Marathons more dangerous than steroids? (article)

  1. Marathons more dangerous than steroids? (article)

    Here's an article a found floating around the net, thought you guys might get a kick out of it. Hope you haven't all ready seen it.
    I didn't see it on here, so here it is.

    New York City Marathon More Dangerous Than Anabolic Steroids


    New York City Marathon More Dangerous Than Anabolic Steroids
    Posted on 14:57 November 4th, 2008 by Millard Baker

    Anabolic steroids have been banned in sports (and criminalized in society), in large part, due to the belief that anabolic steroids are extremely harmful to an athlete’s health. The recent deaths at the 2008 New York City Marathon suggest that often sport itself may be inherently more dangerous than the non-medical use of anabolic steroids.

    Two runners, Carlos Jose Gomes and Joseph Marotta, died from heart attacks after finishing the 2008 New York City Marathon. The New York Fire Department revived two other runners who collapsed after suffering heart attacks during the race; one is apparently still unconscious. Dr. William Cole was not surprised by the cardiac incidents at the NYC Marathon (”Race Officials Confirm That 2 Died After Marathon,” November 3).

    Dr. William J. Cole, a cardiologist who is a clinical assistant professor at New York University’s School of Medicine, said that in a field of close to 40,000 people, a handful of cardiac cases was “not unlikely.”

    Sunday’s race had one of the largest fields in the marathon’s 39-year history, and Cole suggested that as the event continued to grow, the number of fatalities could swell.

    “As these things get bigger, you get more and more people doing this who are not quite in shape enough, or maybe not as healthy as they should be,” he said. “So you’re going to potentially be seeing an increase in the number of things like this happening.”

    The issue of steroid use at the NYC Marathon was sufficiently important for the New York Road Runners to collaborate with the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) to implement random steroid testing this year. Some wonder why the event organizers are not held accountable for doing more to prevent fatalities in “something so inconsequential as sports.”

    Death through participation in a competitive sport is apparently an acceptable loss; permanent disability and brain damage are permissible consequences of participation in some sports. As a society, we are not particularly troubled by the inherent risks that are part of various sports. We do not criminalize particular sports simply because participants face the possibility of serious injury, permanent disability, or death. Yet, the dangers of anabolic steroid use in sports is apparently a crisis. The inherent risks and dangers of many sports should be of much greater concern than often inconclusive risks of non-medical anabolic steroid use.

    Norm Fost has long argued that sport is far more dangerous than anbolic steroids (”Let’s Accept Performance-Enhancing Drugs in Competitive Sports” January 17).

    But sport itself is far more dangerous, and we don’t prohibit it. The number of deaths from playing professional football and college football are fifty to a hundred times higher than even the wild exaggerations about steroids. More people have died playing baseball than have died of steroid use.

    Norm Fost responded similarly when steroid legal expert Rick Collins asked him about the risks of steroids versus the risk of mere participation in sports (”Steroids and Sports: A Provocative Interview with Norm Fost, M.D.”).

    Rick Collins: Have the media fairly put the risks in perspective of other risks that athletes voluntarily assume?

    Norm Fost: No, not at all. For example, playing in the NFL for three years or more risks an extremely high rate - 80 to 90% in one study - of permanent disability. That’s unfortunate, but it goes with the territory and nobody says this is a reason to ban professional football. It’s something that competent adults decide to do in exchange for the money, glory and pleasure that they get out of it. We don’t think, in America, that people’s liberty to take risks like that should be interfered with, just so long as they are not harming anyone else. Whatever the risks of steroids, even the most extravagant view of the risks isn’t remotely in that category in terms of potential for permanent disability or even death. There have been dozens of deaths attributed to playing football. I’m not aware of any football players who have died because of steroid use.

    Unfortunately, society is blinded by emotion, at the expense of science, with media-supported steroid hysteria. They are convinced that steroids are deadly and dangerous. And they are willing to overlook the inherent dangers of sport itself.

    The probability of dying while running a marathon is still very low and largely affects those with pre-existing heart conditions; fatality estimates range from 1 in 50,000 to 75,000 to as low as 1 in 100,000. Obviously, the probability of dying while using anabolic steroids is infinitely lower. Nonetheless, the comparative risks of using anabolic steroids have been unfairly exaggerated in the media.

  2. Here are some comments I left on another board regarding the matter:

    Since the original true political motives (for the scheduling of AAS) could never make a sufficient case to justify the current legislative position,
    the alleged "DEADLINESS" of anabolic steroids makes for convenient ruse to garner support for an agenda that few people would get behind otherwise.

    The foundation of the popular view is built fundamentally on half-baked, inaccurate presuppositions, and the theory is wrought with internal inconsistencies.
    There's just simply the available facts on the one hand, and then there's the idea's and beliefs extrapolated from those facts by one side vs the ideas and beliefs of the other side, and then there is the beliefs and ideas of everyone else who doesn't bother with logically extrapolating from any facts at all.

    All drugs have a certain risk to benefit probability ratio when used a certain way, by a certain person, in a certain context. I think people need to know that it's not a
    black and white issue like it's been treated as.

