Steroids: Good or Bad for the Sport?

10 months ago blogadmin 3

The traditional stereotype of steroids springs to mind pictures of muscle-bound meatheads shooting up to get ripped, but in a sport where injury is commonplace if not expected, does it makes sense to provide your athletes with all the healing remedies available?

Current commentator and former fighter Dennis Hallman made headlines in recent weeks with his defense of steroid use for medical treatment among MMA athletes.  Hallman reasons “if you have a headache, you take an aspirin; if you have a serious injury you take steroids to heal you, that’s the smart thing to do.”  To be clear, he does not support the use of steroids to gain a competitive edge, as he continued, “If you’re taking steroids to make yourself a better fighter because you don’t have the skill level or something like that, then it’s a problem.”

While Hallman’s comments provide some intriguing food for thought, in addition to his assertion that north of 50% of all fighters are already using banned substances, his argument isn’t thoroughly thought out.  Sure, you take Tylenol if you have a headache, but Tylenol is an FDA approved drug, with side effects that have been closely monitored and given the green light by medical professionals.  The world of steroids, due in most part to their illegality, is a shady one, even among substances used primarily for healing purposes.  Furthermore, steroids are currently banned in MMA competition, just like all other professional sports, looking out for both fair competition and the potential long term health concerns of individual athletes.  Were large scale deregulation to be seriously considered, would it even be possible to discern competitors with legitimate medical needs from those simply trying to get the upper hand?  Now that many leagues are finally getting a grasp on the rampant steroid use that has plagued professional sports since the late 80s, any perceived step backwards in steroid scrutiny could have major implications and irreversible reprocussions.