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Welcome to Steroid Nation, a Weblog started in June 2006 from the office of Gary R. Gaffney M.D., a the University of Iowa. This log originates from research, discussions, and compositions compiled over the past several years with professionals, friends, students, athletes, and research assistants concerning the use and abuse of anabolic agents in sports.

I (GRG) have long been interested in the effects of substances on sports performance. As far back as the 80s, when I was a resident in Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, I maintained an interest in the effects and side effects of anabolic steroids. With my friend Robert Cockerell, M.D., I engaged on any number of adventures and misadventures looking at the anabolic scene in Baltimore at that time. We even consulted with James Wright, who was the reigning expert on anabolics back then. A new entry into the anabolic arena - Human Growth Hormone was emerging (obtained from cadavers). Needless to say, we were pencil-necked geeks groping about in a hypertrophied world.

I maintained my interest through the years in various academic appointments, and various athletic endeavors of my own and my children. I was fortunate to land at the University of Iowa, home of Paul Perry, Ph.D. an authority on the pharmaceutical and clinical aspects of anabolics. Paul, with Bill Yates, M.D. had embarked on a number of studies of anabolics.

With Jesse Temple (a senior to be, basketball player, and sports editor at Knox College) I have again compiled some recent literature on anabolics, be they steroids or peptides, or whatever, in the summer of 2006.

The use of these performance enhancing agents exploded into the American consciousness and media spotlight in the past 24 months. The BALCO investigations, the books by Jose Canseco ('Juiced'), and the investigative team from the San Francisco Examiner ('Game of Shadows'), have all kept anabolics on the front burner of American interest.

The idea of pharmacological aids to athletic performance is not new, as reports on the subject will attest. From the early plant extracts (mushrooms and sesame seeds) of Greece, to the Nazi 'Supermen', to current Olympic gold medalists and home run champs, the use of powerful performance-enhancing substances has occurred to give competitors a pharmacologic edge.

In this Weblog we will address several issues over time:
- the history of PEDs
- current anabolics, and emerging anabolic drugs
- evidence of the beneficial and deleterious effects of these agents
- social commentary (how can I resist?)

Please feel free to comment. Just don't call us pencil-necked geeks :-)

Also my author page in Britannica:


Sports, psychopharmacology, politics, the dysfunctional health care system