DEATH & STEROIDS (what about the coaches?) By Ben Yosef
Let me start this letter by saying that I have been truly focusing on being more pro-natural and less anti-drug. When I first started publishing these magazines I would occasionally bash the steroid-using side of the sport. I would do this in some of these Letters from the Editor, on social media, and in conversations with various people.
This year I turned 40, and with this landmark birthday came a desire for more peace and calm. I want to put out and attract only the most positive and healthy vibes and energy. I have always been this way, but now this urge is more prevalent than ever. And as much as my opinions on the drug game were honest and true to how I felt, as well as supported and shared by many, there was a negative energy behind them. That being said, much still troubles me about steroids in our sport.
As many of us know, there have been a great many deaths (often due to kidney and heart failure) where steroid use and the use of pharmaceutical-grade diuretics were contributing factors. I recall the many years I spent reading the pages of bodybuilding magazines such as Flex and MD that literally had monthly obituaries dedicated to these premature deaths. Each month I read of athletes who were well known, many of whom I had been a fan of, who had fallen. Names like Sonny Schmidt, Andreas Munzer, Mohammed Benaziza, Don Youngblood, Art Attwood, (and most recently Nasser El Sonbaty and Mike Matarazzo).
And each month I just thought, Dang that’s too bad. Sort of like, That sucks, but it’s ok. I think back to those days now and wonder what was I thinking? Dying as a result of the quest for muscles? For a title? For a trophy?
Fast forward to modern day bodybuilding. Although deaths within the sport appear to be less frequent (probably as a result of learning from the tragic mistakes of previous decades) they are still occurring. So, here’s what really gets to me. What about the coaches? The trainers who are illegally administering these drugs to their athletes? Do they feel guilty? How can these trainers just say, “Oh well,” when one of their clients dies? How do they go on? How do they continue doing what they do? I mean there are coaches, some well known and others that are lesser known, who are actually killing people. And yet they continue prescribing potentially lethal cocktails year after year. How can this possibly be ok?
As a trainer, I pride myself on teaching my athletes and clients proper form. And I truly believe this is why I have never had a client sustain any significant injuries. Sure, there have been a few dings here an there but even with a minor muscle tweak I get this horrible feeling of guilt, even when it is clearly not my fault. Wow, imagine how I would feel if I actually killed someone.
ben yosef editor-in-chief
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Ben Yosef is the Founder and President of MiBoLife Publishing (Natural Magazine International, Natural Gainz Magazine, Natural Bikini Magazine, Vigorous Magazine & Intensely Beautiful). He is also a the Founder and president of the IPL (International Physique League) and the UPCA (United Physique Competitors Association). Ben is a Lifetime Drug-free Bodybuilder, and the creator of the MD-7 Training System.