Steroid Nation

Posted by Ryan Jerz on Friday February 29, 2008.

steroid nation, by shaun assael Author(s): Shaun Asseal
Publisher: ESPN
ISBN: 1933060379
Amazon | Shelfari
If you ever wondered why people care about the use of steroids by athletes and anyone else, look no further than this book. It says an awful lot.

The book was published at the time the Mitchell Report was just being completed and making its way into the public realm. As the hearings in Congress went on, one recurring theme was that it’s not just athletes that use these drugs to improve performance. It’s their wives and possibly even their kids who use them to look better for photo shoots and to reach a point where they may someday be as good as their dads.

What’s the problem, you may ask. People use them to recover from injury…how is that any different than Drug X or Drug Y? Read the book and find out exactly what that problem is.

From my Shelfari entry:

Want to see inside the world of steroids and supplements and how it all became the monster industry it is today? Ever wondered what happens when you dedicate your life to finding another perfect drug for cutting fat and staying younger. Then check out Steroid Nation. The seedy underworld of the gym rats who started it all is exposed as the offshoot of the slimy drug traffickers we’ve come to know since cocaine hit the scene in the 1980s. The life of Dan Duchaine, The Guru, is all laid out for you, from how he came upon his first steroids and continued to use them and any number of other drugs he could find, until his death after suffering several strokes and twice serving time for distribution. All the people he met, including several prominent athletes and other dealers that have been in the news lately, are tied together to create one complete work in Steroid Nation that will surely serve to only be an initial chapter in the ongoing saga of illegal drugs that help athletes—and non-athletes—maintain a level of fitness unattainable without intense hard work over long periods of time, if at all.

The guys who started all of this are either dead of got the hell away from it. And they’re sleazebags. The ones who left the business went into the business of selling supplements that are either taking advantage of loopholes in laws to stay legal or are nothing more than diet shakes marketed as muscle-building solutions.

While there’s nothing illegal about separating a fool from his money, the pattern that’s created by these guys has to make you wonder what they know about these drugs and what they neglect to tell you about them if they’re selling them to you.

Therein lies the problem. When one of the original users of this stuff in the US died after suffering several strokes at a young age, even as one of the most educated people on the subject, what can we expect if it’s not taken seriously for the rest of us? It could be a serious medical issue that gets dealt with on a personal level. There’s no question that other drugs are in the same situation, but those other drugs are not given the advertising that the likes of world-class sprinters and home run hitters give steroids and human growth hormone. I read that people say Congress should focus on more important matters. Perhaps. But if they’re going to waste any time, I’d rather it be on something like this. Educate yourself. Read this and any number of other books on the subject.

Ryan JerzRyan Jerz is an all-around good guy who wants people to eventually refer to him as "that dude who climbs mountains."

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