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  1. #1
    Prophet Guest

    The NFL Drug Problem: Does Anyone Care?

    The NFL Drug Problem: Does Anyone Care?
    SFGate.com
    C.W. Nevius (Email) | August 29 2006 at 06:41 AM

    The National Football League is a lovely fantasy. It generates millions and millions in revenue, clobbers everything in the television ratings, and is a national obsession.

    What no one wants to talk about is that the sport almost certainly has a performance drug problem that makes Barry Bonds look like a Jenny Craig spokesman. Or do you really believe that in the last 20 years the average linebacker has grown from 225 pounds to 265 pounds and can still run 40 yards in 4.4 seconds?

    As in the case of Bonds, who grew bigger and bigger before our eyes, this is a story the reasonable sports fan understands. Surely those guys are taking something. But there's no proof.

    The NFL brags about its drug-testing program and while they catch a few players from time to time, the inference is that the majority of the players are clean. Yep, that's probably true. Those offensive linemen are bulking up to 335 pounds on good diet and weight lifting. Sure they are.

    But last Sunday the Charlotte Observer dropped a bombshell with a stunning, well-researched story on the use of steroids in the National Football League. This isn't speculation or unnamed sources, these are court and medical records that detail long-term, unrepentant steroid use by members of the Carolina Panthers, a team that went all the way to the 2004 Super Bowl.

    The story not only names names -- former Cal offensive lineman is one of them and another is former 49ers' tight end Wesley Walls, one of Carolina's most popular players ever -- but details the prescriptions filled for steroids and human growth hormone.

    The Observer quotes Dr. Gary Wadler, a well-known expert on performance enhancing drugs, who prepared a report for the U.S. Attorney General's office.

    "Several of them were using disturbing, particularly alarmingly high amounts with high dosages for long durations -- some in combinations," Wadler said. "This wasn't just a passing flirtation with these prohibited substances. When I see (prescriptions) `renewed five times,' I say, `What are you trying to accomplish?' "

    According to the story, the players not only took the banned drugs, they suffered side effects from the use. Steussie was given anti-estrogen drugs to combat breast-enhancement, which can be a consequence of steroid use, and fellow lineman Jeff Mitchell complained that his testicles had shrunk and he was experiencing hair loss.

    But the real surprise is the way the players used the drugs with impunity. At the sentencing of Dr. James Shortt, who supplied the drugs, Assistant U.S. Attorney Winston Holliday said the players considered the NFL testing program, "almost a joke.'

    It certainly seems like it. Wadler's report, based on the players' medical records, showed that Steussie and another player picked up prescriptions for drugs just days before leaving for the 2004 Super Bowl. (The Panthers lost that game, 32-29 to New England.)

    The point here isn't that a few members of the Carolina Panthers violated the NFL's drug policy. It is that players at the highest level of the game not only took performance-enhancing drugs, they did it repeatedly and consistently, even when they began to notice potentially serious side effects.

    The conclusions seem pretty obvious. Does anyone believe that this was a case of a few rogue players? What is more likely is that this is one of the few, verifiable examples of the kind of rampant drug use that is common in the NFL. The players are huge, beyond anything we've seen in the history of the game. There's a reason for that.

    And second, even when they knew the drugs might be causing life-threatening consequences, the players continued to take them. That speaks to an even more ominous theory. That the players felt that they simply could not compete in the league without the performance drugs.

    In other words, they felt they couldn't stop, even if they wanted to. Have we really reached the point where, to have a professional career, you have to use performance drugs?

    These are serious questions. Not that anyone wants to ask them. In Carolina the response to the story from fans was immediate. "OK,' some said, "you made your point, now drop it.' "Nobody cares!' said another.

    Part of the problem may be the size of the media market. If The New York Times had come up with this evidence, you can bet it would have been an enormous story. But the facts hold up. Again, this isn't heresy, this is from court and medical records.

    The Observer came up with a stunner, the kind of story that should begin to expose a problem that could extend to the highest levels of the America's most popular sport. They laid out the facts, told the tale, and waited for the massive national reaction.

    They are still waiting.


  2. #2
    Prophet Guest

    Re: The NFL Drug Problem: Does Anyone Care?

    NFL discussing changing drug policy
    Associated Press
    6 September 2006



    NEW YORK (AP) - The NFL is talking with its players' union about beefing up its testing program for performance-enhancing drugs with the changes possibly taking effect this season, according to a newspaper report.

