The Five Stages of Steroid Use.

Welcome to Stage Four, You Mutt.

With Floyd Landis spilling the beans today, and this Doctor Galea getting arrested (and already being tied to Santana Moss), it looks like PEDs are going to be right back into the spotlight for a while.  Personally, I’m a bit tired of it.  Especially in the case of Landis.  Cyclist Dopes Blood is a headline with about as much shock value as Frat Guy Drinks Beer.  It was/is a dirty sport, there are others, and when given the opportunity a lot of athletes will take the advantage.  It shouldn’t be that surprising.  What’s frustrating for me, what I’m sick of, is the same story progression over and over.  It’s the five stages of the steroid/PED use.  Sometimes I wish there was a fast forward button.

Stage One:  Picture of Cleanliness.  Cast yourself as a clean superstar.  Come out in favor of strict testing.  Say things like, “I’ll take any test, any time,” but then don’t follow through.  Make outrageous claims about your integrity that you don’t care about backing up.  That kind of thing.  If Landis’ allegations about Lance Armstrong are true, well there’s your prototypical Stage One man, old Lance.

Stage Two:  Shock and Denial.  So you get implicated.  Why?  Probably because you took PEDs, but in this stage you become outraged at the positive test.  You deny it.  You use terms like, “tainted supplement,” you demand justice, you want answers as to why all your titles were stripped away.  You vow to fight this, and prove your innocence, but none of that actually happens because stage three is…

Stage Three:  Disappear.  I know Floyd Landis is a cyclist, and so he’s not exactly high-profile, but where has this guy been for the last few years?  He’s been laying low.  As time passes people remember that Landis was stripped of his Tour de France title, but they don’t really care about it anymore.  Old news.  Mark McGwire carried out stage three to perfection.  The guy was a missing persons report.  When the guys stop fighting that’s when you know…

Stage Four:  Admit Everything.   When your realistic window for athletic redemption is closed, and when you realize that you have no other option, it’s time to come clean.  Everyone does eventually.  It’s not just steroids.  Pete Rose followed this exact same cycle for his gambling.  The amazing thing about stage four is that everyone kind of forgets all the lies that were told.  Remember stage two when I was in front of any camera I could find, shouting about my innocence?  Yeah, that was all total bs.  I would have admitted it sooner, but I had to disappear for a while for things to die down, and to organize my strategy.

Stage Five.  The Golden Parachute Grab.  In short, write the book.  “Juiced,” by Jose Canseco comes to mind.  Stage four and five work closely together.  Landis has set the groundwork for his money grab by implicating Lance Armstrong.  Lance Armstrong!  Do tell.  Interviews, tell all books, anything he wants.   In ultimate PED user style, everything is about the bottom line.  What’s best for me?  Taking the Drugs?  Denying it?  Admitting it?  Cranking out a memoir?  Just pull the string and tell these frauds what to do to make a buck or gain an edge and they’ll happily do it.


31 thoughts on “The Five Stages of Steroid Use.

  1. It is an incredibly painful cycle for sports fans to endure, but I tend to believe a lot about what is said.

    I don’t look at the motive, I just care if it is the truth. Take Canseco for example. He is in it for the money, but that does not mean he is lying.

    In the case of Landis, I think he will ultimately want to make a buck or two off of this, but I believe almost everything he is saying, especially the part about Lance Armstrong.

    Please, please, please, please, please tell me Armstrong will get caught. Please.

  2. oh, i definitely believe them.

    like canseco, they have a track record of eventually being proven honest (once they start admitting things).

  3. I just take the view everyone’s on something. They were all doing it, so it’s equal playing field. Anyone who’s shocked that NFL players are on roids hasn’t been watching football recently.

    Expect Derek Jeter and Mo that is.

    • are you seriously asking? As far as I know, there’s no indication that either elevate performance. and, looking at some anecdotal evidence, you could probably argue that cocaine use is a good way to derail your career.

