T Nation

Meso Letter


#1

An Open Letter to the International Federation of BodyBuilders Pro Division (IFBB), and the National Physique Committee (NPC), on the Recent Federal Indictment of NPC Texas Chairperson Lee Thompson on Steroid Conspiracy Charges

Dear Jim Manion, Scott Lyons, Brad Craig, Miles Nuessle, Chad Nicholls, Jon Lindsay, Steve O'Brien, Jeff Taylor, Darrin Montanari, Jerry Montanari, Todd Howe, Pete Fancher, Peter Potter, Patrick Sporer, Tyrone Felder, Cindy Lee, Greg Wright, Chuck Sanow, Ed Sanders, Ernest Bea, Sandy Riedinger, Luke Tesvich, Dave Follansbee, Rich Siegelman, Will Dabish, Christine Bongiovanni, Don Hollis, Rick Kasten, Steve Karr, John Kemper, Clark Sanchez, James Rockell, Steve Weinberger, Mike Valentino, Rick Bayardi, Eileen Luis, Ron Smith, Gary Udit, Maggie Blanchard, Tres Bennett, Roger McConnell, Lee Thompson, Steve Schmall, Marvin Chappell, Al Modrzejewski:

The Anabolic Steroid Control Act of 1990 criminalized the non-medical use of anabolic steroids (AAS) for the purpose of improving muscle strength, body composition and physical appearance. Bodybuilders who use anabolic steroids for physique enhancement have since faced the possibility of arrest and prosecution if caught in possession of steroids even for merely personal use. This has had disastrous effects on gainfully-employed, otherwise law-abiding individuals who have been arrested and prosecuted under federal steroid laws. The stigma and loss of reputation associated with federal drug charges persist even when charges are dismissed or downgraded.

The use of anabolic steroids in competitive bodybuilding is, by all accounts, widespread and pervasive. Not surprisingly, numerous individuals associated with the network of competitive bodybuilding, including IFBB/NPC competitors, have been entered into the criminal justice system due to their alleged involvement with AAS. The IFBB/NPC has been conspicuously silent on the increasing number of bodybuilders, personal trainers, and gym owners specifically targeted by overzealous prosecutors.

The recent arrest and indictment of NPC Texas Chairperson Lee Thompson on federal anabolic steroid conspiracy charges presented an opportunity for the IFBB/NPC to publicly criticize existing steroid laws and the application of those laws in a modern-day witch-hunt. Regrettably, IFBB/NPC official(s) instead may have attempted to cover up and suppress the information. When the attempted deception was embarrassingly exposed, matters were made worse when the public disclosure of the truth was maligned. The IFBB/NPC failed to recognize that the real enemy is NOT the disclosure of the truth BUT the flawed anabolic steroid law enforcement policy that unfairly affects those involved.

The IFBB/NPC leadership has gone to great lengths to maintain the illusion that anabolic steroids are not an issue in competitive bodybuilding. Discussion of the existence of AAS in the IFBB/NPC is strictly prohibited. Any connection between competitorsâ?? steroid-related legal problems and IFBB/NPC sanctioned contests is not permitted. The IFBB/NPC has even revoked press credentials for writer(s) who have violated these unwritten rules.

It is time for the IFBB/NPC to embrace honesty and confront the reality of steroid use in the IFBB/NPC. The IFBB/NPC should openly address the steroid witch-hunt that has affected many IFBB/NPC competitors (and at least one top IFBB/NPC official). The IFBB/NPC needs to speak out against the mainstream steroid hysteria and the war on steroids that have demonized and criminalized the use of AAS for bodybuilding and physique enhancement.

Hopefully, the IFBB/NPC will act, not only to protect its own, but to also protect the legal and physical well-being of the hundreds of athletes who participate in IFBB/NPC sanctioned contests. Such an agenda would include steroid law reform and steroid harm reduction. Competent and forward-thinking leadership is required to transform the perception of the IFBB/NPC from an organization that hypocritically and distrustfully addresses the AAS issue to one that candidly and credibly addresses AAS use.

