rare form of brain cancer. He was 43 that year, but in the years preceding it, Alzado became an often used symbol of the dangers of steroid abuse. There is absolutely no medical link between steroids and brain lymphoma, and there is absolutely no reason for Alzado to believe his condition was related to steroid use.

The story of Bill Romanowski is probably the next most influential one concerning steroids in football. Although Bill Romanowski wasn′t indicted in the BALCO scandal, he later wrote a book, in which he admits that Victor Conte introduced him to several performance enhancing compounds, notably anabolic steroids .

Although he was a very good linebacker before he used steroids, people often attribute his tackling ability to them. He is probably most famous for his non-playing related antics, however. He spit in J.J. Stokes′ face, broke somebody′s finger at the bottom of a pile up, kicked a downed player in the head several times in one incident, broke a quarterback′s jaw with an illegal helmet to helmet hit, fought former boxer Charles Haley in training camp, often speared wide receivers illegally, broke another players′ ocular cavity, and was always involved in various shoving matches and on field altercations. Unfortunately, this has been attributed, post-facto, to his use of anabolic steroids.

Of course, football players use steroids, and of course this occurs at the high-school, collegiate, and professional levels. It′s a fact of the game that a very skilled but small player will usually get beaten by a very skilled but considerably larger player.

And once again, as long as there is prestige and money to be earned from playing football, there will be steroids in it.

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