I know I haven’t posted lately, my life has been very hectic with my brother’s declining health and the health problems of my husband as well. However, after reading a particular story, I had to sound off on this. There is no doubt in my mind Barry Bonds is cheating, and it comes in the form of a MLB approved drug!
From this article on the official Giants Web site;
Bonds said that he had stopped taking prednisone, which is prescribed to treat arthritis. "Normally I take my prednisone; I haven’t done it all year," he said. "Normally I take it to keep the swelling out of my body as I got older. I forgot about it. We all forgot about it."
Prednisone is a corticosteroid — not an anabolic steroid, which are at the heart of baseball’s performance-enhancing drug controversy that has enveloped Bonds.
Now, as someone who has taken Prednisone long-term I found this to be very interesting. First of all, Prednisone has many negative side effects on your health. It can cause thinning of the skin, Glaucoma, Diabetes, vascular problems, weight gain, water retention, Osteoporosis, sleep problems as well as mental instability. These are not even considered "possible" side effects… more like these will happen if you take it long-term. For this reason, Prednisone is usually not prescribed for just anything. The most common reason for Prednisone long-term prescribed use would be auto-immune diseases, organ transplants, and Cancer. Short-term use (in dose packs) is used for allergic reactions as well as some short-term illnesses such as Pneumonia. It would never be prescribed by an ethical doctor for aging, such as Bonds mentioned. For another thing, Prednisone is dangerous because if usage is stopped suddenly, the person will go into steroidal shock and can die if they have been on it for awhile. So, why would Bonds be taking a potentially dangerous health altering hormone?
To understand the issue, you must understand what Prednisone does to the body and mind. The benefits for an athlete are astounding, and my husband and I have even joked before about how many would potentially abuse this drug if they knew of it’s power. It can make a person who normally couldn’t get out of bed because of pain levels feel like they could run a marathon (I know, it happened to me). It gives you a psychological boost… a high like found with Amphetamines. It does away with fatigue and… temporarily… makes pain a distant memory.
So the question really is… just why exactly would Bonds be taking this if not for MLB approved performance enhancement? This sure seems like a legal loophole to use steroids. Bonds in no way has a serious enough illness to be prescribed long-term use of Prednisone, and no doctor acting in an ethical manner would ever prescribe it for the reason Bonds stated. This is the perfect drug to abuse if a player wanted to combat mental or physical fatigue. It’s astoundingly cheap (at the most, $10 a month… for someone without insurance).
Prednisone also drains the body of Calcium, people taking it are asked to take larger than normal amounts of Calcium supplements. The arthritis Bonds would be speaking of would be Osteo-Arthritis, which is not inflammatory. It is caused by wear and tear… age. Prednisone would not be prescribed for non-inflammatory arthritis as it’s sole function for prescribed use is to combat inflammation.
Is this reason enough to say Bonds is cheating? From a long-term user of Prednisone… I say yes, without a doubt. Other people may disagree, and if so I welcome your opinion on the matter, but my experience with this drug is enough for me to feel confident that Bonds is indeed using a potentially harmful medication solely to prolong his ability to continue his career, and is doing so with it prescribed unethically for this purpose. I question the integrity of any physician willing to go against ethics and prescribe a medication for something not medically needed and to be abused by any athlete. In my mind, the only difference between the "potential" use of anabolic steroids and his use of Prednisone is the fact that MLB allows Prednisone use. The reason… an advantage in playing ability… is the same either way.