Steroid Nation documented Pittsburgh Steeler's Steel Curtain's use of anabolic steroids (here, here, and here), and the Steelers unenviable record of early death and dismemberment. Last week on the DNa Patrick Show (ESPN Radio) Steelier QB Terry Bradshaw said he 'roided too -- although according to this piece, there was confusion between an anti-inflammatory steroid like cortisol and an anabolic steroid like Dianabol. To the New York Daily News:
When Hall of Fame quarterback turned broadcaster Terry Bradshaw disclosed last week that he used steroids as a Pittsburgh Steeler quarterback, it was unclear whether he was referring to corticosteroids or anabolic steroids, two very different categories of drugs.
In a freewheeling radio interview with Sports Illustrated’s Dan Patrick last week, Bradshaw said he used steroids for healing purposes as a member of the vaunted Steeler teams of the 1970s, and that a doctor administered the injections.
“We did steroids to get away the aches and the speed of healing,” Bradshaw said. “My use of steroids from a doctor was to speed up injury, and thought nothing of it… It was to speed up the healing process, that was it. It wasn’t to get bigger and stronger and faster.”
Many athletes take corticosteroids in the form of cortisone shots, which are neither illegal nor banned by professional sports leagues. But Bradshaw then brought up late Steve Courson, his former teammate in those years.
Courson certainly used anabolic steroids, describing to Sports Illustrated in 1985 a complex regimen of Anadrol-50, Dianabol, Winstrol and Deca Durobilin. He became an avowed anti-steroid activist before he died in 2005 in a tree-cutting accident.
“Steve Courson didn’t die of steroid use but he had severe problems with it,” Bradshaw said.
Bradshaw said the medical care in the years he played in the NFL was less than stellar and that a recent MRI revealed two broken vertebrae he was unaware of.
Steve Courson recounted his story in 'False Glory' where he documented a real psychological (or physical) dependence on the juice. Serious stuff as the number of Steelers coming to an early demise attests (although one cannot directly link the Steeler's early death rate to anabolic steroid use alone).
Bradshaw survived. Perhaps the legend of the Steelers won't survive quite as untarnished as we once thought.