Friday, May 17, 2024

Stars, Steroids and Their Fans’ Stupidity

January 15, 2008 by  
Filed under News, Weekly Columns

( Pay attention folks…history quite possibly could be repeating itself. The New York steroids probe which recently named artists such as 50 Cent, Timbaland, Mary J. Blige, Tyler Perry and others is neither celebrity gossip or idle/idol chatter. It’s very real and very serious.

This could be Michael Vick all over again. I’ll explain in a moment.

For the past two seasons, Major League Baseball has been dealing with the specter of steroids and how it has irrevocably changed the sport’s perception and popularity. It has called into question the legitimacy of its stars, their statistics and their enduring legacy. The recent Mitchell Report is thought to be only the tip of the proverbial iceberg, only scraping the surface as to the widespread use of “performance-enhancing drugs.”

In sports…they’re called “performance-enhancing drugs.” Everywhere else, they’re just “drugs.” Not necessarily “narcotics,” but drugs nonetheless. They are controlled substances.

“Controlled substances” is the key distinction here.

It means you can’t POSSESS it unless a doctor LEGALLY prescribes it to you. It means you can’t use some of your friend’s batch, even though he/she might have been legally prescribed it. It means you can’t knowingly have bogus prescriptions filled because your doctor is unscrupulous.

This is also true for vicodin, oxycodone, marijuana, Xanax, and thousands of other “controlled substances.”

Again, “controlled substances” is the key distinction here.

Steroids/HGH are controlled substances and illegal unless lawfully prescribed by a doctor to the POSSESSOR.

This story is still evolving and already the excuses and dismissive rhetoric, founded upon ignorance are making their rounds.

“Mary J.’s not buff…she couldn’t have used steroids.”

“It’s no big deal, who cares what they do to their own bodies?”

“50 Cent works out 3 times a day and only eats baked chicken and broccoli…he doesn’t use steroids.”

“The gub’ment is out to get Black entertainers.”

Any of that sound vaguely familiar?

First, I’m going to try to combat the relative ignorance about steroids/HGH and what they actually do. From there we’ll come back around to Michael Vick.

Steroids or HGH in measured doses (cycles) will increase lean muscle mass. Whether it eventually becomes “bulk” depends on your fitness routine and the location of the injections/applications.

For men over the age of 35, testosterone production by the body decreases, a byproduct of age. Steroids/HGH in these “measured doses” can help equal out the diminishing amounts produced by the body. In other words, one can continue to “look” younger, longer…having nothing to do with increased mass. Maintain that physique, maintain that grueling tour schedule, maintain that workout regimen.

Steroids/HGH help men at the minimum to maintain. It can lead to bulk, but steroids/HGH are not to be equated solely with hyper-muscularity.

Similarly, in women, steroids/HGH allow women to bounce back quicker after childbirth and in both sexes also allow for longer workouts, increased stamina and less soreness. A woman wishing to tone up in various locations could benefit quicker and more thoroughly from the addition of steroids/HGH into her regimen.

Imagine working out more, with less lactic acid (soreness) afterwards. Working out as we all know could be cardio (aerobic) weights (anaerobic) or both. The use of steroids/HGH does not necessarily equate to muscle mass. The variables of dosage, location and frequency all are at play.

As to “why” would entertainers (both male and female) use them…

It’s the same reason why Lil Kim would undergo cosmetic surgery. It’s the same reason why Vivica Fox also elected to have cosmetic surgery.


Their bodies are their business. Not “business” in the sense of privacy, but “business” in the sense of financial solvency.

When was the last time you saw 50 Cent in a shirt? When was the last time you saw an overweight SUPERstar? Not a “star” but a SUPERstar? Magazine covers, photo spreads and commercials are reserved for the physically taut.

A singer wouldn’t use steroids/HGH to “sing” better but would use them to maintain a competitive advantage in terms of appearance and marketability.

For those of you under the age of 35, I’m here to tell you it’s ten times as hard to physically maintain what you had in your 20s. The six-pack, the pectorals, even the stamina to maintain the workouts slowly fades with time. And when “maintaining” is the difference between making millions (i.e. endorsements, movie roles) and not making millions…

You can fill in the rest.

What has most “surprised” me is that some people were “surprised” at this supposed revelation. The use of steroids/HGH in the entertainment industry has been a well-known fact, for many years now.

Dating back to bodybuilders in the 1970s, steroids have always been prevalent in the process of chiseling physiques. This isn’t new.

Do you think the actors in the movie “300” got their physiques ONLY by spending 3 hours in a gym everyday?

If you do, I might also be able to interest you in some “beachfront property” in Nebraska.

But back to Michael Vick…

When the story of Michael Vick first broke, even up until sentencing…far too many of us in the African-American community “didn’t get it.”

“Dogfighting isn’t a big deal.”

“Hunting is legal, so why are they tripping on dogfighting.”

“The gub’ment is out to get Michael Vick”

Dogfighting is and has been a felony in 49 states for quite some time. Whether or not “we” think dogfighting was an “important” crime is irrelevant.

It IS a crime. It IS illegal. There is nothing to argue.

Steroids/HGH, unless legally prescribed to the person possessing it. If you legally have been prescribed it and you give it to someone else, you’ve committed the crime of distribution. It largely carries the same penalties as the distribution of marijuana, heroin and the like.

It IS a crime. It IS illegal. There is nothing to argue.

As this story continues to unfold, we’ll learn the extent of the involvement of the named celebrities and whether they’ve in any way illegally possessed or used steroids and/or HGH.

But in our continuing discussion of the issue, the goal is to be informed. Always remember, Ignorantia juris non excusat.

“Ignorance of the law excuses no one.” 50 Cent, Mary J. Blige, et. al better have their ducks (and prescriptions) in order, or they will go the way of Michael Vick. As of now, the authorities are looking at the doctors involved and their prescription practices…but that doesn’t mean the investigation will end there. Do remember, the Feds went to Michael Vick’s house investigating his friends for drugs. Just because the finger doesn’t initially point at you, doesn’t mean it won’t eventually get around to you.

Written By Morris W. O’Kelly

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