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NOVEMBER 30, 2007

Yesterday I was going over a piece being written for by one of our other authors. Yes, we employ authors other than me…it would be a bit silly for me to be called a “Senior Editor” if there were nothing for me to seniorly edit, right?

In any case, the word I didn’t know (which nobody in the office knew, and which the latest version of MS Word also did not know) was “interpolate”. Alright, since I have a degree in English, I could figure out the word based on its structure (which I did, correctly, I might add)…but I actually had never heard of it previously.

Eventually I was forced to look it up online and found out what it means to “interpolate” [see also: Calculate, Estimate].

But this all reminds me of the current legal definition of anabolic steroids and how this definition came about. Legally, they are defined as schedule 3 controlled substances (there’s 5 schedules altogether). This came about between 1988 and 1990 when Congressional hearings were held on the subject of Anabolic Steroids and whether the Controlled Substances Act ought to be amended to include anabolic steroids lumping them in with drugs like cocaine and heroin [see also: Misguided, Absurd].

Witnesses who testified at the hearings opposed the new legislation. Various medical professionals as well as representatives from the FDA, the DEA (yes, the same DEA who now is forced to do a job they never wanted to do) and even the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) opposed the new legislation. The American Medical Association openly opposed it as well. On the other hand, this is the same American Medical Association who 30 years prior openly said that anabolic steroids don’t impart any athletic advantages.

Despite these recommendations from every agency imaginable, Congress decided to make a decision on the medical/legal status of these drugs [see also: Injustice, Prejudice].

This all begs the question: “Why have expert witnesses testify before Congress if they’re going to ignore all of them?”

And the answer is that it’s an easy political victory for the Congressmen involved. You can pretty much go after steroids all day every day and nobody in the media or the public is going to oppose you. In fact, they’re going to applaud you.

Take a look at the most recent Congressional hearings on anabolic steroids if you don’t believe me. Medical and legal witnesses all testified against several key points of the new legislation…while some kid’s mother came up and cried and talked about how her son killed himself “because he used steroids”. I won’t bore you with the typical “anytime someone takes their life it’s tragic” rhetoric that typically signals the impending onset of an offensive opinion that’s about to be voiced…

But honestly, there is nothing in the literature that even remotely implicates steroids as a causative factor in suicide. But the media chose to show this part of the hearings, along with an occasional celebrity entering the building they were held in…but never decided to air the expert testimony opposing (further) criminalization of anabolic steroids [see also: Biased, Predisposed].

Athletes and crying mothers sell newspapers and make people stay tuned in to the nightly news…doctors and lawyers saying that steroids are reasonably safe do not. Frankly, I’m not impressed by people crying on national television…that’s not something for the nightly news- it’s for Dr. Phil. And furthermore, the hearings weren’t something that I’d ever expect from Congress…rather I’d expect them from Judge Judy or the People’s Court. They were all drama, and good television, but not much more.

So that’s how we ended up with the current steroid legislation. Congress had a seemingly arbitrary anti-steroid agenda…they ignored the agencies involved in policing anabolic steroid use, they ignored the medical professionals, and finally they ignored the legal professionals that they had invited to the hearings, and made their own decision on steroids. [see also: “Kangaroo Court”, “Dog and Pony Show”].


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