Exactly what chemicals are the baseball players doping themselves with?
April 10, 2008 6:43 PM   Subscribe

Exactly what are those "steroids" the baseball players are using?

This is a matter of curiosity: what exactly are those "performance enhancing drugs" we hear about in the news so much? "Steroids" is an awfully vague answer to go off of, and googling is fairly useless, due to the extensive (but non-informative) news coverage. What my scientific mind wants to know is what specific chemicals the sports pros are taking. Does anyone have the dirty details?
posted by internet!Hannah to Science & Nature (5 answers total)
'The cream and the clear' were popular ones w/ those tied to Balco (a lot of folks). Rafael "I have never done steroids" Palmeiro got busted using Stanozolol. And it isn't a steroid, but good ole human growth hormone was and still continues to be the rage.

Me, I still pine for the good old nostalgic days of the greenies and leaded coffee. We were all so innocent!
posted by xmutex at 6:49 PM on April 10, 2008

While I don't know exactly what the big leaguers use, I can tell you that Dianabol is fairly popular among weightlifters and bodybuilders who juice. It was developed by the doctor for the US Olympic Weightlifting Team. The pros might use this, or there are a few other well known steroids, like Winstrol/Stanzolol (not just for those of the equine persuasion anymore!). Then again they may be buying some designer steroid.
posted by QuarterlyProphet at 6:51 PM on April 10, 2008

Well, a steroid is technically just a member of a class of hormones, defined by a certain chemical structure. Estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone are all naturally occurring steroids. Anabolic steroids are related synthetic chemicals used as performance enhancers in sports (among many other uses). "Anabolic" basically means "tissue-creating", where the tissues of primary interest are muscles. There's actually a wide range of specific steroids that are used, I believe, but the overall point of all of them is that they act like testosterone.

"Performance enhancing drugs" is a much broader category, and could include caffeine, pseudephedrine, and other relatively mundane drugs that you encounter every day. Of course the definition of this category is up for debate, but since you're looking for specific chemicals, I'll throw creatine out there - it's a naturally occurring acid that is instrumental in muscle development, and it's definitely widely used as a supplement among weight trainers.

It would be hard to make an exhaustive list... take a look inside GNC sometime; 2/3 of the stuff on their shelves could be considered "performance enhancing" for some sports.
posted by rkent at 7:36 PM on April 10, 2008

This article in American Scientist addresses this very issue.
posted by Uncle Jimmy at 8:27 PM on April 10, 2008

For stuff that's not against the rules, with a prescription, players take adderall to help them concentrate. Additionally, many players "eye juice" or get LASIK done to improve their vision (though this common in many sports).
posted by drezdn at 7:02 AM on April 11, 2008

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