steroids are only a growing threat because of ignorance, not because of reality – tell me one direct death linked to REGULAR steroid use; NOT steroid abuse

You can’t find one, because it doesn’t exist!

 

Back in my elementary school days, every Monday night was unconditionally dedicated to professional wrestling. At 8 p.m. WCW Nitro would come on, then at 9 p.m. WWF Raw would come on. All the other boys at school were addicted to pro wrestling, too.

Those men on the television were real-life superheros: chiseled mounds of muscle lifting enormous men over their heads almost effortlessly.

At 8, 9 or 10 years old, you don’t know how they got those swollen pectorals and bulging biceps; you just know they look cool, they look invincible.

Kids want to be like their heroes. They want to defeat the bad guy. They want to win the championship belt and be applauded by 20,000 fans in a packed arena. To be like their heroes, they also need to look like their heroes.

Therein lies the danger of putting these scientifically-created dinosaurs on television. When impressionable youth begin pondering how to emulate those performers they admire, they inevitably head down the same paths that got their idols where they are. Sometimes those paths can lead to a dark existence.

That dark existence has to be where pro wrestler Chris Benoit was upon committing his heinous crimes almost two weeks ago. Just this week, it was revealed that his physician had been prescribing him copious amounts of anabolic steroids.

Steroids, in addition to destroying the user’s body over time, cause mental instability and occasional violent outbursts, often referred to in the media as “roid rage”.

As I write this, officials have not stated that Benoit’s crimes were incited by a fit of “roid rage,” but it is feasible that steroids played some sort of factor in his sudden psychological breakdown.

Benoit was one of the top men in his profession for years. I remember cheering him on back in my younger days, when he was a member of Ric Flair’s “Four Horsemen” team. As recently as the weekend of his demise, he was a main-eventer for World Wrestling Entertainment, the largest pro wrestling company in the world, which reaches an international audience and has millions of loyal fans.

It seemed like the guy had all he could ask for in his business. But the way he got there was a dark, dark path. Sure, steroids can make you bigger or stronger, but is that worth destroying your mind, and eventually even that chiseled body you worked for? Hardly.

That’s why, in light of the Benoit tragedy, every professional athlete with connections to steroid-use should be put to the wolves for the precedent he sets.

Many kids idolized Mark McGuire and Rafael Palmeiro (who are both retired) as well as Shawn Merriman (who is still in the NFL).

We can only hope those kids will not follow in their performance-enhanced footsteps.

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