Friday, November 2, 2007

Doping kills genes

Yet another argument against anabolic steroids has surfaced now as a two-year study of former East German Olympic athletes who were systematically doping shows that their children have a significantly higher rate of birth defects than the general population.

It should be noted that this only establishes correlation and not causation. I've always been under the impression that children of athletes in general, even those under no suspicion of doping, have more problems, specifically autism, than the general population. However, I've passed it off as a sort of availability bias (as in you think a certain phenomenon happens more often than another because it is more prominent in your mind).

I'd like to see a study looking into the children of 'roiders versus a control group of other athletes to see if the birth defects are caused by the steroids or simply the fact that they are athletes. Before that surfaces, I don't think it's fair to use this argument against steroids.