  4. well, i was serious. thanks for thinking otherwise.

    as a therapist who sees quite a few peops who use a plethora of performance “enhancers” shall we say….

    um, i argue that tobacco is a legal form of stimulant in baseball. come on, even the most avid participant of that game would argue there is such an ebb and flow of required concentration, the chew can surely enhance / even out sporadic moments of heightened focus. not the best kind of role modeling, but we know how athletes, and i truly believe, don’t have to be role models…

    cocaine, which i understand is also quite a big friend of the NFL, in addition to AND IN TANDEM with frontal lobe injury, um…offers bursts of adrenaline, rage, low impulse influence and focus and energy while HIGH. and then a downside of …wow, really a dark, evil side afterwards.

    allow me to share one of the best examples of a coke habit in recent years….

    finally, like my own blog yesterday – at the end of the day, i don’t quite get what governing bodies, even at the pro league level, have to do with what one puts in their body or throws back up. i mean, cheating – yeah, it happens – but our body as a vehicle for sports, often becomes a machine. choose how you lube it, some choices more lasting, some more “legal” and some more dignified.


  5. Stimulants are an issue. Greenies, crushing sudafed, whatever. Caffeine, nicotine, cocaine, pseudoephedrine, whatever greenies are made of, they’re all on the same continuum. You don’t want to go out there naked, so to speak. Isn’t that the saying?

    • DC feels me.

      seriously, i think if leagues – at least the business oriented leagues – continue to get more rulish…i’d like to know how much they sweep under the rug in the name of surface righteousness…at the expense of the athletes some might say are exploited for frachises.


  6. I don’t agree with most of this. I’m not comfortable lumping caffeine with cocaine, and I’m not comfortable lumping stimulants with steroids or HGH.

    What I’m trying to say is, no one ever earned a contract or extended their career by chewing tobbacco.

    This higher level that you’re trying to go, I don’t know that I understand. You want everyone to be allowed to take whatever they want?

    You might not approve of the idea of a sports league making regulations, but the integrity of these things matters to some people, myself included. And, just because the integrity has been tarnished time and time again, doesn’t mean you give up.

    If you want to take whatever you want, don’t play in one of the professional leagues.

    I don’t know what your ideal scenario is, other than not being feasible. Do you want guys to just spontaneously gather at fields and play without keeping score?

    • re: your final statement, i mean – maybe. yeah, Q has ambivalent feelings regarding sport as business, though it is entertaining for many.

      but. i give you credit in stating distinction between career extending drugs.

      otherwise, while the diagnostic statistical manual of mental distorders includes tobacco and many other stimulates, caffeine being the exception, under substances that fall under the category of ABUSE-ABLE…meaning there is a HIGH, a withdrawal and often addictive rebound affect. once that becomes acknowledged as part of THE business of putting on a shows on the field, all of this is kind of moot and silly and mildy why i dislike sports, ambivalently.

      i think my higher conversation is more of a philosophical one. better for bob ley and q to have than q and 3-Putt. dont think leagues can do much about many substances that are clearly used to ENHANCE things…so one has to do a cost analysis. career extending, building muscles fine…but those are only an arbitrary set of facets that compose a decent athlete.

      done. q-shrink.

      • okay okay. when i walked away, i thought i was finished,

        last comment: so, if you wanna say you care only about drugs that altar basic sport regulations or the nature of the game, and hence that is why roids and HGH are different than tobacco? um, well…picture the world series a few years back, much of the sox team admitted to drinking in the locker room. also throwing in the towel, take the edge off the defeat and anxiety and blah blah blah…

        how many jobs can you do a substance like that? coffee, yeah…alcohol, no? maybe if you’re a lounge singer or BK on Wall Street with the stocks crashing.

        to me, that substance altered the performance. and do i think cocaine altars the roughness and hits of the NFL, SURE AS PROBABLY bleep…. if you’ve never seen someone high on crack/cocaine, then well…i guess you just won’t agree.