    The changes could include more testing and increasing the number of banned substances, The New York Times reported Wednesday.
    "We are in the process of re-evaluation, trying to determine if more is better, if it's the right time to add substances, to add more tests," Harold Henderson, the league's executive vice president for labor relations, told the paper. "It might make sense to do some tweaking."

    The NFL does approximately 10,000 tests for performance-enhancing drugs a year and there are about 2,000 players in the league. Players are randomly selected for testing and can be tested during the offseason.

    The NFL announced in June that it added amphetamines to the list of banned performance-enhancers starting this season.

    Amphetamines were previously listed as a "substance-abuse drug," but are now in the same category as steroids and other enhancers that carry much stronger penalties. This season will serve as a transition year, where a first positive test would bring a warning and put a player into the drug program.

    But in 2007, amphetamines will be tested for on a regular basis. A first positive test will result in a four-game suspension, the same penalty now levied for positive steroids tests.

    In addition to the amphetamines change, the penalty for a second positive test for performance-enhancing drugs was increased from six to eight games. A third positive test still carries a one-year suspension.

    The NFL season starts Thursday night when the Pittsburgh Steelers host the Miami Dolphins.



  3. #3
    cogitans is offline Jersey Retired
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    Re: The NFL Drug Problem: Does Anyone Care?

    I hate drugs in sports, but I am still following many sportsevents that I don't believe are clean. And I still think people will continue watching, even after a Bond-like scandal.

    One of the things I find most disturbing is the fact that I don't see american leagues taking these matters serious. Most of the actions they take are purely for show, and not really meant for cleaning out the bad seeds, or even thinking about what drugs do to the athleats in the long run.

    What should be done is banning all illigal drugs on the WADA list without question. And then start testing, much more than has been done in the past, and that meens both on and of comepetion.

    As it stands now the leagues are draging the anti-doping agencies round by their noses. But hey, we are all still watching, suckers as we are.

    Thanks to PPE for the sig.

  4. #4
    Del Rio Guest

    Re: The NFL Drug Problem: Does Anyone Care?

    The size in athlete has been growing since organized sports began. The knowledge of nutrition, the body, and the way it all works together is far more advanced now then it was 20 years ago.

    20 years ago you just had to be naturally big. Today's professional athletes need to be naturally big and then refined through training.

    As long as it is against the rules I consider it cheating. I can understand why athletes do it, I understand the feelings and the reasoning, I just cannot support it.

  5. #5
    vikingbill50's Avatar
    vikingbill50 is offline Starter
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    Re: The NFL Drug Problem: Does Anyone Care?

    as far as drugs go, i hate hearing about anyone using them, especially in sports, if you have to cheat then you dont belong in sports, i think they need to really crack down hard it, use the three strike rule..first time you get help and treatment and maybe a game or two suspension, second time you get suspended for a year and get help again, then the third time, you are out for good..i think a good hard policy has to be in place and not just football or baseball, but all sports...
    I BLEED THE COLOR PURPLE

  6. #6
    Prophet Guest

    Re: The NFL Drug Problem: Does Anyone Care?




    [img width=398 height=480]http://www.jonco48.com/blog/pumped1qj_small.jpg[/img]

  7. #7
    NordicNed is offline Jersey Retired
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    Re: The NFL Drug Problem: Does Anyone Care?

    "Prophet" wrote:



    [img width=398 height=480]http://www.jonco48.com/blog/pumped1qj_small.jpg[/img]


    Is that Singer, stuffed in his shorts?... ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D




    Say NO to Drugs....


    I LOVE THE SMELL OF VICTORY IN THE MORNING AIR.

  8. #8
    Prophet Guest

    Re: The NFL Drug Problem: Does Anyone Care?

    "VikingNed" wrote:
    "Prophet" wrote:



    [img width=398 height=480]http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a83/RPM40/pumpedstash.jpg[/img]


    Is that Singer, stuffed in his shorts?... ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D




    Say NO to Drugs....
    Good eyes Ned!
    I didn't even see that the first time.

  9. #9
    NordicNed is offline Jersey Retired
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    Re: The NFL Drug Problem: Does Anyone Care?

    LMFAO... ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D




    Thats the funniest post I've seen in a long time Prophet, Thanks, now I have to go peeeeeeeeeeee.... :


    I LOVE THE SMELL OF VICTORY IN THE MORNING AIR.

  10. #10
    vikingbill50's Avatar
    vikingbill50 is offline Starter
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    Re: The NFL Drug Problem: Does Anyone Care?

    i need help..fairly new to computer stuff so can anyone tell me how i can post a picture on my profile, tried ans so far no luck..thanks
    I BLEED THE COLOR PURPLE

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