Some athletes will always try to cheat their competitors through the use of banned substances.

It’s sad, but the “win at all costs” attitude has become culturally pervasive. Also, many sports have become highly commercialized with huge dollars at stake and everyone desperate for an edge. Certainly, sports administrative bodies need to do what they reasonably can to stay a step ahead of unethical athletes. But it may be said that sports doping is less a specific drug issue than a competitors’ integrity issue. A substance is just a tool; if it’s not one, it will be another, for any devious athlete seeking an unfair edge. Criminalizing anabolic steroids hasn’t eradicated them from sports. Team coaches and trainers at all levels — from high school athletics to elite and professional sports — need to know what their players may be up to. College administrators need to know what their student bodybuilders are up to. Not only can illicit anabolic steroid use result in an embarrassing media circus, but also, more importantly, it can jeopardize the health of those athletes who abuse these hormones in high dosages, for prolonged periods, and/or without medical monitoring or advice. Everyone in sports should know exactly how anabolic steroids are defined, and how the laws deal with them.

Is high school steroid use a “growing epidemic” as alarmist media sources suggest? The answer is no, according to the best evidence available. According to the most recent Monitoring the Future Studies, 1.0% of 8th graders, 1.4% of 10th graders, and 1.9% of 12th graders reported using steroids at least once in their lives. But those numbers are down from previous years. According to the 2002 Monitoring the Future Study, the “high water” mark, the numbers were 2.5% of 8th graders, 3.5% of 10th graders, and 4.0% of 12th graders. Obviously things seem to have moved substantially in the right direction, despite the scare stories. But the fact that any high school students are illicitly using steroids is troubling. How can we best discourage adolescent steroid use? We can recite for our teens the list of possible steroid side effects that are presented to all users, but we should present only the real risks, not some hyperbolic “Reefer Madness” version that destroys all credibility. While the media have exaggerated and sensationalized steroid side effects, there are potentially serious side effects of abuse even to adults. The true potential for health risks should not be ignored, but rather qualified.

Internationally recognized steroid legal authority Rick Collins, Esq. is available for consultations on the legal consequences of using steroids for sports performance purposes (by general office email at [email protected] or by phone at 516-294-0300, weekdays 2 – 5 pm EST). He has appeared and presented at many symposiums and conferences on the topic of doping and drug testing in sports. For recent presentations, click here to see his curriculum vitae.

Legal charges surrounding steroids are serious – if you are a coach facing charges or are being investigated for a steroid crime, you need an attorney who not only has unparalleled expertise and proven success in this complex area of steroids and the law, but who is committed to fighting for your rights. Rick Collins is that attorney – and can provide the experienced legal counsel you need to win your case surrounding anabolic steroids or performance enhancing drugs. Call him today at 516-294-0300 to discuss your case … and how he can help.