Friday, February 10, 2006


We've discussed a number of times the ridiculousness of MLB getting put on the spot for steroids (even appearing before Congress) whereas NFL, in which using is almost certainly rampant, basically gets a free pass. But we haven't talked about other sports in which athletes might use steroids. Sports like sledding. Zach Lund, the world's no. 1 ranked skeleton athlete, just got banned from the Winter Olympics because he failed a drug test. It wasn't for performance-enhancing drugs, it was for a masking agent, Finasteride. Unfortuantely, Finasteride is also the active ingredient in the "baldness pill" (Propecia), which he's been open about taking.

I think this gives us a nice glimpse of the mess ahead with dealing with performance enhancers in baseball (and sports in general). Plenty of easily available medicines have side-effects which might be useful for athletes. Not to mention some, like Ritalin, in which the benefit isn't the side-effect, but the stated purpose of the drug. Some athletes will need/want to take the medicine for normal reasons (it's hard to imagine an Olympic sledder really was on 'roids); others will take advantage of the situation. I honestly don't see how organized sports is going to be able to deal with this.

(On a side note, am I the only one who loves that the event is called "skeleton"? We get to hear about "skeleton athletes" failing drug tests and "skeleton coaches" being fired for sexual harassment. I keep imagining they all look like this guy.)


  1. Nice picture. I think the skeleton coach may actually look like that.

    So propecia can get you banned from the Olympics. Damn.

    Maybe organized sports should just go the way of the WWF - let everything go.

    A few years back cycling star (and former Tour de France champ, I believe) Jan Ulrich got banned from cycling for failing a drug test. The drug was ecstasy. Now that is definitely hard to imagine helping him cycle better. Unless the extra time he could spend with his massage therapist while rolling would help him ride better???

  2. Dick Pound is a real dick. Seriously.