Cuban sees 'common sense' steroid use

Updated: October 22, 2009, 11:06 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban says steroids could have a legal and useful place in sports -- as long as they are administered under a doctor's supervision to help athletes recover from injuries and there's no risk of long-term health effects.

"I'm not an expert in the subject, but if we get to the point where there aren't long-term negative health impacts, why wouldn't you do it?" Cuban said, according to Pittsburgh-area media reports.

We do performance-enhancing things all the time, just not steroids. .... If you administer them properly and fairly and set the rules strictly, as long as in doing so we recognize there are no negative long-term health-impact issues.

-- Mark Cuban

Cuban, speaking at a University of Pittsburgh forum on Tuesday, addressed the topic when asked about Orlando Magic forward Rashard Lewis' 10-game suspension during last season's playoffs.

Lewis, who was suspended after testing positive for elevated testosterone levels, said he had taken an over-the-counter supplement that included a banned substance.

"I'll get killed for saying this ... but I'm not so against steroids if they're administered under proper supervision and there is no long-term damage," Cuban said.

"We do performance-enhancing things all the time, just not steroids," Cuban added. "If you administer them properly and fairly and set the rules strictly, as long as in doing so we recognize there are no negative long-term health-impact issues."

"If somebody thinks it's controversial, fine. To me, it's just common sense. I'm sure I'll hear about it [today] that 'Cuban is for steroids.' "

Later, speaking with reporters, Cuban stressed he would support only the supervised use of steroids if they were proved to not have long-term health effects.

"You have to get to the point where that risk isn't there, and we're not there yet," he said.

Cuban, a Pittsburgh-area native, led his discussion at the forum by addressing a question he said he is asked every time he comes home.

"No, I'm not buying the Pittsburgh Pirates," he said. "I tried. [It's] not going to happen. We'll leave it at that."