August 5, 2013

Noticing patterns

From the AP:
A person familiar with the negotiations tells The Associated Press that all players targeted for drug suspensions other than Alex Rodriguez have accepted 50-game penalties from Major League Baseball.... 
The person says All-Stars Nelson Cruz of Texas, Jhonny Peralta of Detroit and Everth Cabrera of San Diego are among the 12 who accepted penalties Monday. 
Others include Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli and outfielder Fernando Martinez; Philadelphia pitcher Antonio Bastardo; Seattle catcher Jesus Montero; New York Mets infielder Jordany Valdespin and outfielder Cesar Puello; Houston pitcher Sergio Escalona; San Diego pitcher Fautino De Los Santos; and free agent pitcher Jordan Norberto. 
MLB informed the Yankees on Sunday that [Alex] Rodriguez will be suspended for his links to the Biogenesis of America clinic ... 
Milwaukee outfielder Ryan Braun accepted a 65-game suspension two weeks ago, bringing to 14 the number of players - including Rodriguez - facing discipline in the probe, which was sparked when the Miami New Times published documents obtained from former Biogenesis associate Porter Fisher that linked several players to the clinic.

So, 13 players with Spanish surnames and Ryan Braun, a smart Valley Dude who weaseled his way to beating the rap once before by attacking the veracity of the poor bastard whose job it is to collect the urine samples of rich baseball players.

I've long been interested in the hidden history of the spread of performance-enhancing drugs. It's hard to come up with a history of performance-enhancing drug use in the U.S. because we only have records of those who got caught (leaving out those smart enough to not get caught), and, before testing, memoirs and inferences.

My guess is that steroids in American sports got started in the late 1950s in Olympic track and field, such as the weightlifting and throwing events. 

The geographic hotspots where PEDs made the leap into pro team sports likely included California (e.g., the 1963 San Diego Chargers) and the steel state of Pennsylvania, the home of barbell manufacturing and the doctor who invented Dianabol and gave it to the 1960 U.S. Olympic weightlifting team (e.g., the 1970s Pittsburgh Steelers).

But, at some point, the Latin connection (e.g., Jose Canseco of Miami) becomes obvious in baseball. Alex Rodriguez, for instance, was born in New York, moved to the Dominican Republic, then went to high school in Miami in the early 1990s. By the way, Rodriguez has been paid $353,000,000 to play baseball. 

Latin ballplayers used to be known as wiry middle infielders who didn't get many walks. Over time, they became known as big sluggers. There are various reasons for this evolution, but we shouldn't overlook the fact that steroids could be bought without a prescription in corner drug stores in the Dominican Republic. Much of the rise of DR in baseball has to do with 16-year-old professional ballplayers shooting up steroids.

A hazier possible link is that certain sports doctors in Spain and other Mediterranean countries sometime around the Barcelona Olympics of 1992 developed a variety of more sophisticated ways to use chemicals to enhance performance than just to shoot up with steroids. Is that connected to Miami?

Finally, and most tenuously, there might be some distant Latin cultural connection to Mediterranean body worship in Renaissance Italy (e.g., Michelangelo's David), Rome, and Greece.

85 comments:

Anonymous said...

Accusations have been made, however it has never been proven 100% that 70s Steelers took steroids. The first two superbowl championships were more than likely played by starting players who were in fact clean.

If anything, the players who perhaps did take PEDS on that team from the 70s were the marginal and/or 2nd tier players. The HOFers, ones that tend to show up on the all time lists were for the most part clean.

Also, it is important to note that weight lifting, training etc by the 70s were vastly improved compared to earlier eras in the NFL. E.G.: Those who played during the 50s and 60s the average build in the NFL was 6'1" and about 210. By the 70s most teams wouldnt have too many starters of this type.

What tends to be forgotten is that many of the Steelers of that era were also taller than the average height in the NFL. Greene, Greenwood, Lambert, White, Banszak, Holmes, Blount, etc etc. all averaged about 6'4-6'5" in height but their average weight was only about 240lbs. Today, PEDS or not, the average weight would be considerably heavier, say about 280lbs.

Anonymous said...

Also, as I've said to Mr Sailer. Perhaps when other current players such as Steve Trout get tested for PEDS consistently especially after amazing seasons just to keep it all on an even playing field and not arouse accusations of favoritism or perhaps a hidden bias vs some players over others which this released list appears to do.

Also, regarding the Steelers. Granted some may or may not have used PEDS (legal then) it is blatantly unfair to cast blame over the entire team as opposed to a few bad apples. Again, it has never been speculated that specific starting players such as the HOF Steelers did steroids. it is unfortunate that sometimes legitimate amazing careers are being looked at with suspicion because of a few bad apples (most of whom were not even starters btw)

But also, test Steve Trout. Test him now for PEDS.

Anonymous said...

"West Germany 'sponsored doping in sports' - study"

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-23573169

"German officials have demanded publication of a partially leaked study which alleges that West Germany engaged in systematic doping of athletes."

Anonymous said...

On a side note, it should be noted that Women's Soccer star goalie Hope Solo failed a PED test last yr at the Olympics.

The drug that was found in her system, canrenone, is an antiandrogen used to increase testosterone levels and block androgen production, it is also used to increase male libido. In Europe it is considered as an steroidal antiandrogens. Also, canrenone is a diuretic that is commonly used to mask the appearance of performance-enhancing drugs. So it's also a masking agent. That's why it's banned. She got off lightly with a wrist-slap and got to play in the games.

She is the only US women's soccer player ever to test positive for a banned substance by USADA.

Anonymous said...

I just re-read your paragraph about the 60's AFL chargers, a long forgotten team since most dont really care about the AFL anymore these days.

The premier player on those teams would of course be HOF WR Lance Alworth. Are you really implying that Alworth took PEDS? Really?

Keep in mind that one of the things the infant AFL had to do to lure fans away from the established NFL was to concentrate on passing. Throwing "the bomb" and lengthy td runs which up to that point in time the NFL was more or less of a running league. Hence the 60s AFL teams tended to focus primarily on high scoring via the passing game. QBs such as Joe Namath, Len Dawson, and Darryl Lamonica and future politico Jack Kemp became known for their exceptional lenghty passing tds.

I don't know. To start pointing fingers, Lance Alworth? That's tough. If the general overall picture of 60s football players doing PEDS is true, how do we move to the specific, namely, which individual players were "known" to take them?

That's the hard part. Not buying it on Lance Alworth.

Anonymous said...

Correction: I meant to say MIKE Trout, not Steve Trout.

Whiskey said...

What about Hollywood peds? Stallone was caught in Bangkok airport a few years ago with hgh while shooting a Rambo movie

Steve Sailer said...

1963 San Diego Chargers and steroids:

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/otl/news/story?id=3866837

Coach Sid Gillman handed out Dianabol pills with every meal during training camp.

QB John Hadl claims he and star receiver Lance Alworth never took them, but most of the linemen did.

Anonymous said...

The dianabol dr. worked out of York, PA which is in the eastern part of the state. It's actually much closer to Philly so you'd think he would've helped the Eagles since Philly is closer to York.

Also, wiki doesnt say that he helped the Steelers. It said he gave up helping athletes after the 1960 Olympics when the weightlifting team lost to the Soviets and got tired of helping athletes who abused the drug and developed health problems. But it doesnt say he directly helped the Steelers.

Anonymous said...


Coach Sid Gillman handed out Dianabol pills with every meal during training camp.

QB John Hadl claims he and star receiver Lance Alworth never took them, but most of the linemen did.



Good my larger point is made. Back then, the star Alist players did NOT take PEDS.

The premier name, first name remembered from that fairly obscure teams of a now defunct league, is Lance Alworth. One of the few caucasian WRs to dominate the position, perhaps the last. He certainly was a far better WR than OAK's Fred Belitnikoff ever was.

Alworth is the premier name on that team. He's in the HOF for a reason. Unlike some of those players from that team, his name is still recalled fairly easily Also it helped that he played with Dallas in SB VI vs Shula's Dolphins

If Lance was clean, then it establishes that not every great player, at least from that era, resorted to "cheating".

Anonymous said...

"Was Boston Bomber a white supremacist? Investigation finds Tamerlan Tsarnaev was in possession of right-wing extremist literature in run-up to terror attack"

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2384722/Boston-Bomber-Tamerlan-Tsarnaev-right-wing-extremist-literature-terror-attack.html

Steve Sailer said...

I had a Lance Alworth poster on my wall when I was eight or nine.

Anonymous said...

I had his '66 Topps card. Should've held onto it since its considerably worth more today.

He was a great WR wasn't he? It also shows that caucasians could play that position pretty well. Wonder what happened that they dont even get a fair shake at trying out for the position.

Much, much better and a more complete player than Oak's Beletnikoff.

Quesiton: Don't suppose its possible that Tim Tebow could move to WR or learn to play it? Guess not.

