Tuesday, 22 November 2011

The Not So "Beautiful" Game: The Truth About Drugs in Football, And More!

A friend of mine mentioned this programme was on. I forgot about it, then luckily I just switched over to Channel 4 on Monday night- whilst seeing what was on TV- and it was on! 95-98% of whats on TV is complete rubbish. But there are some decent, interesting programmes on (now and again), and this was one of them.

It was surprising to me, that in the UK, footballers are generally drug tested only once in every seven years. Compared to the footballers in Serie A (the Italian football league), who test two random players after each game! This equates to 4000-4500 tests a year.

The drug tests are supposed to test every kind of drug, be it recreational to sports performance. The amount of recreational drug use (mainly cocaine) in English football is very high, just because it is "in," to quote one of the players being interviewed on the programme.

Also, according to drug testing rules and regulations, when comes to "sports performance" substances such as the steroid testosterone (which is the most common sports performance drug in football and in sports in general). If an athletes testosterone to epitestosterone ratios or T/E ratios are 4:1 or over (the numbers represent the molecule), this means an athlete could be using anabolic steroids. Most "average" people have a ratio of about 1:1 in their urine.

Saying that, some people do have naturally high levels of testosterone compared to epitestosterone (your typical alpha males and females types with a sightly longer ring finger than index finger). You can find out more on the 2D:4D finger ratio in the book 59 Seconds. Men and women who have higher levels of testosterone can build muscle fairly easily, have a more V-taper look, are quick-witted, need more variety in their training and tend do better and power / strength types sports.

But the most common reasons why athletes use steroids is due to:

Being chronically over trained

Having a poor coach (there are lots of them)

Poor eating habits

Eating foods they are intolerant to

Not getting enough rest

Having too much pressure and not having the confidence to handle it, and

Being overly frustrated (because all of the above)

If they just, at the very least:

Learnt to eat right for them (in other words, finding out their metabolic type)

Trained correctly - using the correct reps, sets and loads, etc

Rested up enough

Used good quality supplements to heal and bring their bodies back into balance (if needed)

The only expectations to this, is, if someone has a goal or dream to become the next Mr or Miss Universe / Olympia. To compete at that level in bodybuilding they would use drugs, anyone who says any different is deluded. But I still have a lot of respect for these guys, for the amount of work they put in. So should you.

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