    It's not good vs evil, good guys vs bad guys, it's really a gray area that should be handled as such. Nobody who's bringing up the facts that redeem steroids is actually suggesting that everyone start injecting their infants with mega doses of testosterone. But they instantly get labeled as pro-steroid just for bringing up the fact that it's NOT a black and white "open and shut case, Johnson" situation.

    If more people become aware, and do any kind of critical comparative analysis of the facts, the presumptions, the probabilities, plausibilities and the implausibilities, I believe that it will gradually become clearer to more people that the current paradigm is completely unintelligible.

    (If steroids aren't all ready forgotten by that time. What with myostatin inhibitors, and gene therapy on the way, and artificial red blood cells that will have people holding an Olympic spring for 15mins straight, and holding their breath underwater for 4 hours.)

    If the "deadliness" and the "roid rage" arguments are taken out of the mix, it becomes clearly unethical to imprison gym rats for doing something they feel they are more qualified to make a decision about than the legislative representatives (who invariably possess ZERO knowledge of the human endocrine, and cardio vascular systems anyway.)

    If people like Dr. Gary Wadler think it's unethical to do the studies needed to verify if the position legislation takes on these drugs is justified, then maybe it's
    even more unethical to keep prosecuting people for defying a law that intrudes on personal choice to a much greater degree than seems warranted once one has done a comparative analysis with all the things we DO allow people to chose.

    A tiny percentage of anabolic steroid users cheating in some sport is not sufficient reason to justify the strict penalties applied mostly to the other 80% of users (who are NOT braking the rules of ANY sport, because they are just gym rats).

    If you can't demonstrate the drugs to be (at least) AS dangerous than alcohol, tobacco, (or snow boarding or running for crying out loud) then the cheating should be handled by the sporting organization, not the DEA.

    BTW Tyra Banks' manager guy has been looking for people to argue "our" side of the steroid argument on the show.
    You might be able to find him through Tyra's myspace page, if anyone want' to try to get in on it. I'm not going to. But just so you know, he IS looking.

  3. Yeah I've heard this somehwere too awhile ago, most people would be suprised by this

  4. Quote Originally Posted by UnicronSpawn View Post
    If you can't demonstrate the drugs to be (at least) AS dangerous than alcohol, tobacco, (or snow boarding or running for crying out loud) then the cheating should be handled by the sporting organization, not the DEA.
    I could not agree more with this statement. I'm so tired of hearing "but the athletes are role models for our youth." What kind of role models are they in the first place?? They teach our youth it's okay to lie, cheat, and steal, but STAY AWAY FROM THOSE EVIL STEROIDS. It's ludacris.


  5. Lurker of about 1 1/2 years; finally decided to post. Unicron linked the article to me.

    Here are my thoughts:

    How much does it cost to test 40,000 for illegal enhancements, preexisting health issues, etc.?

    Is this still a marathon, or another cash windfall?

    What about other legal drugs with adverse side effects? If your body temperature goes up by a mere three degrees or more, that is not normal or healthy, regardless of any conditions you may have.

    Go run with a mob of 39,999 other people at the same time, on a hot day, 'confined' to some predetermined pathway, with more people on the sidelines screaming at you to go for it and try to win the race. Sounds right up my alley (not).

    I think this upcoming show will be a waste of time for any one informed about what AAS is and does. I have yet to watch an entire episode of Tyra's show. It makes my brain hurt.

    Pick your battles wisely.

  6. dpfisher
    dpfisher's Avatar

    Quote Originally Posted by Wilderbeast View Post
    It's ludacris.
    No, this is ludacris.

  7. Great post, I'm signed up for the 09 La marathon and Aids half marathon this year.
    Applied Nutriceuticals Representative


  8. Thats cool brother.

    I'm cool with marathons.

    I think the article was just trying to use the marathon example (statistically speaking) to put the steroid situation in perspective. I'm pretty certain that the likely hood of dying from EITHER marathons OR steroids is fairly remote. Lol

    Have fun man.

  9. Quote Originally Posted by WhatsaRoid? View Post
    Great post, I'm signed up for the 09 La marathon and Aids half marathon this year.
    You should run the Rock n Roll marathon in San Diego. It's the best course, always perfect weather/temp and tons of entertainment. I love it. This year I'm doing the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington DC since I live here now.
    Strongest On The Market
    RECOVERBRO: Est. Post #3222

  10. Quote Originally Posted by CopyCat View Post
    You should run the Rock n Roll marathon in San Diego. It's the best course, always perfect weather/temp and tons of entertainment. I love it. This year I'm doing the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington DC since I live here now.
    Sweet I'll look into that next time around. How often do you run?
    Applied Nutriceuticals Representative


  11. Avg. 4 days a week.
    Strongest On The Market
    RECOVERBRO: Est. Post #3222

  12. People do a lot of things to themselves.

  13. Marathons are overrated. I don't see the big deal. Most of the people that do them end up walking most of it anyway. Yeah, big accomplishment there.

  14. great read many thanks!


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