  7. How many people drink after work? A shed load. Heard of happy hour? Tobacco and caffeine too. Half the world can’t get through the day without caffeine so I’m not going to accept that a legal stimulant compromises the game.

    Cocaine is a different story, its illegal, I’m against it.

    but doesn’t the solution have to be rooted in some type of reality? I mean, sports whether or not you care personally, aren’t going anywhere. I think we should be going for the best possible solution instead of dealing in ideals or hypotheticals.

    • fine. you win. isn’t that what you like? giggle.

      you like wins. put one in your column,

      q likes when everyone is happy and suspension of norms, a great debate and questioning subjective realities based on evident matters at hand…so she had a fulfilling experience too.


      now go skylers? i’ll them that tonight, see what kind of reality that surfaces for tomorrow.


  8. um, for the record, 1/2 way through yoga i realized you didnt get my world series point, the sox drank before and during games, apparently…not post party…

    again, had to clarify. hate to be misunderstood by you. q

  9. well if you can find a link to that story, i’d like to read that.

    i’ve never heard that.

    but, i certainly know players have had drinks before games in the past..

    But, that doesn’t change my opinion that a beer isn’t going to help that perform at an optimum or better level. if they have a problem and need a beer to come down from something else, that’s not good and they need help, and it’s not good for the game, but at the same time they aren’t increasing their capabilities.

    I’m not for abusing stimulants, or chewing tobacco, or any of that, but I don’t think it disrupts the competitive balance.

  10. I think I actually remember that now that I read it. I wasn’t doubting you, just asking for the link.

    To me, that honestly sounds pretty harmless. It’s an idiotic thing to do, but it sounds like more of stupid bonding thing than anything else.

    but again, even if they were shit canned, i don’t see how that helps them play better.

  11. My point wasn’t that we should be banning or permitting all stimulants. I was saying that stimulants are something that athletes take in order to enhance their performance at work. Just like I am drinking coffee right now in order to enhance my performance at work (or so I think, or so my caffeine-addicted neurons want me to think).

    How we draw the line between what is a fair drug and an unfair drug is a completely different question to me. And I don’t know very much about this so perhaps it’s not that hard for the regulating authorities to draw the line?

    • Yeah, I was mostly speaking to Q, there.

      The thing with caffeine, for me, I mean I don’t think it changes your peak level of performance. What I mean is, if you weren’t addicted, and say got more sleep or something, I think you could hit the same level of performance that you hit with coffee right now.

      And, I think at least part of the “greenie” era was players taking an “any edge I can get” mentality and starting them, because guys that were addicted to them talked about their benefits, and then you get that whole, they work because you think they are working thing…next thing you know, another person is addicted. But, how much better is the actual play?

      Look I don’t want the players hopped up on anything, but caffeine, tobacco, beer, alcohol, don’t concern me in the sense of integrity of the game. Now, if the whole league was a bunch of drunks, that would be a different issue that needed to be addressed.

  12. nice points DC, and 3-Putt, I still think you’re just being a little stubborn for the sake of being stubborn. i’m not a sports psychologist, but as a psychologist i would argue alcohol and stimulants MOST certaintly affect performance. humans are a mind/body machine. muscles, alone, do not do all the work. like DC says, neurons and brain cells are all over that field.


  13. sorry if i sounded harsh, i mean – i guess we are argueing a moot point. i see substances from more of a philosophical stance. you see it under concrete regs. so fine. we are back to what you said…i just wish you’d say, yeah, there has to be some effect. caffeine in coffee is not a substance that is abuseable, because the HIGH’s and WITHDRAWAL’s and REBOUND of that drug are substantially less than say – even a sedative like alcohol AND MOST certainly crack/cocain which just reroutes your brain all together.


  14. I’m certainly not being stubborn for the sake of being stubborn. i’m trying to continue to make my point, because I believe that you are wrong, and also not really understanding what I am saying.

