Single page view By Skip Bayless
Page 2

Now it's time to refocus your rage against 'roids.

Members of Congress kept saying during Thursday's hearing that it was mostly about the epidemic steroid abuse among kids all the way down to sixth graders. But the more that Mark McGwire said, "I'm not here to talk about the past," the more we took our eye off the ball.

Now let's talk about the future.

About mandating Olympics-tough drug testing all the way down to sixth grade.

About ensuring level playing fields in all age groups and sports.

And about Jose Canseco's contention in his book, "Juiced," that steroids and growth hormone can add 10 years to an elite athlete's career and 20 years to anyone's life.

Canseco writes: "Yes, you heard me right: Steroids, used correctly, will not only make you stronger and sexier, they will also make you healthier ... If you start young enough, when you are in your 20s, 30s and 40s, and use steroids and growth hormone properly, you can probably slow the aging process by 15 or 20 years ...

"I've never said this will be easy to educate the American public about this ... What I'm hoping is that some more intelligent, forward-thinking voices will come out and encourage baseball to embrace the potential of steroids – to fight for their place in baseball, and in our lives."

Of course, when asked under oath during Thursday's hearing about his pro-steroids stance, Canseco did a lame 180, claiming the book was written two years ago, that he had a hard time getting it published and that he has now seen the steroids-are-bad light.

Baseball Players
Do you think these players believe their own testimony?

Indeed, Canseco struggled to find a publisher. But the manuscript could have been edited as late as three months before it recently hit bookstores – maybe later. Canseco has expressed pro-steroids views in interview after book-promoting interview. You can bet Canseco still believes that steroids and growth hormone are miracle drugs.

But when he wasn't granted immunity for the hearing, Canseco had to bite his tongue or reverse field on many details in the book. Canseco remains on probation and couldn't risk opening himself up to further prosecution.

Of course, the most obvious flaw in Canseco's pro-steroids argument is that they remain illegal.

Flaw No. 2: If they were legalized and baseball "embraced" them, nearly every player would be forced to use steroids even if he didn't like the way his body reacted to them. Every human reacts a little differently to a drug. And if all players were using them – Canseco, remember, says he wasn't even a "major-league caliber" player without steroids – imagine the pressure every player would feel to increase his dosage to danger levels. Imagine the addiction and depression problems.

Which leads to Flaw No. 3: Kids who hear Canseco's pro-steroids message aren't going to ask their family doctors to supervise their steroid programs. They're going to sneak around and buy black-market stuff via the Internet or neighborhood gym, most of it from Mexico, and they're going to start injecting themselves with mega-doses up to 100 times the recommended therapeutic use. Bombard a teenager's raging hormones with artificial testosterone, and muscles will grow almost as fast as problems.



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