T Nation

Ethics and Steroids


I didn't whether to put this either here or the steroid forum, but I figured I'd get more views on this subject. I'm curious to anybody who considers themselves somewhat of a Philosopher and what their Philosophy, whether it be Deontology, Utilitarianism, Virtue Theory, etc and its view say on the use of anabolics in a competitive setting.

Hypotheticals may be used, and is encouraged. Hopefully this doesn't get too out of hand, otherwise I'd ask the Mods to shut the thread down.


I'm not a Philosopher, but steroids are only cheating if used in competition against other people who aren't using, or in a league where the rules state they are outlawed. (In this instance, them being illegal by law does not make personal use cheating.)

As far as any moral reasons, if one doesn't believe in god and isn't competing against tested athletes, then there is no moral reason not to use. Though there is no moral reason, some may choose to stay natural for health, economical, or situational reasons.


I don't think we can have a meaningful discussion unless you better define the parameters of your premise. A discussion about steroids in a competitive setting where the presumption is that they are against the rules can only lead to the reasonable conclusion that it is cheating. I think you should better define your question / premise if you want a meaningful dialogue.


I doubt he can better define it because speaking in those terms is the same method the media uses. It is a great way to stifle any truly progressive or scientific discussion due to immediately trying to label it "cheating" or simply "bad"....as if HRT hasn't helped men the world over.

You have a society that basically praises the use of Viagra but turns around and throws tomatoes at men over the age of 35-40 who would like to still feel like they did in their 20's.


Exactly. Generalizations are the language of the media.

"Ethics and Steroids" ? Okay.

Are you asking us if its ethical to take steroids in a competitive setting where it is expressly against the rules? The answer is no. What meaningful discussion could arise from that?

Is it "ethical" to take steroids in a competitive setting where it is not expressly against the rules?

Or, is it ethical to even take steroids?

Define your premise, and then we can intelligently discuss it.


It's only cheating if you get caught!


If people want to choose to compete where it's not against the rules, and not use them, they shouldn't complain about other people using; so long as there are other places to compete in the same competition that does ban them.

But even in tested events, people can get away with using and winning. I have heard it costs a lot of money to get everyone who wins a weight class tested. It's just a lot less likely, and usually not worth the risk. They'd look like a total douche competing in a tested competition and popping for steroids.



Competitive settings are the only places I even give a shit if someone's using. There's nothing inherently wrong with usage, hell it's a good thing from a HRT standpoint but when you've got an unfair advantage because everyone else is playing by the rules that makes you an asshole.


I can't comment on using them in a competitive setting but if I would have used them when I played college football if I could have gotten my hands on them. It was a long time ago.

Steroids are stigmatized by the media and the screaming nannies out there. I've done several moderate cycles in my 40's with no ill effects. I packed on muscle, leaned out and made gains at a newbie rate. Retained anywhere from 60-70% of the gains. All in all a good experience.


So lets say you had a son playing football in high school, his team is about to go all the way to the state championships, but they barely lose to another team. That other team is known to supply their kids with steroids, and from what your son tells you, the majority of the players on your son's team don't use.

Do you feel the other team won fairly? Do you get upset or do you just think your son's team should have had more players use steroids?

Edit: oops you said college. Same question but college football instead. I could see how it would be different comparing high school age kids and college age.


Even if one does believe in God, it would not be morally wrong to use steroids unless (like you said) one is competing in a sport which prohibits them.

I don't know much about religion, but I don't think anything in the bible stating thou shall not use steroids. If there is, that'd be some damn fine forsight.


I think it comes up in Leviticus. In addition, the four horseman of the apocalypse are totally juicing.


When it comes to athletics, a truly "level playing field" is little more than a fantasy. Rules attempt to ensure that all people are equally able, but the fact of the matter is that not all people are equally able. There was a thread on here a while back where there was discussion of creating rules relating to an individual's test levels and creating a mandatory ceiling on certain hormonal aspects that affect performance, whether naturally occurring or otherwise.

It is arguable that any sort of preparation, be it through training, nutrition, or pharmaceuticals, is a means of gaining an "unnatural advantage". This can be further extended to innate abilities and physiological advantages that certain individuals have over others.

Because of this, it seems to me that the fairest thing possible is to allow athletes to do whatever they wish in order to win. Those who don't wish to push the envelope to the same degree as their competition don't want to win as badly as their competition. Simple as that.


If you use steroids and compete in any sport/activity that you're NOT supposed to be using them in, then you're in the wrong. (I say "that you're not supposed to be using them in" instead of "in a tested sport" because not all sports test for PED use. ie: high school)

I know this is for the discussion, but I still don't see why there's controversy over it. If I want to use, it's my own personal choice and I'll compete in a federation that doesn't drug test.

If you don't want to use, don't use, and compete in a drug tested federation. OR, compete in an untested federation and get your panties in a wad and come up with shit like "oh, well I could've won if I juiced." Could it be true? Of course. Is it always true? nope.


Well, we're off to a fine start (not). As expected, we are meandering all over the place.

Define the question better...and let's have a meaningful discussion. Otherwise, we are rehashing old discarded needle territory.


Judas = Roid rage


Look up "Ronnie Coleman Blasphemes God" on youtube. Its considered SORCERY lol.


Not sure what god has to do with taking steroids. One could have great Morals and still take steroids or for that matter not believe in God also. Maybe I missed your point, but God really has nothing to do with it. Sorry man! It just bothers me when someone puts God and Morals in the same sentence. If you feel it's moral and want to take steroids, go do so. If you feel it's immoral to take steroids then don't. Just don't bring God into the picture


If it is banned and you use it against people who arent using and youre winning its cheating, if youre using and losing its not cheating.

My beef with steroids being illegal is whats the difference between steroids and creatine, or Surge or Anaconda.Besides the obvious of course.But really what the fuck is the difference, at the end of the day im using creatine and beta-alanine and Surge and protien to get bigger and stronger.That is the same reason people use AAS, AAS just works better and faster.


Here is a question, My buddy tore is rotator cuff at work last week.He has a bunch of HGH.He has begun using alittle HGH while he is rehabing his injury in hopes of it healing faster and better.

Is that cheating.


Well, morals are a product of the word of God, for some.
Divine Command Theory:
-| http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Divine_command_theory |-
-| http://www.philosophyofreligion.info/christian-ethics/divine-command-theory/ |-

Personally, as a virtue ethicist, I have no problems partaking in something if I see no vices in that activity.

I see no vices in the use of steroids outside of tested and "clean" competitions or any other event/institution.

So, I have no ethical problems with the use of steroids outside of "clean" competitions or any other event/institution.