Bob Weiner, a former spokesman for the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) and a former spokesman for the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA), recently suggested that anabolic steroids may have caused Lance Armstrong’s testicular cancer. Weiner brought up the dubious link between steroids and testicular cancer during the University of Massachusetts Sports and Drugs Distinguished History Ken Feinberg Lecture on April 20, 2011.
“[W]hy did [Lance Amrstrong] get testicular cancer in the first place at that young age,” Weiner asked those in attendance. “That’s also a symptom of steroid abuse.”
Weiner’s question implies that testicular cancer is unusual for an otherwise healthy 28-year old healthy male. Perhaps Weiner is unaware that testicular cancer is the most common cancer among men ages 18 to 35. It is most likely to strike between those ages with 1 in 250 men being affected. Furthermore, the link between the nonmedical use of anabolic steroids and the development of testicular cancer is tenuous.
Like most anti-drug advocates promoting propaganda, Weiner is not restricted by the facts. Weiner asserts that Florence Griffith-Joyner died from steroid use stating that Griffith-Joyner’s internal organs were allegedly enlarged proving that drugs were the culprit in her death.
“Florence Griffith Joiner won her Olympic sprints and died 10 years later with enlarged organs showing past drug use – her family resents the insinuations but they should have resented her death more,” according to Weiner.
In reality, the coroner who conducted the autopsy did not find any evidence that anabolic steroids or any other performance-enhancing drugs were in any way responsible for her early death. The autopsy revealed that an epileptic seizure was the cause of death.
Photo credit: Millard Baker