Jose Canseco's how-to guide to online steroids
Jose Canseco is perhaps sports' most public face when it comes to performance-enhancing drugs. In a Q&A with Mike Fish, Canseco talks about the easy availability of PEDs through online pharmacies.
Is a user of performance-enhancing drugs a cheater, an opportunist or simply a realist in today's sports world? That's a long-standing debate, and it appears to have no end in sight. Regardless where you stand on the issue, though, it is no longer debatable that performance-enhancing drugs touch nearly every sport we watch and care about. And perhaps the most recognizable face of the "juiced" era belongs to Jose Canseco, the former big league slugger who has forged a second career by going public with charges of widespread steroid use in major league baseball. To the chagrin of his brethren in the game, he has named names. More often than not as the steroids story has unfolded, Canseco's allegations have proved accurate.In his tell-all book, "Juiced: Wild Times, Rampant 'Roids, Smash Hits & How Baseball Got Big," Canseco confessed to using illegal steroids and human growth hormone from his first big league season to his last in 2001. This spring, Canseco's name surfaced among several athletes caught up as customers in a government crackdown on Internet sales of performance-enhancing drugs. True to form, he admitted that he purchased drugs online through Applied Pharmacy Services. The two owners of the company based in Mobile, Ala., have been indicted by an Albany, N.Y., grand jury. Canseco recently shared with ESPN.com his firsthand experiences buying drugs online. ESPN.com: Are reports accurate in saying that you purchase drugs through Applied Pharmacy? CANSECO: I'm sure I have. Absolutely. And I think they make you go through a process, through a doctor and prescription and all that, sure They have a Web site, and you basically contact a doctor and they prescribe whatever anti-aging products from what I know, they are an anti-aging type clinic. ESPN.com: Was it a legitimate prescription?CANSECO: Yeah, definitely. It sure was. ESPN.com: Was it your personal doctor? CANSECO: No, it is their doctor that they prescribe to you. ESPN.com: So they give you a doctor's name, and he writes a prescription? CANSECO: Yeah, I guess. ESPN.com: That is done online? CANSECO: No, you do it over the phone. You make the contact online and then they connect you on the phone, and you go through this whole information-type deal and speak to the doctor. ESPN.com: But you never met the doctor? CANSECO: No, no. ESPN.com: Does the doctor ask why you need the stuff? CANSECO: Oh yeah, there is a huge questionnaire you have to fill out It is huge, maybe 100 questions. It is very thorough. ESPN.com: What product did you get from them? CANSECO: I think it was testosterone It was testosterone and Deca-Durabolin, which is for joint pain. ESPN.com: Why did you need that? CANSECO: Oh god, everybody knows I've been using it for such a long time. Once you get off of it, your body kind of depletes from it and you tend to have low testosterone levels. They made an analysis of it, and like 40 percent of most adult men over 40 have low testosterone levels. ESPN.com: So once you use testosterone, you tend to have low levels later if you don't keep using? CANSECO: Right. You just try to bring your levels back to normal, really. ESPN.com: How long have you been using testosterone? CANSECO: Oh god, since I was playing baseball, I was using it. It is no secret . ESPN.com: Sounds like you may have to use it the rest of your life? CANSECO: I don't know. You check your levels now and then, and if your levels are lower than average, yeah, obviously. Or if you're feeling a little weak or have muscle atrophy, you can't sleep at night -- definitely. ESPN.com: Where do you get your levels checked? Or how do you have it done? CANSECO: I have had them checked -- local doctors. There are a million anti-aging clinics where you can have them checked. But basically, even if you don't have them checked, there are symptoms to it. ESPN.com: In your case, what were the symptoms or issues? CANSECO: Oh god, people don't know this, but I have had six major surgeries. So it would be like joint pain. It could