If this got through to the newsgroup last time I'm sorry for reposting.
My server is playing up and I'm losing articles left right and centre so
I decided to re-post just in case - sorry.
Anabolic Steroid - two words which officials of professional
sport dread to hear more than any other, words which are treated
as if they were the black death itself as powerful men run for
cover and hide quivering under the table for fear of these words
being associated with them. Words however which sportsmen and
women are sadly becoming more and more familiar with as each day
If you ask the Rugby League what their stance is on performance
enhancing *** they will tell you in no uncertain terms that they
are ever vigilant in their battle with players being tested from
each club regularly. They will also say that there is NO drug problem
But is this the truth?
Firstly let me just clear up a few questions about steroids and
the RL's testing program.
(Please note that I am certainly not a chemist or physician, I
have made every effort to make sure these descriptions are correct
but if their are any inaccuracies I would be more than willing to
hold my hands up and say I was wrong)
1. Anabolic Steroids are designed primarily to promote muscle growth
throughout the body allowing the user to train harder
and for longer peroids without rest. Remarkable gains in lean
muscle weight can be achieved in a very short time say six to
eight weeks providing that the individual is combining the
course of steroids with a high protein diet and correct training
2. Immediate side effects include, increased bodily hair, yellowing
of the eyes, skin complaints, puffiness of the face as well has other
psychological effects such as increasing aggression levels and short temper -
commonly known as "Steroid rage". Long term exposure to steroids can
lead to a number of serious medical conditions ranging from impotency
to kidney failure and even death.
3. The rugby league's drug testing procedures involve a random visit
to club(s) with usually two players being selected to offer urine samples,
these samples are then split into two with one being analysed and the
other being kept as a control specimen.
Right, going back to the RL's stance on drug taking, of course there is
no drug problem in game because they only test the players throughout the
It's like the police saying there is no drink driving problem when they
only test drivers between 9am - 5pm Monday to Friday.
Contrary to popular thought a player taking steroids
throughout the playing season will gain little to no advantage over a
player taking none. Talk to any body builder who has taken steroids and
they will all tell you the same story, trying to build up muscle bulk
whilst performing large amounts of aerobic exercise (i.e. Playing RL) is
quite simply IMPOSSIBLE. For every pound you gain in the gym you will lose
it the minute you step out on a rugby field. If anything a RL player taking
steroids would be at a disadvantage, due to increased aggression levels
he would probably end up being sent off in most games he played.
A player who plans on using steroids constructively will start his course days after
the end of the season running for about six-eight weeks, as club training
has ceased the player can concentrate entirely on working hard in the gym.
At the end of this period he will have put on between 2-3 stones in weight.
By the time pre-season training comes and the season starts the player will
have been off the drug for a number of weeks and when the drug testers come
round the result will be negative. The fact that the player is suddenly able
to uproot trees seems unimportant.
And it's not as if the testing procedure is foolproof either, I could
not believe this story which was told to me by a player who's name will
will remain anonymous, it is however quite true. Whilst playing
in a match player x was informed at half time that he would have
to provide a urine sample for inspection at the end of the game,
certain club officials knew that he was using steroids at the time
and one of them instructed the player to literally "take a dive"
and feign a serious head injury sometime in the game. The player
did so and he was carted off to the hospital for pre-cautionary
tests, the urine sample could not be obtained and the player lived to
fight another day.
Steroid use is rife within the game and the players, coaches and the RL
know it. You only need to look at the sizes of some of these guys
at the start of the season compared to when they finished previously.
I used to do quite a bit of weight training and belive me it is
impossible to achieve some of the size/weight gains which some
players are getting in a very very short space of time by
conventional training methods.
Now to things a little murkier, do you remember when Jamie Bloem
picked up that huge ban and he stirred the waters about the number of players
using performance enhancing *** within the game?
With Bloem ready to blow the lid right off the steroid issue I'll bet
the shit was really hitting the fan at Chapeltown Road.
Almost immediately The whole RFL community (which co-incidentally had taken
only a moderate interest in the Bloem affair previously) came down en bloc against
him, denouncing his words as those of a raving lunatic, RL coaches and
officials were falling overboard trying to explain that there was no drug problem
in RL, with many of them paying specific attention to the fact that Bloem
was a "foreigner" who had brought shame upon the British game.
The pressure which was brought to bear on Bloem was tremendous and his club
Doncaster were thrown into turmoil.
Then a couple of weeks later Bloem suddenly changes his story,
his statement regarding the widespread use of steroids is retracted
and he publicly apologises to all and sundry for his actions.
The RFL then buries the whole affair, proudly claiming that they have
got their man and that the entire situation was nothing more than an
Well I don't know about you but something smells mighty fishy here.
Both Bloem and the RFL knew that he could really kick up the shit if
he wanted to name names, obviously he could have no complaint with his
punishment but surely he must have known that he was being set up to
take the rap for all the other steroid takers around the league, why
then did he have this sudden change of heart?
Also why would he want to come back and play in the lions den once more?
Is it me or does something seem strange about this whole affair?
This next close season is going to be a particularly long one and with
the Super League so far a glowing success the rewards for players will
be even greater in the second season. With the ever increasing pressures
which are being placed on players to succeed I wonder just how many will
succumb to the quick and easy path to training which steroids offer?
How many will walk out onto the pitch for their first game, their
appearance barely recognisable from the previous season?
How many players will be putting their own health at risk whilst the
Rugby League (and other sporting authorities) turn a blind eye?
As for Jamie Bloem well he'll start his second term in British
RL hoping that the only storm he'll kick up will be on a rugby
What was it that Lee Harvey Oswald said "I'm just a patsy"?
I'll bet Mr Bloem might empathise with his situation.
Geff Foster |"The Zone
St. Helens, Merseyside | of it's own"