    Can we make the distinction between performance enhancing and performance altering please? If someone is drunk for a game, yes that alters their performance, but it does not enhance it. If someone is hopped up on caffeine I don’t think that has any impact on the outcome of a game…you are now saying the highs aren’t that substantial.

    Initially you are arguing that caffeine stimulates performance and you put in the same category as cocaine. Now, you’ve talked your way all around to telling me that caffeine and cocaine aren’t really on the same plane. that’s what i’ve been saying all along! I’m not for cocaine. It’s illegal for anyone to use, let alone an athlete. I’m of the opinion that it in general shortens careers and doesn’t impact the game’s integrity like HGH, for example, but I never said it didn’t have an impact on a person.

    I honestly don’t even know what you point is anymore. To summarize, I’m against performance enhancing drugs. I don’t consider cocaine to be a performance enhancing drug really, but at the same time I don’t want athletes using it because it is illegal in general. It’s not even on the table. As far as legal stimulants and alcohol go, I also think there is no real advantage gained from using these, and I’ll put tobacco in there as well.

    It was your insistence that any little bit of caffeine or stimulant had an impact that should be considered with the impact of steroids that I took an issue with.

    • YOU WROTE, and refuse to agree or let you think i am wrong:

      If someone is drunk for a game, yes that alters their performance, but it does not enhance it.

      YES, ALCOHOL WOULD ENHANCE PERFORMANCE, in the instance of my sox like i said – is a team is so in their head, defeated, and anxious about goliath…that psyche could be positively affected for 9 innings.

      i know you seem to have an even temperament under stress (most of the time), and mabe something is genetic and why your dad might have been an amazing hitter…BUT many guys under pressure, especially i’d think w/ batting in the big leagues can literally PSYCHE themselves out.

      beer is the same drug that gets dudes laid or layed, or however that one is, and the same drug that (in addition to roids) prob brought my city a world championship a few years back.

      as a shrink i think i get to take that stance.


      • I don’t agree at all. But, that’s fine if that’s what you think.

        If you think they won because some of them took half a sip of whiskey before the game…

        well, I guess they won then because they were all wearing their lucky socks, or growing playoff beards too.

  15. Did you just say that beer goggles are why the red sox won a championship?

    I assume you’re referencing the infamous “shot” of JD taken. Since you’re arguing for the physical effects of alcohol and stimulants, that shot had no affect on these guys physically speaking. It was calming b/c of a psychological effect, not b/c of it’s physical effect. It’s the same as if some guy gets loose playing ping pong. The actual ping pong game doesn’t enhance his performance, the fact that it relaxes him or calms him does. It’s the indirect cause of his strong play. Should they ban sports psychologists now?

    Steroids and PEDS have a direct impact on a player’s performance and drastically alter their skills. Lyle Alzado has openly stated that without steroids he wouldn’t have been starting in the NFL.

    Tobacco, et al, have an indirect effect, they’re as much mental as physical much like superstitions, so they’re in an entirely different class.

    Yes, mental is a huge part of all sports. But you’d have to start banning all things that relax players, all things like “pre at bat routines”, pitcher superstitions walking off the mound, specific pre-game meals, you name it.

    • Beakers you wrote:

      Should they ban sports psychologists now?

      (sure hope not, cause then i can’t become one…and intoxicate all my clients).


      • But they alter performance, so where do you draw the line? What about guys that are taking prescription pills of some sort (legally)?

  16. IF PUTTER RETAINED MY POINT, IT WAS THAT IN MOST JOBS – ETOH’in on the job would be considered in illegal or “inethical” substance or intervention.

    unless i had sex with the sports player clients before the game, i would not consider my therapeutic intervention an inethical contribution to their mental status.


    • This is losing my interest to be honest, but I never said that drinking was an ethical choice.

      I certainly don’t think it should be done.

      But, the impact I would equate to those examples that BK mentioned.

      And, thus in the spectrum of performance enhancement, I don’t consider it an issue.

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