More on the sports-politics link

Related to the previous post, is the hubbub over steroid use in baseball, and why our elected leaders are poking their noses into this issue. Here are two pieces by Matt Welch: Jock Sniffing: Congress has no business examining baseball’s urine George Bush vs. Barry Bonds: The government’s effective smear campaign against baseball’s best player And here’s another Reason piece, this one by Dayn Perry, which considers the health effects of steroid use:

Anecdotal accounts of harrowing side effects are not hard to find — everything from “‘roid rage” to sketchy rumors of a female East German swimmer forced to undergo a sex change operation because of the irreversible effects of excess testosterone. But there are problems with the research that undergirds many of these claims. The media give the impression that there’s something inevitably Faustian about taking anabolics — that gains in the present will undoubtedly exact a price in the future. Christopher Caldwell, writing recently in The Wall Street Journal, proclaimed, “Doctors are unanimous that [anabolic steroids] increase the risk of heart disease, and of liver, kidney, prostate and testicular cancer.” This is false. “We know steroids can be used with a reasonable measure of safety,” says Charles Yesalis, a Penn State epidemiologist, steroid researcher for more than 25 years, and author of the 1998 book The Steroids Game. “We know this because they’re used in medicine all the time, just not to enhance body image or improve athletic performance.”