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November 16, 1984

Death in the Locker Room: Steroids and Sports

Author Affiliations

Georgetown University School of Medicine Washington, DC

JAMA. 1984;252(19):2771. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03350190063026

Several years ago I handed out a questionnaire to several runners, asking: "If I could give you a pill that would make you an Olympic champion and also kill you in a year, would you take it?" More than half of the athletes answered they would take my magical pill.

Athletes sacrifice so much and put so much time and effort into attaining world-class level that they often lose sight of other goals. Many would pay any price to become the best.

It is no secret that almost all top athletes in competitive events requiring great strength have taken anabolic steroids at some time. Most were given the pills by "false prophets" who say the pills are harmless.

Death in the Locker Room tells it like it is from the viewpoint of Bob Goldman, a medical student and world-class weight lifter. He has read the scientific literature to learn how