Respectfully yours,

Millard Baker
Founder, MESO-Rx


#2

Great letter, to bad it will change nothing. Drugs are fundamental to BB, the government enforces laws that do not allow these drugs. I don’t think the two groups will ever see eye to eye on this issue; considering the public follows the media’s portrayal of steroids ds as evil.


#3

Is there a organization for the legalization of steroids? I know people that want marijuana legalized have norml to organize themselves. It seems to help that cause ever so slightly in the medias eyes. More states are decriminalizing it these days. So why cant we do the same for steroids? The government revolves around money so why not have a lobby for it.


#4

[quote]slowburn wrote:
Is there a organization for the legalization of steroids? I know people that want marijuana legalized have norml to organize themselves. It seems to help that cause ever so slightly in the medias eyes. More states are decriminalizing it these days. So why cant we do the same for steroids? The government revolves around money so why not have a lobby for it.

[/quote]

That is an excellent idea.


#5

[quote] Brook wrote:
slowburn wrote:
Is there a organization for the legalization of steroids? I know people that want marijuana legalized have norml to organize themselves. It seems to help that cause ever so slightly in the medias eyes. More states are decriminalizing it these days. So why cant we do the same for steroids? The government revolves around money so why not have a lobby for it.

That is an excellent idea.[/quote]

Not really. Because it’s easier to pack a bowl and make a “lifestyle” out of it than it is to load a syringe and make a lifestyle out of it, and consequently our thing has a much smaller grassroots base to draw from. Also we have a VERY unfriendly media and have pretty much never had the benefit of a real popular countercultural movement to shore us up.

I fully support any lobbying/grassroots efforts at changing current legislation through the proper channels. But seriously, who the hell is backing us? I mean, this open-letter proves that the very organizations from which our community should be receiving the most support are too busy covering their own asses to see the forest for the trees.

Damn, I hate to sound pessimistic, and those of you who know me know damn well I am one of the most optimistic people you will ever meet…but in this particular arena, I have been around long enough to become pretty damned jaded.


#6

The truth is - America is ruthless. Even a federation such as the IFBB will not ‘openly support’ steroid use… the reason is simple. What do YOU think would happen if this large federation stood against the law set by a government set on a ‘war on drugs’ (the whole idea of a ‘war’ on anything that is considered mildly threatening is particularly ‘American’ and it is a ridiculous concept if one puts a few seconds thought into it - drugs of all kinds have been used as long as life has existed).

The government would turn it’s attention to controlling this federation and insisting it put forth a more ‘anti-doping’ front, possibly changing the face of competitive bodybuilding in the West for good. (i say West as i know that the Far East has no non-tested leagues).

It is a lose, lose situation trying to fight the US government, unless you have a government of your own.

Diplomacy? Get FUCKED! America is no more diplomatic than any communist state, only there is not just one leader as with most dictatorships, there are a number of committees… all hell bent on the same thing, money and power - no different to the worst of dictators.
The ‘President’ - god save him :stuck_out_tongue: - is a fall guy.

I am not surprised the IFBB has to silently stand by as it’s best competitors are victimized… do you think they WANT to have their source of money threatened? Nope… but they can’t be seen to be endorsing the use of illegal drugs… a little less knee-jerk is needed here, and a little more action.

As for a lobby - it is a damn good idea, and i for one will be looking into it.

Brook


#7

[quote] Brook wrote:
The truth is - America is ruthless. Even a federation such as the IFBB will not ‘openly support’ steroid use… the reason is simple. What do YOU think would happen if this large federation stood against the law set by a government set on a ‘war on drugs’ (the whole idea of a ‘war’ on anything that is considered mildly threatening is particularly ‘American’ and it is a ridiculous concept if one puts a few seconds thought into it - drugs of all kinds have been used as long as life has existed).

