T Nation

Steroids and Sports Question


I remember listening to an interview by Louie Simmons where the topic of PEDs came up and he reaccounted seeing an ESPN broadcast from inside the locker room of an MLB team where there was bottles of dianabol on a table being provided to the athletes. This was some time in the 70s I believe.

I also read an article by Malcom Gladwell, called "The Drugstore Athlete", where he tells about the East German women's gymnastics team being forced to take anabolics by their coaches. Its an entertaining read and I think the article is posted on his website.

Also, I think it was the US and Russian olympic weightlifting teams that first started synthesizing and using these substances.

So, there was a period of time where steroids were readily available and taken by athletes without any consequences.

My question is when did steroid testing begin for the olympics? Also, when did commercial sports start testing for them?

Anyone have the answers to these.

Also, does anybody have any recommendations for books on the subject of the history of PED use?


Muscletown USA: Bob Hoffman and the Manly Culture of York Barbell by John D Fair is a good read.


I've not read the entire "Steroid Nation" but I read the first half or so. 'Twas interesting, seemed fairly well-researched and made for a good read


If I'm not mistaken the Olympics started drug testing during the 1968 Games. I'm not sure when Football or Baseball started. But I'm guessing Basball started a bit after the Homerun series with Mcquire (could be wrong on that).


In the movie "Bigger, Stronger, Faster" they interview and Ex US Olympic weight coach. I believe he said that the US team started taking steroids back during the cold war days to keep up with the Russian athletes who were using it. The US heard about it and had to keep up so thats when we started (I believe?)

The MLB started testing in 2001 (even minor league guys)

The NFL started testing in 1987 but didnt start handing out suspensions till 1989.

If you havent already seen "Bigger, Stronger, Faster" you definitely should. It is a really well done and very informative film. Theres some pretty crazy interesting stuff in there about the IOC and who they choose to ban and not ban based of positive tests. Results that they never release but know of guys who tested positive and still let them keep their medals. check it out some time. its on netflix



I saw Bigger, Faster, Stronger a couple of times and I think it is a good movie. The one things I didn't like about the olympic example they used was that the guy who tested positive did it for psuedophedrine, which I hear now is a stimulant but I never got that much of a buzz of it when I took it for colds. I can't blame the guy for that. I'd like to see a good example from all that documentation of a guy on anabolics who didn't get the boot.

Isn't caffeine banned too?

What I was looking for was that for a period of time, these substances were widely used and even encouraged to be used to coaches, trainers, franchises, what not, rendering all the "yeah, but babe ruth didn't use steroids" arguments moot as a generation of athletes most likely set valid records on stuff.

I'm going to check out those books as I am in between reading material at the moment.


Many OTC products are banned but are banned based on the dosage consumed. Olympic atheletes can have caffeine but they have an exorbitant amount in their system. Some drugs are just outright banned, obviously. You didnt get a buzz from sudafed because you already had a cold and prob felt pretty shitty AND you took the recommended amoount. Take 10x the amount while healthy and see what ahppens (DONT ACTAULYL DO THAT I HAVE NO IDEA WHATLL HAPPEN)


You'll be all fucked up. Sudafed is like fucking speed man. If I take 4 in a 6 hour period, I have to work standing up.


hahahahahahah i almost spit my PWO shake onto my laptop when I read that lol.