Well, Wes Welker's a WR. Wonder how they explain that?

countenance said...

It doesn't matter if they suspend A-Rod for the rest of this season and all of next, or if they ban him for life. If they suspend him for the rest of this season and next, his career is over anyway. He just turned 38, and if they suspend him, Steinbrenner/Cashman will use that as grounds to do what they've been longing to do for a few years, i.e. get out of that mistake contract with A-Rod. So after a suspension, he would come back at the beginning of the 2015 season as a free agent almost 40-year old. Who's going to want him?

Anonymous said...

Wonder what happened that they dont even get a fair shake at trying out for the position.

Peter King today said that Al Davis was great for diversity.

Anonymous said...

Bambi and Biletnikoff were different receivers. Alworth was a speedster while Fred was a possession guy who caught ANYTHING within reach no matter how poorly thrown. He couldn't be covered and never got hurt. Apples and oranges...but I'd take him over Bambi if I could only have one. Clutch.

Anonymous said...

York is closest to Baltimore.

70's Steelers were most likely on roids - Mike Webster in HOF is best evidence.

Hundreds of articles on recent steroid scandals in espn, SI, yahoo etc and it takes Steve to uncover the interesting angle....sort of depressing actually but more reason to keep donating.

Dan in DC



Anonymous said...

What about Hollywood peds? Stallone was caught in Bangkok airport a few years ago with hgh while shooting a Rambo movie.

Just judging by the big hits, and google images. (It's possible that several experimented at low points in their career.) Well surely Stallone and Arnold juiced. Ferrigno obviously. Apart from them... I would be surprised if Willis did. Lundgren might be natural. Van Damme - probably not juicing in most movies. Snipes - probably not. Kurt Russell - I doubt it. Mel Gibson - doubt it.

That's the movie stars from my teens (excluding Ferrigno, I just put him in as an early juicer), the last time in my life when I found action movies interesting. Looking at the different action stars, it seems that a lot of the guys that can act either looked down on steroids or correctly saw them as something that would not enhance their performances or make them stand up in time. The whole idea of Die Hard, for example, was that Bruce Willis was just some regular cop thrust into a shitty situation against all odds.

But roids worked for Schwarzenegger especially - he made his own genre that was great while it lasted.

Power Child said...

I read somewhere that PEDs were used thousands of years ago in the ancient Olympics. I don't remember which ones or where I read it, so you can skip that if you like.

In Richard Davenport Hines's The Pursuit of Oblivion I read that cyclists had been doping (with amphetamines) since the mid-19th century.

It's definitely an interesting subject, and I'll keep following along to see if any more patterns stand out.

One thing is clear: athletes will always seek little ways to gain an edge. Sometimes these come in the form of new training methods, sometimes better equipment, and sometimes chemicals.

Anonymous said...

Bambi and Biletnikoff were different receivers. Alworth was a speedster while Fred was a possession guy who caught ANYTHING within reach no matter how poorly thrown. He couldn't be covered and never got hurt. Apples and oranges...but I'd take him over Bambi if I could only have one. Clutch.




NO WAY. Fred's stats aren't there. He was also hurt and banged up injured in 75 AFC title game and in the 74 AFC title game didnt do diddly. Blount and Steelers shut him down.

Alworth won in SB VI vs Miami. Look at stats see who was more dominant and who put the WR position in modern context and made it the marquee offensive position. Alworth. PERIOD

The speedsters win you the championships. When game and the big money is on the line, you want to pick it up. Swann. Stallworth. HOFers both. And both speedsters. Won 4 SB's. The most of their era.

jerry rice. Speedster. Won 3 SBs.

Anonymous said...

70's Steelers were most likely on roids

That's not exactly accurate. The starters were clean (the african americans were almost all totally clean)


- Mike Webster in HOF is best evidence.

Webster is exception. Lambert, Ham, Harris, Swann, Stallworth, Greene, Blount, also Greenwood, Thomas, and Wagner have all been proven blameless. Too many witnesses always exempt them.

The marquee names, for the most part, are clean. Webster is one. Steve Courson is another. But he wasnt a starter on the O' Line. He was a part timer and Noll often benched him in favor of regular starter Jerry "Moon" Mullins.

Who else? Name another STARTER. Not bench or journeyman.

BTW, IN courson's book, he doesnt explicitly name the starters. He does mention the ones who took them with him. Funny how he exempts the marquee names.

Again, anyone can make false accusations decades after the fact.

Its a total lie to suggest that every single STARTER and majority of the HOFers did PEDS.

They simply didnt need to. They were heads and shoulders above all the other players of their era. Its like if you had tons of Reggie White and Ray Lewises on your team, not just one or two but seven or eight. And that's about how many are on the NFLs all time lists.

Those players are clean. Even those who try to smear the Steelers just about always exempt the HOFers.

Webster, that's one. Sad but its true. Dont think you can name another STARTER in particular a HOFer.

E. Rekshun said...

@Anon: "...Perhaps when other current players such as Steve Trout get tested for PEDS consistently...test Steve Trout. Test him now for PEDS."

Aren't all MLB players equally subject to the MLB drug testing rules? It's part of their labor agreement.

Are you suggesting that MLB gives Trout a pass because he's not hispanic, and that MLB is targeting hispanic players?

Anonymous said...

"Mike Webster"

Which is deadlier,football or boxing?
MMA certainly safer than either.

E. Rekshun said...

Don't MLB contracts have morals clauses? I would think something like a violation of MLB's rules against PED use would allow a team to get out of a burdensome contract with a no-longer wanted player (e.g. Yankees & ARod).

I guess the MLB labor agreement spells out the penalties for such a violation, and that is a series of progressively lengthy suspensions w/o pay.

Steve Sailer said...

Hollywood

Sean Penn in the 1980s.

Since then, lots and lots of other actors, male and female.

Power Child said...

@anonymous of 8/5/13, 2:28 PM:

Regarding roids in Hollywood, look no further than Dwayne Johnson.

Among actors I think there's a lot of acceptableness to the notion of having to beef up quickly for a role so you do whatever you have to do.

There are a lot of porn actors who look like they use steroids too.

Do pro wrestlers count as actors or athletes?

In Bigger Stronger Faster* one of the points they make is that half of all steroid use is non-athletes. I can think of a lot of young salesmen and business people I met who were obviously using something. (Mark Cuban?)

Anonymous said...

Hollywood

Sean Penn in the 1980s.

Since then, lots and lots of other actors, male and female.



And ARNOLD. Dont ever forget. So Cal, mecca of bodybuilding and roids.


To be fair, LA seems to get a bad rap because of the drugs. In fairness, hasn't the area also helped in the fitness and bodybuilding craze? In other words, one could theoretically avoid PEDS and just follow the basic training regimen first established by the pioneering fitness gurus many of them from LA and get some health benefits? Seems like if one wanted to do it the honest way, they could simply just follow the basic training bodybuilding regimens first posited by the fitness health gurus.

Example: Jack LaLane LA to the core. Never did PEDS period. Lived to ripe age of 97 or 98yrs old. Aside form perhaps some cosmetic surgery, basically at 90yrs old had the strength of a 60s person and looked far better than most his age.

LaLanne never advocated steroids. He lifted and preached good health, healthy diet etc. He was one who practiced what he preached.

Ironically to some extent in his personal life so did Joe Weider who died last yr at the ripe age of 90. It would seem that Joe didnt personally do steroids either, certainly didnt abuse them to live to 90 yrs old. For his age he was in amazing shape.

So there are examples to follow after if you want to gain muscle the honest way wihtout PEDS and receive healthy benefits.

Obviously that gets lost in the shuffle. But there are legitimate examples to follow after if you want to do it the honest way.

sunbeam said...

Okay, I could easily google and post a bunch of articles about PED use by athletes, going down to the high school and below level (usually football).

I'm not though.

The point I want to make it that I think PED use is the norm, and not the exception in modern athletics.

Look at the possible benefits you stand to gain from the use of them. Now compare the risks.

In my opinion most of these guys are either really young (I'm Immortal) or have come to the conclusion it is a rational risk.

Now ask yourselves how interested an individual team or college is in actually catching someone doing this.

These guys take this of their own free will, and we benefit from the effects? Everyone is happy right? The team, the player, etc.

As another argument I'd like to submit the incredible size increases in pro athletes (guess I'm mostly talking football here) since the 70's.

I don't really think weight training is the whole reason for this, I think PED's have played a role.

In the 70's, at the pro level it was commonplace to have guards weigh in the 250 to 260 pound range. Tackles were usually bigger of course.

At least considering the offensive line, the Packers of the mid 60's had starters of similar size and weight to the 70's cowboys. The Steelers were a little funny, most of their offensive linemen were shorter than the league average. If memory serves they trapped a lot.

I'll admit it, I used to be a big football fan. So anal about it, I used to do things like pore over rosters of the 66 Packers and 76 Cowboys (Packers were bigger at a lot of positions if my memory is correct).

