July 13, 2004

The Abuse of Anabolic Steroids and Their Precursors by Adolescent and Amateur Athletes

Curtis Wenslaff
Former User and Dealer of Illegal Steroids

Good day Mr. Grassley, members of the Drug Caucus, ladies and gentlemen:

I appreciate the opportunity to share with you my personal experience with anabolic steroids, as well as offer you my opinion on several related issues.

I began using anabolic steroids, initially, for only one purpose. That purpose was to help me in my quest to earn a college athletic scholarship. I began taking steroids in the summer of 1981, just prior to my senior year of high school. Steroids were always an option for me because of "guilt by association", i.e., I trained at a gym in Southern California that was frequented by many notable body builders. My close association with world class body builders and other athletes, provided a constant source of steroid knowledge. I quickly learned steroid names, sources, uses, doses, techniques, arrays, and combination training cycles.

At that time my increasing knowledge of which steroids to use for certain purposes, and how to administer them, I believe, allowed me a greater sophistication of steroid knowledge than an "average" steroid user. For example, as a teenager I knew specific drugs, when taken in much smaller amounts than their dosages are packaged, can be as much as ten times the strength of testosterone. Clearly, this is not common knowledge even among serious steroid users. Please understand, it is now twenty-three years later, and this "trade-secret" remains virtually unknown by most steroid users. Therefore, when I say I had a substantial working knowledge of steroids as a teenager, the point is not overstated.

Although I did take steroids, I never "abused" their use. During my training, I was carefully monitored by experienced users and trainers. However, I personally knew others who took steroids based on the belief that "more is better, and more often is best". Some of those individuals experienced injury and a variety of illnesses, and a few who continued taking steroids for years without little if any time off, have died.

Frankly, in my opinion, most steroid users, particularly those who are experimenting, are virtually clueless regarding steroid use. I would project that nine out of every ten users are taking whatever he or she is able to get their hands on, even though the individual may have had the intention of obtaining a completely other steroid. And, if the individual is able to acquire a steroid, he or she will likely take the steroid without any assurance the steroid can benefit the user in the way the user wants to experience gains. Furthermore, most steroid users, particularly beginners, disregard monitoring the effects on the body during the administration weeks of the cycle...if the user even understands what a cycle actually is.

Again, because of my extensive knowledge of steroid use and resources, I believe I was the exception. For example, I underwent weekly blood tests and daily blood pressure readings (morning, pre-work out, post-work out, and middle of the night). Often, I would be given a day off from training if my blood pressure was too high first thing in the morning. Weekly urine tests and analysis were part of the regimen. I seriously doubt if there are more than a handful of people, even today, under the same kind of medical scrutiny, I experienced. Hence, because of the stringent attention to testing and monitoring, which actually guided both my training and use of steroids, I reiterate I did not "abuse" steroids by indiscriminate consumption. I was closely associated with individuals who possessed a wealth of knowledge and experience in the administration of anabolic steroids. Clearly, their careful guidance during the time I used steroids prevented misuse. Unfortunately, not all steroid users have the resources I did. It is those individuals that are in danger of ruining their health, and potentially their life.

The Anabolic Steroid Control Act of 1990 was extremely effective. In the mid 1980s, it was nothing to see a kid in high school with twenty inch arms; now, it is rare. And now, to throw a different light on the subject, there is also the growing issue of fake steroids. I will be so bold as to say that 95% of the Anabolic Steroids today are fake! Keep in mind there are virtually no anabolic steroids being produced domestically. Therefore, those who supply steroids to eager-to-try users, are forced to locate international sources. With that as one of a dwindling number of options, many diluted or totally ineffective steroids find their way into America. Hence, the introduction of fake steroids.

The DEA is aware of the enormous amount of fake steroids available. Why else is there a special task force specifically to address this problem? The bottom line is that while 95% of the anabolic steroids in circulation are fake, initially neither the provider nor the end user are aware the product is virtually useless.

Let's be realistic...as long as there are incomprehensible amounts of money paid to professional athletes, offered by economically insane professional sports team owners, or sports product companies, there will continue to be a problem with anabolic steroid use. Case in point...how relevant does a "potential" health risk later in life (steroid use) stack up against a $10 million signing bonus and a shoe contract worth five times that amount, to an athletically gifted teenager, or a young adult in his or her prime of life? Are kids, perhaps driven by their parents and friends, going to think about the distant future, or are they going to live for the moment? The moment wins practically every time.

The way to tighten the grip of steroid usage is to right now confront local pharmacies. As well, believe it or not, veterinarians are able to provide both human and animal steroids, which can be used by humans. They too, should also be heavily scrutinized. Anyone that has access to a pharmacist or a vet, on a personal level, can potentially have access to a full spectrum of anabolic steroids.

Mr. Chairman, Caucus Members, ladies and gentlemen, thank you for the opportunity to share my experiences and my thoughts. I wish you much success in your daunting task.