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Muscle Sport Magazine

Alzado, Benoit & Caminiti Debate on Fox Sports Radio

First off, I would like to thank the guys at Fox Sports Radio for giving us here at MuscleSport Mag the opportunity to come on the air on March 3. This was in response to a topic of discussion back in February about anabolic steroids and if they caused the deaths of Lyle Alzado, Ken Caminiti and Chris Benoit.

After being contacted by Michael Coover and invited on the Brian Webber and Derek Deese show this Sunday, I gladly accepted, firmly standing by what I wrote right here:

(https://www.musclesportmag.com/msm30/2009/02/15/fox-sports-radio-pair-the-epitome-of-steroid-ignorance/)

The hosts had some fun leading up to the segment and doubted that a discussion of this type can be cordial. Quite the contrary, I felt as if all parties did a good job in stating their opinions properly. Webber called it an “intelligent exchange” and that I made an “articulate argument.”

In the end, it seemed as if the three of us “agreed to disagree,” but I must also point out that the argument  I made did have some scientific backing while Webber and Deese’s platform mostly relied on speculation and the old “I’ll guess we’ll never know for sure because they (the three names in question) are not here to tell us” argument.

I plainly stated that I was not being “pro steroid,” but rather “pro fact,” and that our responsibilities as journalists should take precedent over any opinions that we may harbor.

It has been stated time and time again that Alzado died from brain lymphoma, a rare form of cancer. As stated in the ESPN Classic SportsCentury episode on the former NFL player, “there is no medical link between steroids and brain lymphoma.” What I did point out to the Fox hosts was that if Alzado already had cancer, the use of human growth hormone (and not steroids – which I tried to point out were two different things) could have enhanced the size of the tumor.

When the Benoit case was brought up by Webber, I echoed what had been reported all along – that the so-called ‘roid rage’ being blamed for his actions, in all likelihood, could not have occurred over three days. Of course, the few minutes that we were on the air couldn’t allow for in-depth reading, but if time allowed I would have quoted Sports Illustrated Senior Investigative Reporter Luis Fernando Llosa, who said on CNN, “It probably wasn’t roid rage. I mean, roid rage is specific and impulsive.”

Benoit’s own father Michael allowed for neuropathological tests on his deceased son’s brain, which revealed extensive signs of Chronic Trauma Encephalopathy (CTE), which could have caused or contributed to his actions.

Caminiti, the former NL MVP, died from a drug overdose ( as his official autopsy proved) and his previous steroid use during his playing career could not have contributed to his death. This was not discussed much in comparison to the other two names.

As far as the hosts interpreting my original article as accusing Deese, a former NFL offensive lineman, of using PEDs, I pointed out to him on the air that he was reading into it too much. I clearly stated “not making any accusations” and meant exactly that. Unfortunately, after I was off the air, Webber and Deese again stated that I did make an accusation. Added Webber, “It’s the old ‘with all due respect’- then you punch somone in the ‘nads.”

My intentions were not to be slandering in any way but merely trying to point out that as a former NFL player in an era where steroids were used, he may have more knowledge on the subject than his radio partner, which he apparently did when we continued discussing the subject.

Deese staunchly denied ever using steroids and I have no problem believing him. When I posed to him if he knew of  any teammates that may have been using, he did not deny that, only stating that he never actually witnessed someone using in the locker room. “If I had any idea – that’s a different story,” said Deese. “Maybe I heard of people that had done it.”

While we were on the subject of today’s athletes being bigger and stronger and why, Deese pointed out that the reason is due to the training being better. I responded by stating that pertains more to baseball players than football players, who have always trained with weights while their baseball brethren only recently have been encouraged to do so.

While I tried to bring reported proof to back up my claims (or to put it better, dispute theirs), they seemed to keep it at a comfort level to merely dismiss them by relying on the shallow theory that steroids ‘had’ to be the culprit. “I think it’s absurd to say with any certainty that steroids were not a factor with Alzado, Caminiti and Benoit,” said Webber.

“You can’t,” Deese added. “To me that’s crazy. It just doesn’t make any sense.”

Yes, it does and I am not the only one who believes it. The medical profession has backed up the facts in all three cases.

One Comment

  1. Pingback: FOX Sports Radio’s Deese & Moriarity – An Example in Misinformation | Muscle Sport Magazine

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