From Stefan Lovelace of the Penn State Collegian:
And unfortunately, steroids and illegal substances have spilled down from our professional leagues to the collegiate level. Many athletes take some sort of supplement while training to see improved results on the playing field. Penn State is no exception.
"It's a problem here, but it's a problem everywhere," said Dr. Kristine Clark, Director of Sports Nutrition for Penn State's athletic department, and an assistant professor of nutrition.
"If you took testosterone in low doses, you'll beat the test and still have a performance effect," Yesalis said. "In my opinion, the size of the college [football offensive and defensive] lines, which is underestimated, I can't explain.
"Look at the size of these linebackers that are ripped. Weightlifting doesn't explain it. These drugs are available, affordable, they work and you can circumvent the drug testing process.
"The change in the size of football players, if you take drugs out of the mix, you can't explain it."
According to Clark, within the last decade, the increase of supplements taken among collegiate athletes has risen exponentially. Supplements that have become popular among athletes include protein supplements and shakes, creatine supplements, sports drinks and bars, multi-vitamins, fish oil supplements and the most potentially harmful: dietary supplements.
You should take the time to read the entire article because it is really chock full of factual (and scientifically unproven) claims. The most disturbing part (to me) is that Mr. Lovelace made no attempt to interview or present an opposing side to the argument he was clearly making throughout the piece: steroids=drugs.
Would that nutritionists did a small amount of investigative research they would see that, in the bodybuilding community especially, the tenents of a healthy diet and exercise are considered the first step to a quality physique. Yes, there is steroid use in competative bodybuilding, at least on certain levels, but even the drug tested organizations realize the healthy benefits of smart supplementation taken free of illegal substances. What the nutritionists fail to understand is that most football players need extra macro-nutrients (such as protien) to compete at the high athletic levels that they are constantly performing at. They cannot achieve (or maintain) these levels on a normal Collegiate meal plan, not even an athletes meal plan. It cannot be done.
The answer to this problem is smart, drug-free supplementation, including dietary supplements (which are protien powder, carb drinks and MRP's despite the author trying to seperate them). Creatine has been proven safe, and effective for most young adults over 18 years of age. Protein powder is a safe supplement, as are NO2 supplements, Beta-alanine, glutemine and a host of other compounds including multi-vitamins, the basis for any sensible supplement plan.
The Nutritionists aregument that supplemental micro-nutrients (Vitamin C, A, B and other compounds found in a multi) are "safe" while supplemental macro-nutrients (protein, creatine etc.) are not is simply not based on solid research, for healthy adults over the age of 18, which most College athletes are.
Steroids are illegal in certain professional and most amateur professional sports and should be treated as such. But to equate supplements with illegal substances is a knee-jerk reaction that is not based on any solid scientific evidence and has no place in the debate over what is acceptable in sports.