NBC Interview on Drugs and Barry Bonds | Tim Ferriss

book about very bonds in the BALCO steroid scandal hit store shelves today it is already number 24 on amazon.com bestseller list that’s actually down one notch it was 23 earlier this morning Game of Shadows by two San Francisco Chronicle reporters claims that bonds used steroids for at least five seasons beginning in 1998 now bonds denies using any banned substances and he has never has tested positive for any but one man says what is written in that book could have a huge impact on other people especially impressionable young athletes Timothy Ferriss owns a sports training and nutritional supplement company based in San Jose he joins me this morning to talk about some of the concerns good morning and thanks for coming oh it’s my pleasure thanks for having me one of your concerns that this book might in your estimation double steroid use among young American athletes that’s exactly right there is a precedent of a downstream trickle effect when you have books of this type particularly one is promoted as a drug by drug day by day account of what some people are calling the best hitter in history in the late 90s there was a bodybuilder named Andres mincer who died from an overdose of various anabolic products and a weekly German magazine named err Spiegel published all of it a full account with his exact dosages and when he used them and despite the fact that he died using this immune sur cocktail as it became known it was duplicated among athletes and that was with us a relatively unknown German publication but this is in primetime now and I feel that very impressionable athletes could be led to use more not less steroids as a result of this by the way kind of like what we see with some movie critics even if it’s bad press any press creates more buzz and more people go to check it out no that’s exactly right and I actually have had the opportunity to read the book and it’s not as sensational as the excerpts but the way that the book has been positioned in the excerpts the sensational benefits of growth hormone steroids and other anabolic products far outweighs the the cautionary notes that are included so now as we mention you know a sports supplement company what do you tell your clients if they want to boost their performance what’s your advice to them I work with my athletes primarily in a training and nutritional capacity at the highest level of sports particularly in sports that depend on power and speed so track-and-field the top athletes are almost without exception using a an entire laundry list of drugs in my particular case athletes will come to me when they want to get off of those drugs and still maintain their competitive edge and that’s how I assist them using hydration nutrition or botanicals in place of illegal advanced substances so now you’re saying that most athletes are using when you say they use drugs are they illegal drugs or legal drugs they’re using both it’s it’s not that they’re using purely prescription or legal medications they’re using everything that they can get their hands on that will help them ranging from legal supplements to imported illegal Schedule three drugs which anabolic steroids would be classified as in the same category as opium and with the same punishment let’s talk a little bit about some of the younger athletes a high school athletes and irrespective of the book or not just the publicity the buzz around steroids these days as much attention as it gets in the media do you think that has any kind of an effect on them do they see this and say I’m staying away or do they see this and get curious and go towards it in your opinion I think they get curious particularly when they read excerpts that claim for example the growth hormone improves hand-eye coordination perception speed etc I’m not saying that the drugs don’t have those effects but I think that education is the solution here drug testing using drug testing to solve drugs and sports is like using a breathalyzer to solve drunk driving just doesn’t work you need to educate these younger athletes and in the case of high school athletes in particular if you simply say don’t do drugs it’s not going to have the compelling effect that you want it to you need to make it clear that giving their hormonal profile at that age using those drugs really has no benefit and the downsides are tremendous the risks are tremendous when you’re that age and your growth plates haven’t haven’t stopped developing for example we you say that that follows through again let’s say now that you’re a professional athlete where you’re growing has more or less come complete do the steroids or banned substances still have a negative effect in your opinion uh they can have a negative effect certain drugs more than others what I think is important for people to understand is that when people say steroids that’s in fact a very broad class of drug so if you were to say by analogy stimulant that would range from a cup of coffee to cocaine many of these steroids have legitimate medical applications and low doctor’s supervised settings but when you’re abusing them in an athletic setting using super physiological doses they can have very serious side effects ranging from prostate enlargement to to cardiac problems but I’m not going to deny the performance benefits I mean that’s what they’re designed for but there are side effects and risks involved and if I could add one more thing I would say that besides the physical side effects people should be very aware of the legal side effects most athletes young athletes included see the athlete the drugs freely available around them and assume that means the penalties aren’t very severe but you can go to jail for a very long time simply by possessing these drugs sure very good Timothy Ferriss thanks for your insight this morning I know it’s a topic of people gonna be talking about for a long time it’s my pleasure thank you