Weight training started being widespread in the 70's. Athletes regardless of the era do things like that to get an edge. THe 60's is about the last period I can think of where you might have had some resistance to using it.

Now my contention is that NFL players were similarly sized from, oh say 65 to about 1980.

Then they just started to get huge.

Not only that, you started to see all these weird combine numbers where 6'5" 285 pound guys run 4.8's and occasionally 4.7's in the 40.

Fast twitch muscle fiber didn't increase in that time. You could make an argument that there were more black players, but in the 60's even the black players weren't posting these ridiculous numbers compared to what similarly sized people had done before.

I obviously don't think it was due to advances in training.

I think PED use is endemic to modern sports, in almost all of them, and going down to the high school and even middle school level.

On this blog and other places I've also seen references to various groups, like parents, who get hgh for their children to increase the chance they will be taller than they would otherwise have been.

Does anyone think the players aren't aware of this? Or a parent who wants the best for their kid and who "wants to believe?"

sunbeam said...

Oh yeah, someone on this thread took offense at the theory that the 70's Steelers used PED's.

I'd like to submit this guy:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ernie_Holmes

Definitely not a second string player. Also it's hard not to think of something like roid rage when reading about this guy.

Not horribly consistent, but when he was on I'm not sure Joe Greene and L.C. Greenwood were the best defensive linemen playing for the Steelers.

jody said...

it's possible some of the 70s steelers were users. i definitely do not know enough about that time period to say one way or the other. i think chuck noll did not like a lot of weight lifting for his players and allowed only minimal basic equipment at the steelers facility during the 70s. by the 80s there was more weight training.

jon kolb was not only the strongest guy on the team, he was the strongest guy in the league, and was strong enough to compete in world's strongest man. after the NFL he was a football coach in both D1 and D3 football for years. i worked with a guy who played for one of his NCAA teams and he said kolb was freakishly strong even in his 50s. there's a video of jon on youtube from 2011, he's about 64 and he's in awesome shape.

kolb wasn't particularly big compared to other big guys in his era, and, especially with the retention of freak strength far into his older age, i'd say he was probably clean. drug users lose those gains when they get off, some faster than others, but all lose it eventually, certainly after a few years, let alone decades.

look at how much arnold shrinks when he is off cycle. look at how much smaller he is in the controversial 1980 mr olympia, where he only trained for 2 MONTHS, versus his peak in 1973 and 1974 when he was a TOTAL FREAK in mind boggling condition, and on steroids most of the year. in fact that would be a good place to start looking as far as the introduction of these substances into the US goes. what arnold, frank zane, franco columbu, and lou ferrigno were taking in the 70s time frame.

it wasn't until the 1980s that there were a lot of drug users in the NFL for sure. this is also when the steroids began to appear widely in US track & field. users from that era began to die only a decade or two later from how damaging their regimens were. that's something which, up to that point, had only been happening to bodybuilders.

Nigel Tufnel said...

"Latin players were mostly wiry middle infielders who didn't walk much" . . .

My favorite example is Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez, legendary catcher for several teams in the last two decades. Right after he's named as a juicer by the kind of juicers, Jose Canseco, Rodriguez reports to the Detroit Tigers looking much smaller and lighter - at least 25 pounds. No explanations, no issues, just massive loss of muscle.

His spectacular hitting numbers (BA .500 for July, 2004, for example) immediately stopped. The Tigers traded him in the middle of the 2008 season. He was going to get caught, they knew it, and he was done as an effective MLG player. He lingered a few more years in the league, literally a shadow of himself.

jody said...

"Jerry rice. Speedster."

he wasn't. average speed for his position at the NFL level. that's all you need, then other things are more important. i believe his combine time was 4.7.

"One of the few caucasian WRs to dominate the position, perhaps the last."

steve largent. sometime in the 80s the NFL moved to it's current "africans only" policy for WR. total scrubs are welcomed into roster spots as the number 2 or 3 player on some teams while guys who can run circles around them are not even allowed in the league. the difference is chromatic.

"I read somewhere that PEDs were used thousands of years ago in the ancient Olympics. I don't remember which ones or where I read it, so you can skip that if you like."

it's not correct. they were invented in the 1930 to 1940 time frame by german scientists. this is why it seemed like the soviets had all this stuff a decades before the americans. because they did. after 1945 the soviets got the german scientists who understood uranium enrichment via centrifuges, as well as the guys who were running the steroids and human growth hormone programs. the americans got the missile guys in operation paperclip.

this is why it seemed like the soviets had mysterious sports drugs from 1950 to 1970 that few other nations had or understood. because they did. these substances came over to the US during the 60s, were obscure but used during the 70s, and became more widely understood and used during the 80s, when the US and soviet drug programs were about equal.

by the late 90s, the soviets had lost all of their advantage from capturing smarter german scientists (you'll notice when US athletes want the latest medical superscience, they often go directly to germany. germans have saved the career of peyton manning and kobe bryant for instance). all of the new sports drugs were being developed in the US, less detectable and more efficient substances. this is what all the MLB players were using in the late 90s. meanwhile the russians were stuck with the old stuff from decades ago, easily detected and screened out, so they began falling behind in some sports. the russians have good sports programs - the crossfit fad in america is mostly just old soviet track & field and gymnastics workouts - so their sports science and sports infrastructure keeps them in the game.

this new stuff is what the jamaican track & field team is using, as well as various US athletes in various sports, and, now, the chinese track & field team and swim team. after the 2012 olympics, it looks like the testers had gained enough experience with the new wave of drugs to start detecting them. hence the recent busts. the 800 meter world record holder from kenya dropped out of the world championships, possibly to avoid a drug test under the new more sensitive lab equipment, once he saw the jamaicans getting caught. chinese swimmer ye shiwen's times were way slower at the swimming world championships last week, because she had to get off the drugs when facing the new, more sophisticated tests.

Whiskey said...

I was wondering about Hugh Jackman in Wolverine, Christian Bale in Batman, the last two guys in Superman, Ryan Gosling, Matthew McConaughey, Matt Damon, and Vin Diesel.

I would think ped could get you in shape faster for action roles.

As for Hispanic ped use is it not really Black Hispanic power hitters not pitchers etc?

Anonymous said...


In Bigger Stronger Faster* one of the points they make is that half of all steroid use is non-athletes. I can think of a lot of young salesmen and business people I met who were obviously using something. (Mark Cuban?)


OK, what is also sadly getting lost is that many of the modern steroids were created in medical laboratories to help with terminally ill patients as well as patients needing a somewhat speedier recovery from various types of serious illnesses. (e.g. pneumonia; heart disease, stroke, etc)

Many steroids actually have a legitimately medicinal usage especially if used precisely for what they were intended for: namely, to help speed up the healing recovery from serious illnesses.

In Game of Shadows some drugs that were used by the Balco labs, et al included stealing the anti-AIDS drug ATZ or "purchasing" ATZ from dying AIDS patients for cash. Disgusting. Demented that people would stoop to any level such as stealing medicine from terminally ill patients. "Sorry old man, you're gonna kick anyway and I need to hit more home runs."

These scum bags deserve a place in Dante's 9th ring/circl of Hell if not lower down.

jody said...

i've mostly excluded strength sports from the discussion because it's safer to just assume all of them are always on drugs 100% of the time, and even the eastern europeans have access to whatever the best substances of the day are.

eric spoto just bench pressed 722 pounds wearing only a t-shirt, which is the best no equipment, no bench shirt lift of all time. there is a 20 year old russian who just benched 700 pounds under similar strict conditions. of course they are using something. i doubt anybody can bench 600 pounds without drugs. even bill kaizmaier was on something. you don't bench 661 pounds in 1981 without drugs.

there's now a couple guys doing 1000 pound no equipment deadlifts. in strongman, there's a couple guys approaching 500 pound overhead press - this amount would have them in the medal hunt at the 1984 or 1988 olympic weightlifting tournament, and these guys don't train specifically for olympic lifts.

tenneby said...

Thanks for not noticing that Ryan Braun's a Jew.

helene edwards said...

I'm still trying to figure out how Davey Johnson hit 43 homers in 1973

As to football, isn't it more likely that the Raiders, rather than the Steelers, were the PED users of the '70's? After all, California was the home of the Hells Angels, and Hunter Thompson documented how the Angels dealt in amphetamines. Many of the Raiders, like Villapiano and the Tooz, hung out at biker bars.

Anonymous said...

In Bigger Stronger Faster* one of the points they make is that half of all steroid use is non-athletes. I can think of a lot of young salesmen and business people I met who were obviously using something. (Mark Cuban?)

Lots of ordinary guys at the gym use them.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for not noticing that Ryan Braun's a Jew.



Technically Braun is not a Jew name. It's just "brown". Is everyone with that surname Jewish? Unless his family made it more germanic sounding when passing thru Ellis Island


YEAH! How bout we go after Oakland for once? They weren't pure and innocent. Tatum and Atkinson were complete thugs! Should've been indicted more than a few times. How's that okay??

How come we're letting CA off the hook? We can go after San Diego but not Oakland? How about the Rams? Or the 49ers?

PIT haters, haters, haters, everywhere they go

But when you get the job done 6 times and win the most SBs 'tis to be expected. No one much cares for da losers of the various eras.

Anonymous said...


there's now a couple guys doing 1000 pound no equipment deadlifts. in strongman, there's a couple guys approaching 500 pound overhead press - this amount would have them in the medal hunt at the 1984 or 1988 olympic weightlifting tournament, and these guys don't train specifically for olympic lifts.


Jody, remember though. These "sports" you're naming are nothing more than freakshows. They dont count really as true sports. They're freaks.

Also, except for Arnold and a couple others, how many are multi multi millionaires in their respective lifting sports?

In a single minor PGA tourney, Tiger Woods and Phil outearn what they make in 5 yrs based on lifting prize monies.


They're freaks, not real athletes, so who cares?

But as to real sports like NFL, lets not paint every single player with the bad stroke brush. If someone has proof, they should produce it. Otherwise, its just speculation.

Steve Sailer said...

Braun's Catholic on his mother's side.

Anonymous said...

Steve Sailer said...
Braun's Catholic on his mother's side.


Careful, don't let Pro Israel blogger Debbie Schlussel hear that she seems to believe that he's Jewish and is being persecuted for his Judaism.

Anonymous said...

sunbeam said...
Oh yeah, someone on this thread took offense at the theory that the 70's Steelers used PED's.

I'd like to submit this guy:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ernie_Holmes

Definitely not a second string player. Also it's hard not to think of something like roid rage when reading about this guy.

Not horribly consistent, but when he was on I'm not sure Joe Greene and L.C. Greenwood were the best defensive linemen playing for the Steelers.



Dwight White was actually better than Holmes, he was more consistent with first part of his career anyway.
Greene and Greenwood NEVER did PEDS. And no one has ever publicly accused them of doing so. Don't even go there, sunny. Dont even go there. Those two are among the greatest of all time NFLers ever.

Son of Brock Landers said...

David Zirin wrote an article on the Latin-PED connection that looks like he review this post and then found a way to frame it as evil US owners exploiting poor innocent Dominicans.

http://www.thenation.com/blog/175609/alex-rodriguez-and-true-pink-elephant-elefante-rosa-room#axzz2b9SGeYht

Also, Tobey Maguire gained 30 lbs of muslce in a month to play Spiderman in the first movie. Steroids.

Anonymous said...

ody said...
"Jerry rice. Speedster."

he wasn't. average speed for his position at the NFL level. that's all you need, then other things are more important. i believe his combine time was 4.7.


I think it actually was 4.623. He was above average in speed and much faster in first part of his career. He was closer to Alworth than to Biletnikof. Why is that guy, stats wise, in the HOF? Main reason: Al Davis had a lot of guys on the voting committee. Dave Casper I can understand but Fred? Come on!





"One of the few caucasian WRs to dominate the position, perhaps the last."

steve largent. sometime in the 80s the NFL moved to it's current "africans only" policy for WR. total scrubs are welcomed into roster spots as the number 2 or 3 player on some teams while guys who can run circles around them are not even allowed in the league. the difference is chromatic.



Jody, you've forgotten about Wes Welker. Starter and everything and now with Payton.


Also, in your post you mentioned about recent Olympics bust last yr I also mentioned US womens soccer star Hope Solo failed a drug test for a banned substance. First time ever for US womens soccer to flunk drug test by USADA. At least publicly. So women athletes are using PEDS too.

I think you once said you're from IN. US women's team has one from there, lauren cheney.

Hunsdon said...

Sumdood said: In a single minor PGA tourney, Tiger Woods and Phil outearn what they make in 5 yrs based on lifting prize monies. They're freaks, not real athletes, so who cares?

Hunsdon said: And there is no professional market for Highland Games athletes, so they're freaks too, and not real athletes?

There are few real true sports, and "picking up heavy crap" is definitely one of them.

Anonymous said...

"all of the new sports drugs were being developed in the US"

From what I can tell a lot of endurance sports pharmacology came from Europe--EPO use in cycling got going with Ferarri and Conconi, and the Spanish have been heavily implicated in follow-on techniques and in blood doping. Primarily because of a lax sports regulation environment.

I assume European soccer is rife with PEDs.

Anonymous said...

"So, 13 players with Spanish surnames and Ryan Braun,"

Cervelli isn't a Spanish name, it's Italian.

Anonymous said...


Cervelli isn't a Spanish name, it's Italian.



Yes but he's from Argentina or Columbia. Some south american nation with heavy mixture of Italians. A "mexican" standoff

Anonymous said...

Roids in Hollywood:

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/aug/24/peds-find-their-role-in-hollywood/?page=all

Widespread use by rappers, too.

Anonymous said...

there's now a couple guys doing 1000 pound no equipment deadlifts. in strongman, there's a couple guys approaching 500 pound overhead press - this amount would have them in the medal hunt at the 1984 or 1988 olympic weightlifting tournament, and these guys don't train specifically for olympic lifts.

Big powerlifting deadlifts and presses don't translate that well to big clean and jerks and snatches.

james wilson said...

The latest round of players busted were done in by subpoenaed paperwork, not testing. That means they passed the tests.

Passing test requires constant attention to detail for users, which is why the vast majority of players who flunk tests are not not persons of pallor, Braun being the exception. Stupid or disorganized players need a lot of supervision.

Rex Little said...

Cervelli isn't a Spanish name, it's Italian.

Yes but he's from Argentina or Columbia.


Venezuela, actually; that's the only country on the South American mainland which produces many major league baseball players. Cervelli's father immigrated there from Italy.

Anonymous said...

I well remember Jon Kolb. Recently there has been speculation about him regarding PEDS. He could bench press 550lbs back in the 70s when that was deemed quite a lot of weight. The Steelers actually did lift more than others in the 70s. Each decade starting with the 60s one could say that the NFLs training and weight lifting regimens have gotten bigger, more weight and more power oriented but that's the natural outcome of the sport and not necessarily due entirely to PEDS per se.

Kolb's saving grace is that if he did try PEDS he didnt overdue them. In his 60s he's still clearly in great shape and was always big and strong. He's also not dying early like some of the Steelers accused of steriods have done (Mike Webster)

Jon Kolb aught to be considered for the HOF. He started and played in all 4 superbowls and was an integral part of the offensive line for the Steelers and was a perennial all pro. Maybe the vets committee will put him in one day. If only he had a high media visibility job in the NFL, like John Madden, he'd have been in long since.

Anonymous said...

which is why the vast majority of players who flunk tests are not not persons of pallor

It's pretty rare for anyone to flunk the MLB drug tests. Beating the tests is not rocket surgery.

David said...

>Tobey Maguire gained 30 lbs of muslce in a month to play Spiderman in the first movie. Steroids.<

The studio made a big deal of saying he went through the most grueling training, some incredibly punishing regimen in which he persevered though sheer effort and dedication, etc., etc....he said as much, too...LOL

Anonymous said...

I was wondering about Hugh Jackman in Wolverine, Christian Bale in Batman, the last two guys in Superman, Ryan Gosling, Matthew McConaughey, Matt Damon, and Vin Diesel.

Just using google image search...

Wolverine, I'd say yes. The vascularity.

Christian Bale could well be natural. Nothing I saw said "definite steroid user".

Man of Steel: Maybe.

For the others, you'd have to list the movies.

Anonymous said...

How about them Dodgers, Steve?

Anonymous said...

The movie didn't say half the steroid users were non-athletes; it said 85%. Having spent 35 years working out in gyms ranging from the grimiest juicehead cave to the current palatial (saltwater pool, indoor track, 4 weight training equipment areas) exercise mecca I frequent with the girlfriend, I would say that number is pretty accurate. It would about 5 minutes to score any number of substances in any gym I was a member of, even the current yuppie gym; 50-somethings with 30ish trophy wives have the ego to use. I used to spot for a guy who was constantly fretting about how his antidepressants were interacting with his PEDs.

Jerry Rice's 40 time was 4.71. He was still the best, but only because he was surrounded by John Taylor, Roger Craig, Tom Rathman, Brent Jones and a couple guys who threw the ball whose names escape me right now. Ditto for the Swann/Stallworth/Harris/Bleier/Bradshaw Steelers. The thing that makes Tom Brady's dominance even more impressive is that he's won three Super Bowls with guys you can't name. Remember, the Patriots won ZERO SBs with Moss and Welker. To further feed to fire, where was Chuck Noll assistant coach in the early 60s? San Diego. Sid Gilman (there you go, Scots-Irish haters) and his strength coach Alvin Roy were wide open with the PEDs, as they weren't banned then. Another member of the staff was Al LoCasale, who brought the message to Al Davis in Oakland in the mid-Sixties.

Hollywood PED use? Did anyone see Brad Pitt in Troy. Has anyone seen the photo of Hugh Jackman doing that mega-deadlift? Tobey Maguire, filming Seabiscuit, where he was emaciated, and Spiderman 2, where he was jacked, about 6 months apart? Why does an average professional athlete juice? To make more money with increased performance! Is it so odd that actors, with the same sorts of money at stake, wouldn't use, especially the older actors after the T loss begins?

There are still far too many people who believe that strength training will allow them to bench 400 lbs. or look like Mr. Olympia "if I work hard enough", which is why so many gym memberships last 3 months. That's about how long it takes for reality to set in.

Anonymous said...

To further feed to fire, where was Chuck Noll assistant coach in the early 60s? San Diego. Sid Gilman (there you go, Scots-Irish haters) and his strength coach Alvin Roy were wide open with the PEDs, as they weren't banned then.

AGAIN, IF you have definite proof that most HOF Steelers were roiders then present the evidence. You can't, cause the majority did not. They were among the greatest all time ever at their positions. Joe Greene? Come on! One of all time greatest ever. Jack Lambert? Again, the Ray lewis of his day.
Name a starter HOFer, that is, aside from Webster. Name them. You can't they dont exist. The NFL had better training and weight lifting in the 70s compared to the 60s and PIT happened to draft the right numbers of players who benefitted from honest hard work. Otherwise, prove it.

I'll give you a start: In his book, Steve Courson who did roid up and died prematurely makes a point that many of the stars refused to take the steroids offered. Refused. Also, he makes a point the COACH Chuck Noll preferred not to notice what was going on. If his players were roiding he didnt want any part either way. This actually would go vs the claim that he like his former head coach at SD was personally passing out steroids in pill form.






On a ligher note: the current palatial (saltwater pool, indoor track, 4 weight training equipment areas) exercise mecca I frequent with the girlfriend

Dude, where's this gym at? Give a hint. Sounds pretty cool. Saltwater pool? Exercise mecca? Is this a chain, is it LA Fitness? Is it in So Cal area? Give a hint. Sounded pretty cool to see.








There are still far too many people who believe that strength training will allow them to bench 400 lbs. or look like Mr. Olympia "if I work hard enough", which is why so many gym memberships last 3 months. That's about how long it takes for reality to set in.


Again, though. Jack LaLane. Practiced what he preached. He was an amazing specimen for someone totally into fitness. Lived til age 98. Looked great. It wasnt roids. It was the honesty way. No, he never claimed or attempted to body build his physique but that ordinary folks could see basic improvements if they did so in moderation but consistency over the years. He proved it worked. He looked great for his age or any age. The honest way. Didnt cheat and didn't overbulk up. Kept it real and natural.

But seriously, interested in this gym you mentioned where is it?

Anonymous said...

Jerry Rice's 40 time was 4.71. He was still the best, but only because he was surrounded by John Taylor, Roger Craig, Tom Rathman, Brent Jones and a couple guys who threw the ball whose names escape me right now.

JOHN TAYLOR? HOF? HA! Rathman? Come on! Roger Craig, excellent a point there, however. NONE are in the HOF are they? Except one.


I'll help with one of the guys who threw the ball and lets make one thing clear. Steve Young is in the hall of fame because of Jerry Rice. Pure an simple. If Jerry had left for another team before Steve became a starter, Steve would not be in HOF. Certainly not as early as he got in.

Montana = a class all by himself. His generation's Tom Brady since he won first 2 SBS with jabrones.
Steve Young Needed Jerry Rice to make him great. Joe Montana clearly did not.

Young was barely good as a backup for Montana 4 SBs. Jerry got him into Canton much earlier than he should have.

Anonymous said...

In 1991, during a relaxed and lubricated private dinner, I said to Harold Connolly, winner of the 1956 Olympic hammer throw and a perennial world and United States champion: “It’s all timing. If you’d been born later, taken steroids, you could have won a few more gold medals.”

He looked at me incredulously. “You kidding? I was using after 1960. We all were.”


http://grg51.typepad.com/steroid_nation/2010/08/harold-connelly-dies-olympic-champion-and-early-steroid-pioneer.html

Anonymous said...

There are still far too many people who believe that strength training will allow them to bench 400 lbs. or look like Mr. Olympia "if I work hard enough", which is why so many gym memberships last 3 months. That's about how long it takes for reality to set in.


There's something else at work though. Most folks live basic existence and dont have the time or the patience to want to work hard on something as their outward appearances. They want it all now (the few who really want anything closely resembling as great looking body) they dont want to put in the time or hard work to do it.

The thing is, for the professional bodybuilders, including the majority who are prolly juicing, the irony is, is that they ARE putting in the time and hard work over the years. Their results clearly arent 3-6 months. That's years and years worth of hard work.

We can all mock Arnold for roiding but the fact does remain that yes, he initially did put in the hard work and time from about age 16 all the way up to his early 30s before leaving for hollywood. His prime young years were mainly spent either in professional competitions or working out in the gym. He put in the work to back up the results. Steroids alone wont give anyone a magic body without putting in at least some amount of hard work and clearly Arnold did put in the work.

Anything since he retired from pro bodybuilding long ago is clearly just roids. But in the early days, he also put in time and hard work.

That's why Jack LaLane and others like him is a moderate balanced reasonable approach to fitness and bodybuilding. It's not gonna come in a day much less 3 months. Work at it a little each week, month, yr etc. You will see results. They wont be Superhuman but prolly the best possible improvements for you individually. And from a health standpoint, thats a lot better than nothing.

Anonymous said...

She spends endless hours at the gym keeping herself in tip top condition.

But it looks like it is time well spent after tennis ace Serena Williams showed off her amazing bikini body while she enjoyed some rest and relaxation on Miami Beach, Florida.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2342363/Serena-Williams-flaunts-famously-muscular-beach-body-holiday-Miami.html

Anonymous said...

Guys want to believe they could look like a men's health cover. If they put in effort -- training, healthy food, rest -- they will, even if they're fat, over 21, non-mesomorph, etc. Delusional. They believe the lies of top athletes not using anything. I sure think Bolt, Phelps, Ye Shiwen, Williams brothers & Nadal use some sort of PEDs. Many people react emotionally because they want their heroes untainted & their illusions about being able to look good unshattered.

Almost everyone will tell you that barcelona & spanish national football team became peerless through tiki-taki with their topplayers averaging 70 games a year. All in good form, no injuries, better at 30 than 20 & always 90 minutes ful. Yep. Before 2000s they won nothing.

Anonymous said...

In this case I think the "pattern" was that they were customers of the company Biogenesis. There are doubtless a lot of other companies or clinics doing similar things, and it's likely that their customers cluster by various criteria. The persons of pallor are probably just going to different clinics.

Anonymous said...

I've always thought Rice's forty time was taken when he was injured.

Am I wrong?

goatweed (hopefully r daneel goatweed if I get past the robot test)

C. Van Carter said...

I don't understand why they didn't pay cash and use fake names when they bought this stuff.

europeasant said...

"Did anyone see Brad Pitt in Troy"

"There are still far too many people who believe that strength training will allow them to bench 400 lbs. or look like Mr. Olympia "if I work hard enough", which is why so many gym memberships last 3 months. That's about how long it takes for reality to set in."

I was amazed how Brad Pitt looked in that movie. Something like that is not possible in a few months without some help.
We are not all born the same. Heredity is the over riding factor. We can all improve but most of us will never look like MR America no matter how hard we train but steroids can be the great equalizer. So can Smith and Wesson.

Anonymous said...

I have to laugh at Anon 6:39. I was talking to a lifter friend while I was typing about the Chargers and Noll, and he's the one who reminded me about Alvin Roy. He said it's weird that any fan you talk about sports with, specifically about their heroes being cheaters, will basically take it with a certain equanimity, EXCEPT for Steelers' fans! Thanks for proving his point.

Your dismissal of the listed 49ers is interesting. I guess you'll have to dismiss Dwight Clark, too, as I forgot him the first time. Suffice it to say that each had their job in Walsh's offense, and the did them extremely well. History and the record books treat them pretty well. Maybe a football expert like you can explain why Rathman, with almost 6,000 career yards and 34 touchdowns in 9 years, is overshadowed by the likes of 6-time Pro Bowl fullback Lorenzo Neal and his 1,900 total yards and 18 touchdowns in 16 years. Numbers lie, I guess.

Re: Montana versus Young. Montana had more total yards passing. They had the same interception rate. All other categories (Completion and TD percentage, Net yards per attempt, etc.) are dominated by Young, not to mention his 43 rushing touchdowns. He must have been doing SOMETHING right.

My palatial gym is Latitudes, a small, 3-location chain on the North Shore of Massachusetts. Great place to watch trophy wives spending 3 hours a day doing their job, which is to look good. Did I mention the indoor running track and soccer field, basketball and racquetball courts and boxing studio? SoCal? Please...they even lift weights outside in SoCal. We have winter here.

Jack LaLanne was a pioneer in all-natural, whole/raw food eating and prodigious use of supplements. He was amazing. At the same time, I think of the section of Bigger, Stronger, Faster where Chris Bell interviewed Christian Boeving, one of the biggest "fitness models" in bodybuilding, where he admitted to using steroids since he was 16. When Bell asked him about the morality of it, I loved his answer, along the lines of "Hey, I'm in all the magazines endorsing Hydroxycut, and I use Hydroxycut. That doesn't mean that I don't use other stuff!" For LaLanne to be in the shape he was at such an advanced age, no matter his regimen, is unnatural.

Juicers still have to do the hard work, that's undeniable. You use to help deal with the hard work's effect on your body. You get the gains, and you want more. More work, more juice, more gains. That's what feeds that type of mindset. About 12 years ago I stopped working out and gained about 40 pounds, as I was still eating like a powerlifter. I went back to the gym and hit it hard (5 days a week for 2-2 1/2 hours) and got hard again in 3 months. People would come over and ask me, "Gee, you lost all that weight pretty quickly. How'd you do it?" I'd tell them my routine and invariably was told, "Oh, I don't have the time." I guess they made their decision.

And yes, I'm PED-free. I kinda look like Chris Bell.

biff said...

Iron mike is the real scary case. Did he take a LOT of steroids when he was twelve? Did his saintly father figure give them? Or was he a genetic freak who just happened to have a grown man's size and strength at twelve?

Either way, creepy. Because twelve or thirteen, just around puberty, is when a big jolt of man-juice can tweak the way your boys come down for life. What if there are a thousand failed Mike Tysons who took some 'vitamins' from a coach, and, tough luck kid. Sorry about the Michael Jackson voice through your fifties.

Anonymous said...

All I'm saying is if you have evidence, then present it. All the time some disgruntled fan whose old team lost to the Steelers back in the day always is complaining and crying about how its sooooo unfair. Prove it. I agree there may have been some, but all? Come on. Prove it. Dont namelessly make an accusation.

See, for the most part, there's enough truth with the 70s Steelers who actually were great players. Most likely the ones we all can name off top of our heads, were most likely the clean ones. The image perhaps may at times gloss over the bad apples to make it appear that all were clean. I've only maintained that the dominant HOF starters were with a couple (perhaps one, Webster) exception were totally clean. Most of the rest of the cheaters if they existed on the Steelers came from the offensive line. the white dudes. Except for Jon Kolb who has constantly and consistently denied any connection to steroids. Prove he's either lying or not.

The black players, meanwhile, were most likely clean. As well as Lambert and Ham.


Funny you don't mention Cross, that receiver. Don't worry he's got a nice fat cushy NFL media job he should eventually get into the HOF that's how the ol' boys club takes care of rewards its own.

Again, Jerry Rice is the gold standard of 20th century WRs. The stats are there. He had to have the genetics to get those stats. You make it sound as if anyone could've come along in west coast offense and gotten those stats. That's hindsight, 20/20.

Re: Montana versus Young. Montana had more total yards passing. They had the same interception rate. All other categories (Completion and TD percentage, Net yards per attempt, etc.) are dominated by Young, not to mention his 43 rushing touchdowns. He must have been doing SOMETHING right.


YES,....He had Jerry Rice to throw too, DUH. AGAIN, how many superbowls did Steve Young win? One. Montana? 4. Case closed as to who was greater.
Stevie' needed Jerry to make him great. Joe did not.






Anonymous said...

Jack LaLanne was a pioneer in all-natural, whole/raw food eating and prodigious use of supplements. He was amazing. At the same time, I think of the section of Bigger, Stronger, Faster where Chris Bell interviewed Christian Boeving, one of the biggest "fitness models" in bodybuilding, where he admitted to using steroids since he was 16. When Bell asked him about the morality of it, I loved his answer, along the lines of "Hey, I'm in all the magazines endorsing Hydroxycut, and I use Hydroxycut. That doesn't mean that I don't use other stuff!" For LaLanne to be in the shape he was at such an advanced age, no matter his regimen, is unnatural.


Now here we go again. No for him it was NOT unnatural. He had been training since he was a teenager into his late 80s. All those years, not 5 months as you say with basic membership.

Remember, Lalanne wasn't some dumb jock. He was a smart shrewd businessman. He was the one who started the ballys chain, among the first in US. He was the man who started the concept of gym memberships. He practiced what he preached for the most part. He ate healthy very little meat no processed foods little alcohol no tobacco. He had a tv show where he showed people how to exercise for years.

He wasnt a bulky hulky bodybuilder per se. Too short for that as well. His was a combination of calisthenics and moderate to high impact weight lifting. Compared to Joe Weider, Jack LaLane was far more legit regarding steroids. If you want to go after someone for introducing steroids and PEDS into bodybuilding and the culture it spawned than blame Joe and his brother ben.

Compared to those two guys Jack LaLane never advocated steroids. I attended one of his lectures yrs ago, he was directly asked about his physique and the relation to steroids (a question along those lines) Jack, smiling yet firm made it clear. He didnt do steroids, period. "I dont believe in them and we dont know the long term effects on your health." He said.

At least publicly you wont find any quotes of him endorsing questionable products much like Bill Phillips does with EAS. Phillips is another questionable character. In Game of Shadows he's called out for some questionable practices that somewhat endorse PEDS, all a bit shady.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, but LaLane was the real deal. He always maintained that what worked for him, doing it the old fashioned way thru hard work and training would work for you as well. He also would make clear not to expect instant results. At the meeting I attended he said "remember I've been at this over 50 yrs. Dont expect it in day. Not everyone's gonna be Arnold SHwarzenegger. You have to be realistic. But doing all you can is better than doing nothing at all."
Cliched? Of course? Correct? You bet.


Just ask yourself one basic common sense question. We know there is a health risk connnection to long term abuse of steroids. We also know that LaLane lived to 97/98 yrs old. He started to train basically back around 1935 around there. We know that no steroids were in existence in US at that time. So for the first 25 yrs or so, it was all real. He had 25 yrs to bulk, during his prime yrs. In the 1960s he was in his mid fifties. Up to the end of his life, Jack LaLane didnt look any differently than he did back in his younger years. A little on the super fit side but nothing at all resembling Lou Ferrigno.

If he was a juicer he wouldnt have made it to 98yrs old. No chance. He's one of the clean ones.

I wont argue if you say he had some cosmetic surgery done on his face probably so. TV is demanding and while he did look great for 98 no one wanted to really see a 98yr old person on TV. But being in great shape most of his life also helped.

Unless I see some direct evidence that Jack LaLane was a juicer, just not buying it. In his case it would go vs all that he publicly stood for. To him it was like a religion, it changed his whole life around. Much like AA changes some alcoholics. It becomes their way of life and for over 70yrs Jack Lalane practiced what he preached.

Steroids? In his case no way.

Anonymous said...

People would come over and ask me, "Gee, you lost all that weight pretty quickly. How'd you do it?" I'd tell them my routine and invariably was told, "Oh, I don't have the time." I guess they made their decision.

But you do understand that most people have lives and real jobs. They dont have 5hrs a day 5 days a week to waste in the gym, that's also why.

Actually most reputable doctors will tell you all you need is about 3-4 days per week for about an hour just to maintain your health and see the basic fitness results, practical fitness, that accrues positively to our health. That's all most people need. That and about 3-4 days per week with cardio training which you can get from basic walking at a brisk pace for about an hr per day. And thats all anyone needs to maintain a basic level of health. Obviously combined with proper diet and rest.

But most people have jobs and lives. Not gym rats.

You think Mitt Romney when he was young had time to waste all day in the gym? Or Bill Gates? Come on.

Anonymous said...

I know what you're getting at. Supplements can be a lose way of saying juice. Not in Jack's case. I'd say, prove it.

It would go vs everything he stood for. WHole food healthy eating and meanwhile taking diabolin and winstrol? Come on. Wouldnt have made it to 98yrs old.

If anything, starting weight training as young as he did for decades helped maintain what he perhaps genetically was able to gain. He maintained his shape for a long time and he never cut back on his regimen as he got older.

Supplements to LaLane could be well different than what it meant to Joe Weider who was in the business of bodybuilding to make a buck and didnt always care how it was made.

A protein shake is technically a supplement. It's not a steroid and obviously you can only bulk up so much from it which is to say, probably not much at all.

But in Jack's case he started well ahead of anyone else in time so he had a few decades to bulk up the natural way since PEDS and suplements didnt exist then. Anything wouldve been to maintain what he had, but evcen in his 80s and early 90s yes he was in better shape than most civiilians but he couldnt compete with professional bodybuilders even 2/3 his age. Nor was he trying.

Guess you hit a note. I mean, I dont believe in trashing the dead. If someone has proof then present it. Otherwise, its just a baseless cheap accusation.

Billy Clyde Puckett said...

Hey Blabbermouthed Anonymous Steeler Apologist/Slappy:

No, it's not idle or unproven speculation by disgruntled fans of opposing teams that the Steeler teams of the 1970's used steroids. Steve Courson said so!

What's so hard to understand that a member of the Steelers said guys used them?

Jim Haslett alleged that the Steelers started it. Art Rooney specifically objected only to the idea that they started it. He's right. They didn't. But they used them, just like everyone else, including the Raiders. Lyle Alzado said he started using his rookie season in 1969.

Noll didn't know because he didn't want to know. Maybe Ham and Lambert used them, maybe they didn't. Webster did. But the whole NFL, then and now, is under a huge cloud of suspicion. Your Steelers are no exception.

History's probable verdict? More than reasonable suspicion, but no longer enough existing proof beyond any doubt.

If your only response is to argue percentages (most of the team vs. some of the team), don't bother. The rest of us have already reached our conclusions.

Anonymous said...

People need to learn their mother tongue. "Unnatural" in "at variance to what is normal or to be expected". LaLanne was as much at variance from the average 90-year old as Whiskey is to a normal ISteve commenter.

That said, Google the Real Sports report about steroids that Armen Keteyien did back in 2005. Look at the 70-year old guy who started using as a bodybuilder back in the early 60s and never stopped. He was SMALLER than LaLanne! LaLanne was a beloved huckster for many years, and had firm control of his brand.

Anon 6:57, if people aren't interested in their appearance or health, then WTF are they doing at the gym? Have you ever belonged to a gym? If so, you've seen "the tide come in" as we regulars describe it, each New Year's Day when everyone makes their resolution to get in shape and joins a gym. Then March rolls around, and the weather starts to improve, and the tide goes back out. And they are a cash cow to the gyms; one gym manager told me that, on average, his members cancel their memberships 5 1/2 months after they stop coming! That's why there are so many cheap gyms now; they know the average member will only show up so much for so long, they all have complex cancellation routines and they get the upfront fee with every membership. As I said, the people who spoke to me about my routine had already made their decision before they even asked the question.

Here's a bit of research for you, Steve. When we joined our palatial workout palace, we gave up membership at one of those $10/month places. We noticed that at the new gym the women, on average, were in far better shape than at the old, even though the age skews higher, while the men were at best on par and maybe a little worse as far as appearance goes. There were many more fat chicks and obvious juice monkeys at the $10 place. Tattoos are about the same. New gym costs $58/month. Class markers?

Clark was the receiver, Slappy (thanks, Billy Clyde), and Cross was the center. Did Welker make Brady or did Brady make Welker (that one is pretty obvious)? Did Manning make Harrison and Wayne or the reverse? Did Marino make Duper and Clayton or the reverse? In Walsh's offense, Rice could take a quick slant 45 yards, but if the ball doesn't get there, no soap.

All these guys had the same thing in common: an organization that recognized their abilities and built offenses around their various skill sets. How does Matt Cassel go 12-4 when Brady got hurt? How does Steve Young have a 120 QB rating in 8 starts when Montana had his back injury? Belichick and Walsh, that's how.

Anonymous said...

Billy Clyde Puckett said...
Hey Blabbermouthed Anonymous Steeler Apologist/Slappy:


Now see, I don't come at you with Billy Bob Redneck sleeping with him mama in the trailer park for the piece of junk you are.

Let's all be respectful, shall we?

Continue:



No, it's not idle or unproven speculation by disgruntled fans of opposing teams that the Steeler teams of the 1970's used steroids. Steve Courson said so!


YOU obviously have NOT read most of what I've said here. I ALREADY QUOTED COURSON, FRICKIN' DUH!

I also mentioned Webster. What I take issue with is painting the gold standard, the majority of the HOF starters. That IS a big deal. The 4 SBs were won with the core starters, not the jabrones.

Courson was not a full fledged full time starter. Yes he juiced. IT also coincides with a theory posited some yrs back that FOR THE MOST PART the white players on teams tended to juice first. This was mainly due, the theory goes, because they were "losing out" to black players and felt that they needed to keep an edge and stay in the game by any means necessary.

This theory was also reiterated by 90s LB Bill Romanowski in Game of Shadows "We're struggling to stay in a black man's game (NFL)". So they felt that they needed whatever means necessary to stay in the game.

And, initially it tended to be the white players who juiced almost a decade before black players juiced. Although over time they quickly caught up (ratio percentage to juicing wise) to the whites.




What's so hard to understand that a member of the Steelers said guys used them?


I already said Courson stated that, duh! Courson did NOT claim that ALL and EVERY roster player juiced. He also made mention that many starters refused to take them. It seems as though it was a generational thing. The older players (and also the bulk of the HOFers) didnt juice, they were clean. Those who started on the first two SBs. By the late 70s, say 78-79, was when you started to see more steroids being used by NFLers not just PIT specifically. They were getting them at the NCAA level by then and simply took them into the NFL to maintain a starting position.






Anonymous said...

Jim Haslett alleged that the Steelers started it.


Yeah, disgruntled ex-Cincy coach, Billy ray bob. Come on. You believe everything biased sources say, right? Of course. Especially since Haslett doesnt have any court of law style physical proof evidence. Just his assertion for why his Cincy teams sucked in 70s an ate PITs divisional dust.





Art Rooney specifically objected only to the idea that they started it. He's right. They didn't.

Art was no longer in charge of the day to day operations. Dan was. But yes, you're right. Steelers didnt start it. Most would agree that the first two SB victories were clean. Sorry, that's a fact. Courson is the main source of bringing the steroids onto the team and he didnt show up til 78 and he never was a full time starter anyway.




But they used them, just like everyone else, including the Raiders. Lyle Alzado said he started using his rookie season in 1969.


By the time of his interview, Lyle was so far gone but lets assume youre right on the time table. Where'd he start? Denver was it? The Steelers didnt use them for the first or most of the 70s which is when they won their SBs. Certainly not the first 2. Webster wasnt a starter on first SB victory and was a partial starter on the 2nd. Besides in later interviews in local media when pressed, Webster stated he didnt start juicing till a few seasons into his career.

That would place it around 78-79, around the time that Courson came onto the team and brought them with him. I've never denied Courson as a juicer.

I continue to debate with the facts, namely that the HOF starters MOST of them, were clean. Evidence suggests that I'm right. MOST were clean.




Noll didn't know because he didn't want to know.

Now that's a lie. That's a lie. Noll DID know. He didnt want to know but of course he knew what went on in his own locker room. As pointed on this blog many a time he was in SD in the 60s and knew what was going on then. Perhaps by the time he was coach he didnt want to get involved. In some ways, control freak that he was, Chuck Noll allowed his players the ability to sort things out amongst themselves. He didnt babysit or feel the need to. But of course he knew. Courson makes that point.


Maybe Ham and Lambert used them, maybe they didn't.

That is a lie a BIG FAT FRICKIN LIE. THEY DID NOT JUICE. Those two in particular did NOT. They have publicly in interviews made clear repeatedly that they didnt. Courson said he offered them steroids and they point blank refused to take them. I don't know how much more explicit you can get regarding those two.

Just look at them. Ham was about 6'1" and 195-200. Nothing outrageous even by 70s standards of NFL. Lambert, while about 6'4" was always around 218 and looked even scrawnier, more like 205. Those two never bulked out. They just were exceptionally great players thats why they're in the HOF.

You see, mixed in with the few rotten apples are the good decent eggs. Those who were legit and played hard worked out and were clean, juice free. THe HOFs and starters were for the most part clean.

No ones arguing vs the fringe, the part timers, the jabrones. Of course they juiced. They'd have done anything to stay in the league and on the team. Again, most of them tended to be white since by that time the NFL was displacing a lot of white players. Facts are facts.

Anonymous said...

Webster did.

No one has denied Webster either. Although in local interviews he stated he started juicing around his third season (77) so by 78 when Courson showed up so again, not too surprising.



But the whole NFL, then and now, is under a huge cloud of suspicion.


Yes it is. Mainly cause they never dealt with the problem or even saw it as a problem. At least MLB is trying to deal with it even if in a haphazard sort of way.




Anonymous said...

Your Steelers are no exception.

First 2 SBs yeah they WERE an exception. Most of the HOFers and main starters as well were juice free throughout 70s it was the later new generation of white players fearful of being displaced that are responsible for introducing them to the team. They were afraid of losing a roster spot. But all we have to do is look at the players then and now.


Remember, the 70s Steelers were also on average well above average height. If being tall makes you a juicer then that would be a surprise to Steve Sailer, wouldn't it? The training regimens of the 70s, more advanced than previous decades, still pale in comparison to today's training. If most of the guys were all on the juice you'd see it.

The main argument about juicing has always been vs the Offensive Linesmen. NEVER the defense and certainly not the black players. Translation: The white dudes who were on the bubble and could be replaced if they didnt try and gain an edge to stay on the team. So long as they won, Noll didnt really care but of course he knew something was up.


Although Jon Kolb has been asked over the years if he juiced and he repeatedly says no he's clean. So either you call him a liar or accept he's telling the truth.



History's probable verdict? More than reasonable suspicion, but no longer enough existing proof beyond any doubt.


What double talk is that? Reasonable suspicion because of a few O'line dudes died early like Webster and Courson and a couple others including non starters who want to tar and feather everyone with the same brush.


So doubt DOES still remain. And since innocent till PROVEN is law of land, right? That right? Dont you have to PROVE your case? Especially when those still alive when asked if they personally juiced, they always say No that they didnt personally juice.


Here's what could be going on: NFL like other sports have a code. You don't rat your teammates out. BUT you also stand up for yourself if and when you personally are being challenged or your reputation's being smeared. So the fact that the vast majority of the HOFers and starters have all denied their personal use of steriods would seem to say that the majority, vast majority of the name players did NOT juice and therefore were clean.

That doesnt mean there werent juicers. Its just that, except for Webster, almost all the other names who juiced aren't the "sexy" names. You're not gonna find the names of the greats on a list of juicers. They're gonna be names like "Who was that? Don't even remember that dude. What'd he play, 2 seasons at most? Mostly just did the bench warm on the sidelines." OBVIOUSLY they had a motive to juice. They wanted to stay on the roster and not get replaced, duh!



If your only response is to argue percentages (most of the team vs. some of the team), don't bother.

No I'm going to. 1. Smearing former players by lumping them with the bad apples, that's not right.
2. The superbowls are at issue. Many steelers haters out there cant get over that they were one of the all time NFL greatest teams. If you can prove beyond all doubt that the HOF starters, the core players who were there for all 4 SBS were cheaters, than that does call into question the entire team. If however it's just a few bench warmers its not a major tragedy since they didnt win with those jabrones.




The rest of us have already reached our conclusions.


You just made the Al Sharpton argument for why black America sided and still does with Trayvon martin. Keep up the good work.


Or else keep an open mind and dont brush and tar all players of that era by labeling the clean ones with a label that they're not.

Anonymous said...

Looking at the different action stars, it seems that a lot of the guys that can act either looked down on steroids or correctly saw them as something that would not enhance their performances or make them stand up in time.


That's an excellent point. The Alist exceptional actors like Paul Newman, Hoffman, Deniro, Nicholson clearly didnt juice. Why would they? They would've looked down on juicing since they tended to look down on the whole idea of action movies. To them it was and still is an inferior film genre compared to actual dramatic acting. They didnt go to Broadway and or acting school to do roids.

Marlon Brando? Come on! For what?

Charlton Heston in Ben Hur describes going to the gym and working out to get into shape for the chariot race, but since he was in Rome for the project its so unlikely he juiced. He took his craft seriously. Also, he wasn't yet 35 yrs old so it wasn't difficult for him to get into shape. Not bulk shape just enough to look like he could handle a chariot.

Aside from that before the late 70s early 80s you just didnt see serious actors concerned about their status as actors not action heroes bothering with that juice nonsense. Why would they? They made their living on their talent not on their pecs.


Another thing about Sly. Watch Rocky and also Rocky 2. Clearly he was not yet juicing in those two films. He doenst particularly look cut or ripped in first two rockies. And those are the two that are taken seriously as films not as action he-man stuff.

Besides he wasnt even 30 when he made Rocky and only about 32 with rocky2. They were more dramatic oriented. Watch Rocky1. He clearly doesnt look like he even was seriously lifting. On the commentaryDVD the director makes mention that they had to get him to stop eating junk food and hitting the gym more to prepare for the role. Interesting irony. Rocky1and2 he looks like a human not like a superhero.

Even Deniro in Raging Bull doesnt look particularly ripped or in spectacular shape compared to pro bodybuilding or even for what boxers of the 70s looked like but then he was playing a boxer of the 40s and they didnt ever look like they were superly bulked out a la Steve Reeves.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
People need to learn their mother tongue. "Unnatural" in "at variance to what is normal or to be expected". LaLanne was as much at variance from the average 90-year old as Whiskey is to a normal ISteve commenter.

I don't think you read what I wrote carefully enough. LaLane was a freak of nature for himself, yes of course. But what he preached he practiced. For him, it worked beyond what most could ever achieve. No question. But it did work. If you wikipedia him, you'll find that some of the things he did on his own like swimming to ALcatraz and the golden gate that's just incredible. He was in amazing shape and continued to be in throughout his adult life. But his training regimen was so far advanced than that of the top 1% elite athletes when he started (mid 1930s) is just incredible. He was a freak of nature.

But what he advocated, moderate to above average working out, healthy diet, rest, etc works for anyone. You will see benefits. Those kind that he had? No way, you'd have to be Peter Pan to believe that. But benefits over just sitting on the couch with Xbox? Absolutely.

For Jack, it truly was akin to a religious conversion. It was real to him. He practiced what he preached. It worked for him and for those he personally helped. To that magnitude? Of course not. But the fitness routine he sold to the public wasn't designed at his level it was designed at a basic level. And that fitness routine certainly works today. You just have to stick to it and not quit or give up. Jack never advocated attempting his personal fitness regimen. He advocated what he wrote about and promoted: BASIC FITNESS for health benefits. PERIOD. And that works, even today. Most just dont want to do it. You have to want to first and stick with it second.


That said, Google the Real Sports report about steroids that Armen Keteyien did back in 2005. Look at the 70-year old guy who started using as a bodybuilder back in the early 60s and never stopped. He was SMALLER than LaLanne! LaLanne was a beloved huckster for many years, and had firm control of his brand.


Yeah whatever. LaLanne was not a huckster. It worked. Pure and simple. He was a shrewd businessman. Now if you want to call out someone, call out Joe Wieder. How about that? What he advocated in his 'zines caused untold harm to countless people with his not so subtle advocating of steroids and PEDS.

But come on. No way can you abuse steroids over decades and expect to reach age 96-98 yrs that LaLanne did without something wrong. And who did he learn from? Paul Bragg, health guru. When i read that it all made sense. Bragg lived to about age 90 or 92. He died while surfing. How many 90yr olds are surfing let alone have the stamina and strength to tie their own shoes?

Good health habits start now. You dont like Lalanne, that's fine. But dont bash what he advocated because it works. The basics work. You just have to stick to it. Again, Jack never advocated bodybuilding routines for ordinary folks. It was offered if they wanted of course. But for ordinary Joes and Janes, it was basic 45 minutes to an hour a day, 4 days per week of strength conditioning, 3-4 days per wk of cardio along with healthy diet.

That works. If you follow that basic regimen for years and years your health benefits will be very good. No, you wont be an elite athlete but most dont want that. They just want to know that they can have useable practical fitness levels which is what LaLanne advocated for ordinary everyday folks, cause it worked.


Anonymous said...



Anon 6:57, if people aren't interested in their appearance or health, then WTF are they doing at the gym? Have you ever belonged to a gym? If so, you've seen "the tide come in" as we regulars describe it, each New Year's Day when everyone makes their resolution to get in shape and joins a gym. Then March rolls around, and the weather starts to improve, and the tide goes back out.

Know why? Cause it sounded good during their New Yrs hang over coupled with guilt "oh, another year older gotta do something." Know why that never works? Cause its not real to them. Separate the wheat from chaff. If they're facing a health risk, then you'll see some get serious about it. of course even then you wont see that many get serious. it takes a mindset. Look at some of the athletes the ones who don't use PEDs, granted that's not a large pool anymore. But chances are they started working out and exercising at a very young age. The healthy habits they started at a young age wont suddenly leave them in middle age. They wont need to suddenly wake up and go to the gym. They're the first ones there and usually last ones to leave. Its part of their lifestyle.

New Years resolutions are BS. It has to begin inside the heart. It has to be a driving desire, a magnificent obsession above all else in your life. It has to be 2nd nature to you. That kind won't easily give up or quit cause they've got a stake in the race and continue to see the results that work for them. Why would they give up when theyre living it? It's real to them. They dont need to "motivate" themselves cause its already working for them in their own lives.




One other thing about Montana. He's in HOF. Dwight Clark? Is he? All those other 2nd raters before Rice showed up? Joe made the players, not other way around. Sure you need the system but not everyone can be plugged into the system. It takes a great player, on that comes along every 15 yrs or so to make it consistently work with championships as the result. That's why he's HOF and one of the all time greats.