Brent Musburger: Why Can't Pro Athletes Use Steroids?

Brent Musburger

Photo: AP

Legendary broadcaster Brent Musburger spoke some hard truths about steroids yesterday, pointing out that no one really knows how harmful they are to the human body–and that maybe it wouldn’t be so terrible if pro athletes used them under a doctor’s supervision.Speaking to a group of journalism students at the University of Montana, the 71-year-old college football announcer railed against reporters who accuse first and then don’t even bother to ask questions later.

“They come in with a negative view and they take it from there,” he said, blaming steroid hysteria on “journalism youngsters out there covering sports (who) got too deeply involved in something they didn’t know too much about.”

The World Anti-Doping Agency fought back with a statement by Dr. Gary Wadler, who leads the committee that determines the banned-substances list:

“I can show him voluminous literature going back decades about the adverse effects of steroids. They have a legitimate role in medicine that’s clearly defined. But if it’s abused, it can have serious consequences.”

The emphasis is added there, because I believe Musburger’s entire point is that if steroid use was left up to athletes and their doctors, the possibility of abuse would be greatly reduced. (He also clearly stated it should be off-limits to high school and college athletes.) When asked to explain his comments, Musburger stood by them, telling the AP that “the issue of steroids belongs in the hands of doctors and not in the hands of a journalist.”

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