CREATED Feb. 5, 2012
Milwaukee, WI - Steroids have been linked to the death of popular athletes, but a Wisconsin doctor claims steroids aren't harmful at all.
The Ryan Braun case has many people thinking about what athletes can, and cannot do to improve performance, and what is acceptable in the court of public opinion.
Olympian Jill Rookard, one of the most tested athletes in the world and from the skaters to the coaches, they want to do it clean.
Then enter Dr. Norman Fost. A University of Wisconsin professor, who says steroids are not evil.
"It's cheating, obviously if there's a rule against it, you use it, then it's cheating. You're breaking the rule. But first the question is, why is the rule there in the first place," said Dr. Fost
In fact, Dr. Fost claims very few studies have been done to say that steroids are bad and not one single test definitely links steroids to all the problems that people claim it does to the body.
"The so-called risks of steroids are wildly exaggerated, and often just made up," said Dr. Fost.
Yet Dr. Fost claims there are myths about steroid use and abuse, with former NFL star Lyle Alzado as the poster boy.
"Nowhere in any of the luminous press that still floats around, about Lyle Alzado. Nowhere is there a single sentence based on a single scientific fact or a single physician who thinks that there's any evidence at all that his brain tumor had anything to do with steroids," said Dr. Fost.
And while he's against steroids for boosting athletic performance, a Milwaukee area expert on bioethics agrees with Dr. Fost's argument. "Steroids are prescribed all the time, and used safely for medical reasons. And if we did it that way, it could be safe. I don't dispute that," said Ryan Spellecy. "In fact, as you look at the different arguments, most of them don't hold up."
This issue raised because of Ryan Braun's positive test that could be for an alleged banned substance, and how public perception frowns upon any item that can boost performance.
Dr. Fost calls himself the loneliest man in America, because of his stance. "I don't see any reason for treating them differently, than the literally hundreds of other drugs that athletes take to enhance their performance."
The doctor also says sports goes through improvements his equipment, so why not allow steroids, for increased performance?
Dr. Fost says he definitely would not recommend steroids for kids and younger, high school age athletes.
But he claims doctors could properly administer steroids to older athletes, rather than have an underground society that is unregulated.