The government would turn it’s attention to controlling this federation and insisting it put forth a more ‘anti-doping’ front, possibly changing the face of competitive bodybuilding in the West for good. (i say West as i know that the Far East has no non-tested leagues).

It is a lose, lose situation trying to fight the US government, unless you have a government of your own.

Diplomacy? Get FUCKED! America is no more diplomatic than any communist state, only there is not just one leader as with most dictatorships, there are a number of committees… all hell bent on the same thing, money and power - no different to the worst of dictators.
The ‘President’ - god save him :stuck_out_tongue: - is a fall guy.

I am not surprised the IFBB has to silently stand by as it’s best competitors are victimized… do you think they WANT to have their source of money threatened? Nope… but they can’t be seen to be endorsing the use of illegal drugs… a little less knee-jerk is needed here, and a little more action.

As for a lobby - it is a damn good idea, and i for one will be looking into it.

Brook[/quote]

I agree with everything you’ve said, good post.

Lobbies require a source of financial backing, however. Where do you think this would come from, if not an organization like the IFBB? (This is a serious question, btw, and it is not my intention to come off as sounding contrary. I’m as interested as you are)


#8

[quote]Cortes wrote:
Brook wrote:
The truth is - America is ruthless. Even a federation such as the IFBB will not ‘openly support’ steroid use… the reason is simple. What do YOU think would happen if this large federation stood against the law set by a government set on a ‘war on drugs’ (the whole idea of a ‘war’ on anything that is considered mildly threatening is particularly ‘American’ and it is a ridiculous concept if one puts a few seconds thought into it - drugs of all kinds have been used as long as life has existed).

The government would turn it’s attention to controlling this federation and insisting it put forth a more ‘anti-doping’ front, possibly changing the face of competitive bodybuilding in the West for good. (i say West as i know that the Far East has no non-tested leagues).

It is a lose, lose situation trying to fight the US government, unless you have a government of your own.

Diplomacy? Get FUCKED! America is no more diplomatic than any communist state, only there is not just one leader as with most dictatorships, there are a number of committees… all hell bent on the same thing, money and power - no different to the worst of dictators.
The ‘President’ - god save him :stuck_out_tongue: - is a fall guy.

I am not surprised the IFBB has to silently stand by as it’s best competitors are victimized… do you think they WANT to have their source of money threatened? Nope… but they can’t be seen to be endorsing the use of illegal drugs… a little less knee-jerk is needed here, and a little more action.

As for a lobby - it is a damn good idea, and i for one will be looking into it.

Brook

I agree with everything you’ve said, good post.

Lobbies require a source of financial backing, however. Where do you think this would come from, if not an organization like the IFBB? (This is a serious question, btw, and it is not my intention to come off as sounding contrary. I’m as interested as you are)[/quote]

No - it didn’t come across negatively - But truthfully, i have no idea… but as soon as i read the first letter and the response of “where is our pro-steroid” group… it hit me.

I am going to look into the time-lines of other groups, and how to register, look at organisations that would desire being linked to such an action, look at holes in the law with regards to such things - a base in the UK is useful for such an endeavour.

I would need to look at basic financial support for the group - this could be through other means, start a company that sells supplements with percentages of proceeds going to the group - a PT company that does the same… give discount supplements/training to hardcore gyms that will put a small percentage of membership earnings to the group… that sort of thing…

Look into the legal side of GP practice, and contact the main pharmaceutical groups to see their stance on it - if they have the prospect of a larger legal user base, they can’t be too against a more widespread use of AAS.

The main goal would be something not too crazy… just de-criminalization of the drugs in certain countries, and more ‘lax’ prescribing practices for those with low levels - like women get. With AAS legal to prescribe, but with ‘sanctions’ on the use of it (making PCP’s less likely to prescribe in fear of reprimand), it is counter productive for Health organisations, the government AND general people - that shouldn’t be TOO much to ask IMO.

But i haven’t even opened my laptop for it yet… so let me look - some assistance wouldn’t go amiss from a fellow such as yourself, Cortes :wink: