In 2013, on the Oprah Winfrey’s live talk show, the seven-time winner of the “Tour de France” multiple stage bicycle race, cyclist Lance Armstrong confessed to using doping. Scandals related to this issue often activate people’s interest in certain sports. People felt deceived, like their hero had lied to them. Few are well-versed with steroid use and the controversy surrounding it.
The flash fact is that the popularity of baseball had been plummeting by the time the litigations connected with the use of banned supplements by Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa and other best league’s athletes started. And what about basketball? Do NBA (National Basketball Association) players resort to steroids?
NBA Steroids Problem — Two Opposite Opinions
Some experts are convinced that NBA representatives often use prohibited medications. They understand that it’s very difficult to attain considerable results and demonstrate triumphal ascent in the sports sphere without chemical compounds. Just look at the players’ physique, the loads they have to sustain, hectic schedules, fatiguing flights, and high intensity. You have to possess superpower to handle such extreme conditions. Let’s consider football. Yes, it’s another sport with its own rules, but an important factor is this: the teams are fighting for an extra day, trying to find at least 24 hours for acclimatization and adaptation after the flight, especially in another continent with different time zone and so on. In the NBA system, teams play three matches for three days away, four–for five, five–for seven. The timetable is tough. There are neither shifts nor breaks. In this sport, basketball players need to play approximately 100 matches to win the championship.
Basketballers might find the harsh exercising routine unendurable. When a long team session may not be held for a few weeks, but sportsmen have to withstand an incredible tension. Don’t forget that in this mode, even without the Olympics, or World and European championships, they generally play for ten to twelve years, despite all minor injuries, which inevitably occur, severe traumas and operations. Both older players and young ones have to work relentlessly. Is it possible for a contemporary player to endure these hardships with dignity and also additionally exercise the whole summer to the max, coming first to the gym? They train rigorously to have a chance for the minimum progress for achieving their dreams. Yes, they come across as supermen, but only a few believe in those fairy tales. Therefore, athletes over thirty were typically considered written-off. Beyond their prime, they were useless to the franchise, adding additional pressures and insecurities to the profession. The level of help that medicine offered left clean sportsmen virtually no fortune or future. Competition added too much pressure for athletes.
This is one viewpoint. Now let’s move on to the opposite standpoint. Many athletes are very reckless and can risk a career for the sake of improving their performance.
Some specialists assure that it’s complicated to avoid anti-doping check in basketball. They describe this process as vexatious and unpleasant. American basketball players are entitled to mandatory inspection in the D-league as well. The standards are identical. The compulsory testing doesn’t allow them to use steroids in sports.
Inconsequential Steroid Scandal in 2016
In 2016 NBC sports quoted a book of 65-year-old George Karl. The author was a retired trainer of various teams in the world strongest basketball league from 1984 to 2016 (with small breaks).
TV network cited the excerpt from Karl’s autobiographical publication “Furious George: My Forty Years Surviving NBA Divas, Clueless GMs, and Poor Shot Selection”: “Doping is a substantial predicament. It doesn’t concern situations of being caught for recreational drugs. The league uses serious drugs – growth hormone, anabolic steroids, and stuff, which are illicit. I was amazed at the frequency of players’ visiting Germany every offseason. I guess they didn’t go there to buy sauerkraut or Munich sausages! In Europe, there are superior first-class scientists, engaged in doping research. And the methods of its concealment are more advanced and sophisticated than the ways of its detection. Alas, I have no idea how to stop this outrage.”
However, if we compare, for example, baseball with basketball, the latter isn’t notorious for shocking misconducts, concerning illegal medications consumption that would shake the entire world or at least the US.
What’s the Truth?
Steroids are less beneficial for NBA players than for athletes of other sports. However, we can’t claim they aren’t advantageous to them. The principal benefit involves healing properties facilitating the recovery from damages. While football and baseball players don’t have to worry about putting on some weight, surplus pounds for a basketball player are the enemy. In this game, outstanding figures are often the ones you least want to see in the decisive seconds on the field. If you have built too much muscle mass, you are more likely to be divested of dexterousness and mobility, which will be a significant obstacle for the whole team. You will be forced to compensate for your drawbacks with fouls. In our humble opinion, there are many players in the NBA’s store, who should gain musculature, but they insist they feel comfortable and do not intend to transfigure their shapes.
Corticosteroids’ application for the purpose of faster rehabilitation isn’t scandalous news. This target is completely acceptable.
However, all this is just a theory. Possibly there are NBA sportsmen who have taken drugs to boost their performance and have just remained undetected.