Manny Ramirez Denies Using Steroids, But Should Athletes Be Able to Take Them?

Romano says, "Every adult should be able to do whatever they want, as long as they're not hurting anybody else."

Fost says those known side effects would be minimized if steroids were legal.

"If athletes are going to use these things, it would be better to have them on the table, where informed doctors can help them get the right drug with the right dose and fewer side effects," he says.

"No. I don't think you supervise the abuse of a drug," Wadler counters. "And I know there are people out there who strongly feel that I am misguided. I strongly disagree with them."

Then if steroids are such a major threat in Wadler's mind, there must be lots of high-profile heart attacks and steroids. Wadler wouldn't cite any.

"I don't have that information at my fingertips," he says. The reality is that, despite all the hysteria surrounding a few high-profile deaths, there is little evidence to support the connection to steroids.

So what about the Chris Benoit "'roid rage" killings? The medical examiner later said there was no evidence that the testosterone he was taking caused the crime. There's evidence that steroids can increase aggression in some people, but Fost says: "There are millions and millions of American males who have been on steroids and not too many of them have ever gone out and killed somebody."

Using Steroids: Cheating?

"The overwhelming examples of criminal behavior by professional athletes has nothing to do with steroids," he continues.

But even if the medical dangers are overstated, steroid use still feels like cheating, right?

"I don't know why you would think this is cheating any more than the hundreds of other things athletes do to enhance their performance," says Fost, referring to things like Tiger Woods improving his vision to 20/15 with Lasik eye surgery, professional bikers sleeping in hyperbaric chambers or swimmer Janet Evans attributing her Olympic Gold Medal to a special greasy swimsuit.

"Sport is nothing more than an activity governed by rules," replied Wadler. "Rules which are totally arbitrary ... And if you don't want to play by those rules, don't play."

If professional sports leagues want to restrict what substances their players can or cannot take, they have every right to do so. But why is Congress even getting involved?

"This is part of our duty to protect the American people," says Cummings. "The fact is that we're doing this to help out children."

Nobody wants steroids to be available to kids. But why can't their use just be restricted to adults, like alcohol and cigarettes?

"The real argument is that there are so much more dangerous substances out there that kids are abusing -- alcohol, drugs, tobacco, aerosols, paint, glue," says Romano. "Why aren't we, as a nation, as a society, focusing on the more dangerous things and putting less focus on esoteric things like big arms?"

To learn more about the steroid subculture, check out Christopher Bell's documentary "Bigger, Stronger, Faster."

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