Alex Rodriguez came clean this week, but there's still some dirty business going on. It's a little tough for me to swallow A-Rod saying, "To be quite honest I don't know exactly what substance I was guilty of using..." The same way he was lying when 15 months ago he told CBS's Katie Couric that he never used performance-enhancing drugs.
Alex is the highest paid player in baseball. His body is his business. At his level, I'm sure everything he does is microscopically analyzed. His swing, his workouts, his diet -- to mold him into most perfect baseball machine ever. As a steroid abuser for 20 years, I can assure you he knew exactly what he was taking. Each and every time I took a steroid, I always knew EXACTLY what I was taking. In reality I became my very own science project. Here's what I know:
Primobolan, one of the drugs A-Rod tested positive for, has fat burning or cutting qualities, and has a reputation for being a non-aromatizing steroid. Meaning a lot of the side-effects associated with estrogen producing steroids, like man-boobs, water retention and acne, are lessened.
Primobolan is also often used as a base compound for combining with other steroids, what is referred to in the drug community as "stacking." Stacking was always a great way to get the most benefits out of different drugs while trying to minimize their side-effects.
In my steroid days, I tried the same testosterone-Primobolan stack that A-Rod tested positive for a handful of times. The results were a lean look with positive strength gains, along with a touch of aggression that helped shuttle me through Gladiator events, without the bloating or the huge size gains that would make me look like a "muscle head."
What does this all add up to?
That A-Rod, the perfect baseball machine, knew exactly what he was taking. He took a steroid cocktail that one couldn't stumble upon accidentally at GNC, but rather one that was taken with the keen eyes of an expert who was trying to maximize the benefits while mitigating the side effects.
Having been in the same situation as A-Rod, but of course in a much smaller spotlight, I know it's tough to admit to having used steroids, and I applaud him for this. And I do appreciate that he's done what is expected of him and seemed humble and emotional as he apologized and asked for forgiveness. But if he's really sorry, and wants rehabilitate his image, then I suggest he speak to the next generation of young athletes and tells them about the harmful side effects of steroids. The trickle down effect his steroid use has had upon the A-Rod hopefuls is immeasurable. These A-Rod hopefuls won't have the cadre of trainers, nutritionist and physicians at their side monitoring their use of drugs. These young athletes won't take the time to build the requisite strength and skills necessary to make it to the pros, but instead will try to inject themselves to stardom. The worst part of this is that they'll probably be using the most toxic crap they've gotten from Mexico or on the black market -- and their story isn't going to end happily. Look at Taylor Hooten. Look at Lyle Alzado. Look at Chris Benoit. Enough said.
Dan Clark is the author of the new book "Gladiator - A True Story of Roids, Rage and Redemption."