be atrophy of muscle. It could be weakness, sleeplessness. It could be a combination of everything. ESPN.com: What anti-aging clinic do you use?APJose Canseco didn't make many friends in major league baseball when he published his book, but he appears to have been right about some of his allegations.CANSECO: That [Applied Pharmacy] is the one I was using. I used them once or twice. They supply you with supplement or whatever you need -- like four months, six months, eight months, whatever you need. ESPN.com: Did a lot of athletes know about Applied? CANSECO: I don't know. I can only speak for myself. I can't speak for them. ESPN.com: So nobody suggested it; you just found it on your own? CANSECO: Lot of times. They have pop-ups that come on the computer screen. That is how they advertise. I think it was a pop-up or something. ESPN.com: Have you dealt with other anti-aging clinics? CANSECO: That is the only one I dealt with. I have talked to other ones just in case I need to replenish. There are a million here in L.A. that you can just walk into, really. I'm thinking about doing that. ESPN.com: Have you done that, too? CANSECO: No, but I am going to. Definitely. ESPN.com: How do you find which one to go to? CANSECO: Word of mouth. Talk to people. In L.A., about 80 percent [of the people] are involved with anti-aging clinics, human growth hormone, supplements, a combination of steroids and human growth hormone. It is like the fountain of youth.AP Photo/Chris O'MearaAs a Devil Ray, near the end of his career, Canseco says he already had been using for years.
Share Your Views The epidemic of cheating in sports isn't so much about the athletes, coaches, commissioners or even sportswriters who let it happen. It's about the fans. How much more can you take? You've read the stories and answered the polls, and now it's time to let your voice be heard. Join the ESPN Conversation and tell us what you think about the past, present and future of cheating in sports. Maybe you think we're overreacting. Maybe you think Barry Bonds should go to jail. Maybe you think professional sports needs to adopt a zero tolerance policy. We want to hear your thoughts, ideas and emotions. Selected comments will be included in a Friday story that will conclude Cheat Wave '07.
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CHEAT WAVE '07
Over the next two days, ESPN.com examines the recent wave of sports cheating and assesses the damage done to our trust in the games we watch. Cheat Wave
Perspectives• Drehs: Answer to cheating lies within
• Future cheats: Stem cells and gene dopers
• Helyar: When owners cheat owners
• Fish: Jose Canseco's online pharmacy primer
• Merrill: Playing unfair at the fair
• Vote: Are the rules of golf golden?
Introduction• Drehs: Cheating raises serious questions for sports
• Forde: We love 'em and can't leave 'em
• Timeline: Hot Spots Through the Years
Your Voice• Vote: Are you a habitual cheater?
• Vote: What does cheating mean to you?
Baseball• Crasnick: Call it cheating, or call it gamesmanship
• Neyer: Baseball's top 10 cheaters of all time
• Thompson: Shoeless Joe's redemption
• SportsNation: What separates cheating from strategy?
• How do you cork a bat?
• Dale Murphy chat wrap
Football• Chadiha: Players look to gain an edge almost any way they can
• Notorious image sticks with Raiders
• Cheating anecdotes: College football
• SportsNation: Cheating or gamesmanship?
Basketball• Thorpe: It's survival of the fittest in the NBA
• Cheat Wave: Pushing the Envelope
• Cheat Wave: Pushing the Envelope 2
• David Thorpe chat wrap
• Cheating anecdotes: College basketball
• Thompson: Point-shavers, a half-century later
NASCAR• Newton: Cheating might be a dirty word, but so is losing
• Blount: Cheating in NASCAR? You be the judge
• Newton: Evernham forces NASCAR's hand
• McGee: Bill France Sr. vs. the mob
Hockey• Burnside: The NHL's cheat sheet
• Burnside: Competition committee is league's best line of defense
Page 2• Zumsteg: "Cheater's Guide to Baseball"
Tennis• Garber: Players police themselves in tennis
• Inside the ATP Gambling Scandal
Golf• Harig: Golf's honor code limits 'cheating' incidents
• Sobel: Ten famous rules invocations in golf history
Boxing• Thompson: Jake LaMotta's choice