I don’t think the 80% estimates are ridiculous at all. That may be a little high, but I wouldn’t be shocked at all if it were found to be true. What kills me is how naive so many people are when making their arguments concerning steroids. To only look at it from a size perspective (e.g. “Today’s players [are/aren’t that much] bigger than players 20 years ago…”) is to be completely ignorant of steroids’ other uses, namely recovery. It’s not just about getting bigger. These guys get the shit kicked out of them to a degree that many, strike that, most of us will never even begin to know, week in and week out. Trust me when I say they aren’t afraid to push the limits and if there is something that athletes think they can get away with that will take away their pain, help them recover faster, allow them to lift heavily AND play 100% every Sunday, etc., they’re going to do it.
If people believe the “6 players randomly tested every week” schpiel at least it means the NFL PR dept. is doing their job, and hey if that makes fans rest easier I got no problem with it. But the truth is designer steroids are BIG business and those guys will always stay one step ahead of the game. I’m sorry I can’t point you directly to a source that describes how it’s conducted, but the NFL steroid test is a joke. In the words of the late, great Dan Duchaine “The only people getting caught using steroids are those who aren’t in the know”.
P.S. If it sounds like I’m coming down on the NFL, I’m not. I love the NFL and all things football. But having worked now at the college level in a D1 strength & conditioning collegiate athletic program, as well as under people who previously worked in the NFL, you get a little more realistic view of how things really are…[/quote]
This sounds pretty accurate to me. I doubt the figure is 80-100%, you get a lot of guys with unreal genetics, plenty of relatively skinny guys at skill positions, and some of the linemen are just naturally huge and lazy as hell (think Ray Seals from a while back, Gilbert Brown, etc.). The testing catches a few folks, but by all accounts is easy to evade if you know what you’re doing. I think the bigger way to look at it is what percentage of NFL players have used steroids at some point in their careers, whether high school, college (the biggest portion I suspect) or pros. A figure I heard for that category is 50-70%.