Androstenodione

5 PAGES
663 WORDS

Androstenodione

This past year a lot of things have happened in the
world. President Clinton could possibly be impeached.
Our government tried to once again take over Sadaam
Hussein. And Mark McGwire hit 70 home runs to break
Roger Maris’ record of 61. During this extraordinary
event in the baseball world, one item of skepticism
clouded the entire accomplishment. During an interview
that he was giving next to his locker, a reporter
noticed a bottle on the top shelf. This bottle was
filled with a nutritional pill titled androstenedione, a
legal dietary supplement that is a
testosterone-producing drug that helps the body repair
itself after workouts. This repairment, in turn, helps
the person taking it build muscle faster.
Some sports fans, and some who are not, say that
McGwire’s record should be discounted due to the use of
this pill. I am not one of those people. What he did
this year was a personal accomplishment and while the
“andro” may have helped a little, Mark did this through
years of hard work in the batting cages. As a skinny
rookie in 1987, McGwire managed to knock 49 baseballs
out of the park. I think that 11 more years experience
in the league could provide a player with the experience
to chalk up another 21 dingers.
Now granted, I can see some skeptics points.
Androstenedione is a supplement that has been banned by
a number of sports organizations worlwide: the NFL,
NCAA, and the International Olympic Committee for
example. But Major League Baseball is not one of these
organizations. So why then should his record be nixed
for breaking a rule that does not even apply in his
sport? The answer is he shouldn’t. Mark McGwire is a
superb athlete who bettered his game by following the
rules. He did absolutely nothing wrong in obtaining
this once thought of unobtainable record.
Another aspect to look at is that Sammy Sosa also
had a tremendous year. This Chicago Cub hit 66 home
runs this year and he has never touched androstenedione.
How hard is it for a fellow slugger to hit 4 more? Not
that difficult if you are as high a caliber player as
McGwire.
Muscle building supplements have been used for
years in pro and college athletic programs. Creatine,
probably the most popular, is used by virtually every
major college in the country. Even your average weight
lifter uses it. Androstenedione is just one step higher
on the dietary scale, and only by a fraction. A
statement was issued by the Cardinal’s medical staff
concerning androstenedione when the supposed “scandal”
surfaced. Now, there is a possibility that it may be a
tad biased but keep in mind that the ladies and
gentlemen that issued this statement are still doctors.
“Androstenedione is a natural substance, which is a
natural precursor product of testosterone. It has
no proven anabolic steroid effect nor significant
side effects. It stimulates slight increase levels
for a short period of time (1 hour). Taken
approximately one hour before workouts, it may make
one’s workout more efficient.
“Due to current research that locks documentary
evidence of any adverse side effects, the
Cardinal’s medical staff cannot object to Mark’s
choice to use this legal and over-the-counter
supplement.”
If doctor after doctor repeatedly defends
androstenedione as harmless and the FDA approves its
use, why all the controversy? Creatine is basically the
same thing and is used on a much more widespread basis,
yet no one questions its use. Why? I think that partly
the reason may be because Mark McGwire is so good and so
powerful. Roger Maris’ record was never even threatened
up until this year. Living in the type of country we
do, people needed to find a bad side to everything that
is pure. Even if no rule was broken, the public accuses
anyway. If legal muscle enhancing products were
outlawed and everyone who used them had their records
revoked, the standard by which we measure athletic
greatness would be considerably lower.
Regardless of whether or not Mr. McGwire used a
muscle enhancing product or not, he accomplished a
spectacular feat. Something legal that he did should
not question the validity of that event. It is a sad
fact that a sports hero can break a once thought
untouchable record and now his name will forever be
flawed for no reason at all.

Health and Beauty

Read the full essay 663 words