How Informed Are Steroid Users?

A question that people often ask me is: if human growth hormone doesn’t enhance performance, then why do athletes use it? My response has been that athletes don’t have the proper information. My guess is that men like Kirk Radomski are spreading false information to push their product.

In the next issue of Time Magazine, Sylvester Stallone weighs in on his own use of testosterone and GH. It is a prime example of how informed users may be.

Playing a guy who acts with only his eyes and his biceps is harder than playing a fast-talking, earnest boxer, especially on a 61-year-old body. Which was one of the reasons Stallone wanted to do it. He pumped up to a freakish 209 lbs. (95 kg); in Rambo II he weighed only 168 (76 kg). And, he insists, he did it without steroids, though with the help of a prescription testosterone. “HGH [human growth hormone] is nothing. Anyone who calls it a steroid is grossly misinformed,” he says. “Testosterone to me is so important for a sense of well-being when you get older. Everyone over 40 years old would be wise to investigate it because it increases the quality of your life. Mark my words. In 10 years it will be over the counter.” He was in such great shape, it freaked out his co-star, Julie Benz. “I’m a runner. I sprint. And I’m extremely competitive. And he blew past me every time. And he doesn’t run at all. He’s that focused,” she says. [Emphasis added]

HGH isn’t nothing. It won’t help you play sports, but it has serious effects on the body. Has he looked in the mirror lately? I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt that he was referring to its strength benefits.

But, it is his comments about testosterone that blew me away. Testosterone isn’t a steroid?

From Wikipedia:

Testosterone is a steroid hormone from the androgen group. In mammals, testosterone is primarily secreted in the testes of males and the ovaries of females, although small amounts are also secreted by the adrenal glands. It is the principal male sex hormone and an anabolic steroid.

Definition of testosterone from The American Heritage Medical Dictionary:

A steroid hormone and the most potent naturally occurring androgen that is formed by the interstitial cells of the testes, and possibly by the ovary and adrenal cortex, may be produced in nonglandular tissues from precursors such as androstenedione, and is used in the treatment of hypogonadism, cryptorchism, carcinomas, and menorrhagia.

It’s hard to be this badly informed, especially when you consider that the guy built a career off of using the stuff. Maybe the reporter misunderstood him. I wouldn’t be surprised, because it must have been difficult to decipher a collection of grunts and snarls.

Thanks to Craig Calcaterra for the pointer.

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