Thursday, August 25, 2011

Steroids in The NBA?

Several months ago I came across a blog called Tennis Has a Steroid Problem. It has quite a following and points fingers at many popular players and accuses them of steroid or other illegal drug use in order to gain an advantage. I haven't really followed tennis since the 80's, so I'm not too familiar with today's tennis stars, but it got me wondering about steroid use in other sports including the NBA.

Some people say that steroids would only benefit athletes involved in football, wrestling, track, or other power sports, but I can't think of a sport where athletic performance may not benefit from steroid use. There are many critics who say bulking up would detract from a player's game. I'd like to remind those people to look at professional cycling which is an endurance sport, but has been hit hard with drug scandals. When you are talking about being faster, bigger, and stronger, and healing from injuries and recovering quicker, then using any sort of PED (Performance Enhancing Drug) can be a temptation.

Mr. bowling ball shoulders
A couple years ago Orlando's Rashard Lewis tested positive and was suspended for several games, but besides that, there have not been any high profile cases I know of. I don't believe the NBA's drug testing procedures are as stringent as they are in other sports. Several months ago it was rumored that Derrick Rose said performance enhancing drugs were prevalent in the NBA, although he later denied that statement.

I know some people would point fingers at some of the bigger more muscular players when this topic comes up. Names like Dwight Howard, Lebron James, and Blake Griffin might come to mind due to their impressive physiques and athleticism. I understand that today's athletes spend alot more time in the weight room than players did 25 years ago so greater musculature should be expected. I am NOT accusing the players mentioned above of using steroids, HGH, or other PEDS, but it would be very naive of us to think that it is not happening in the NBA since it is so prevalent in many other sports.

I don't want to be one of those guys who accuses everyone who is bigger or stronger than them of being on the juice. I know people come in all shapes and sizes and genetics and training has a huge impact on one's physique and performance, but at the same time, there is part of me that wonders about what goes on behind the scenes with trainers and doctors in order to give a player an additional advantage.


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