Barry Bonds Case Leads to Increased Steroid Use by Middle-Aged Baseball Fans

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The Barry Bonds steroids case has coincided with an unprecedented explosion in the use of anabolic steroids by middle-age baseball fans. While Barry Bonds’ use of transdermal testosterone has been demonized in sports, the use of transdermal testosterone has been celebrated in mainstream society with the popularization of AndroGel and related testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) products.

Bonds and other athletes used “the Cream” to enhance their athletic performance. Adult men are using Androgel to treat symptoms such as decreased sex drive, impotence, irritability and depression that have been attributed to low testosterone.

In fact, approximately 4.5 million adult men were using a transdermal cream/gel in 2010. The pharmaceutical product contains the same active anabolic steroid testosterone utilized in “the Cream”.

When the government began investigating Barry Bonds and BALCO, only an estimated 1.75 million men were using Androgel.

Abbott Laboratories, the manufacturer of industry leader AndroGel, has taken advantage of the heightened attention given to anabolic steroids in baseball due to Barry Bonds and other juicers of the so-called “steroid era”.

Abbott has aggressively promoted steroids to baseball fans with direct-to-consumer advertising with the “Low T” campaign. Fans have been bombarded with television commercials that have run during MLB baseball games and billboards that have been displayed in baseball venues.

Abbott never mentions their flagship TRT product in the “Low T” campaign but the “Low T” television, newspaper and internet campaign has still been a runaway success for Abbott Laboratories.  The campaign has successfully convinced men to seek testing for low testosterone levels.

Would the “Low T” campaign have been as successful if it were not for the government investigation of Barry Bonds and the daily attention to the performance-enhancing benefits of testosterone and anabolic steroids in the media?

 Low T advertising campaign


Kettmann, S. (December 17, 2011). Are We Not Man Enough? Retrieved from