Everyone loses with steroids

Last week, a total of 15 professional baseball players were handed 50-game suspensions for their involvement with Biogenesis, a clinic that provided performance-enhancing drugs to pro athletes.
Aug 12, 2013

This is just another in a long and sad history of pro athletes looking to gain a competitive edge by using banned substances.

With so much money at stake for professional ball players, it’s not surprising that they would go to such lengths to bolster their success. The really sad part is that these athletes are setting an example for the younger generation of sports stars to follow.

While we don’t hear about them as often on the local level, there’s little doubt our area prep stars are tempted to use steroids.

A 2012 study in Minnesota found that 5 percent of young athletes had used steroids to bulk up. Many more — a third of boys and one-fifth of all girls in the study — said they had used protein or powder shakes to gain muscle mass, and around 10 percent had used non-steroid muscle-enhancing substances, such as Creatine.

What message are these youngsters receiving that makes them feel that they must push themselves this hard, to the point of risking their future well-being — not to mention breaking the law — in order to become more successful athletically?

Up until the recent Major League Baseball suspensions, we hadn’t heard much about steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs.

With the fall prep sports season beginning this week, perhaps this is a well-timed reminder about the dangers of PEDs.

If you have a youngster competing in athletics, take a few moments and talk to them about steroids. Let them know that the immediate satisfaction of a boost in strength and performance is dwarfed by the long-term consequences.

Kudos to Major League Baseball for taking a firm stand against these cheaters — a list that includes a few of the biggest games in the game, including Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Braun.

Hopefully, our local athletes will get the message and realize that, with steroids, everyone loses.

Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung, Alex Doty and Fred VandenBrand. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to news@grandhaventribune.com or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.



Reflecting back to when I was in High School Sports (Football & Gymnastics)1969 - 1971 if steroids had been available like they are now, I have no doubt that everyone playing would have taken them with no questions asked. It most likely wouldn't have mattered how much parents, teachers, and coach's would have said, the mindset in those "Protest Years" would have even encouraged us even more. You see, those were the "Hippie" years where experimentation with drugs of every kind were readily available for a buck or two and sometimes $5. Especially on the High School football team, everyone wanted to be as big and as large with muscles bulging as we could get. We were trying just about anything that advertised and touted super muscle growth in the shortest amount of time. We tried all sorts of vitamins, supplements, and whipped up smoothy drinks that were god awful nasty tasting believing we would become muscle bound giants, but the only thing we got on a regular basis was stomachaches and the runs. The teenage mind doesn't reason like an adult mind of 35 years and older and common sense has not yet even come close to a realistic consideration.

At some point in aging and growth most adults forget the real feelings and emotions they experienced in their teenage years. Parents all of a sudden "believe" they know whats best for their children and vow to not let their kid experience what they went through as a teenager. This is where conflict and arguments erupt from, the parent forgetting what it was like to be a kid and acting as if they were born right into an adult never having a childhood at all. Most adults have a "Superiority complex" filled with arrogance and ego in which they believe their kid will never be as intelligent,smart,and as eloquent as they've become and is constantly trying to undermine their child's progress consciously or unconsciously. Not that parents want to see their child fail, but the parents will put up a huge roadblock slamming their kid for an emotional breakdown with an extreme consequence that their kid will never forget and never forgive their parent for doing. I'll give you a real life example of what crushed me emotionally when I was 17 years old. It was the middle of Summer and I had met this girl that I thought was the "One"! She was in town for 2 weeks and staying with her aunt and uncle. I had taken her out on a date one night and got back home 15 minutes later than the time my parents had set and as a punishment they had grounded me for the next night which was the last night I could see this girl because she was leaving to go back home the next day. I explained everything to my mother and she would not budge an inch. This emotionally crushed me and most likely damaged me for the rest of my life on how I would look at parents. I have not found a parent to this day that would have done what my mother did to me. Yes I was late, but I could account for exactly where and why I was late. I pleaded to let me be grounded the day after this girl left town, but nothing I said could change her mind. My dad was in the Post WW II parent mindset that as long as I lived under his roof I would obey and follow any orders given to me without question until I turned 18 years old and then I was free to think and make decisions on my own, however as long as I was living under his roof no matter how old I was, everything was his way or the highway. I don't think that parents are even aware of what they are doing most of the time and how what they say and what they do affects their children.

How does what I've just written have anything to do with steroids? The thing is, that a "Steroid" in and of itself can't harm anyone, but when a person convinces themselves that despite the laws and sports rules against using the steroid, the athlete sets up an entire rational for everything associated with the steroid in that, "I'll be OK" and "everything will be just fine" along with, "No one will be hurt but me if something goes wrong." The person who decides to use steroids or really any drug for that matter, somehow rationalizes to themselves that everything will be alright and whatever the benefit the user receives from using the drug, in their mind, far outweighs all and any reasons against using.

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