ESPN put out a story Thursday afternoon about Craftsman Truck Series driver Ron Hornaday Jr. admission to steroid use a few years ago and it effectively made the rounds across the entire network -- from SportsCenter, the bottom line ticker, and the web site.
In the article, though, it specifically acknowledges a few of things including:
- 1) Hornaday used the steroids to attempt to get healthy after doctor's couldn't diagnose the illness that caused him to lose 38 pounds in less than a year;
- 2) Hornaday used the steroids -- testosterone, specifically -- with a prescription (though the clinic is under federal investigation;
- 3) After using them for a while, Hornaday didn't notice a difference and stopped taking them and was later diagnosed with a hyperactive thyroid.
As of now, though, Hornaday claims to have been off the supplement for quite a while and it's tough not believe the guy because of how open he was to the questions from the ESPN reporter, including showing NASCAR medical forms, prescription records, and the actual substance he used that he has left over.
And frankly, I just don't see it as a big deal.
NASCAR -- who added steroids to their banned substance list recently -- plans to talk to Hornaday about the issue this weekend at New Hampshire just for some background information on the matter, but I doubt they are going to do anything except make sure Hornaday still isn't using them and request that he's a little more open on the matter.
I do, though, agree with NASCAR's stance on making steroids a banned substance -- but not just to fall in to line with the rest of the sports world.
To the best of my uneducated medical knowledge (In other words, take my steroids assumption with a grain of salt, and maybe even some lime. Mmm, lime.), steroids wouldn't seem to have a great advantage for your run of the mill NASCAR driver other than increased stamina over the length of a race.
On pit road, though, you could bet that the jackmen and tire changers could gain a clear advantage because their manuevers are quick, physical bursts similar to a football or baseball player.
Should steroids be allowed in NASCAR? No. Should Ron Hornaday face criticism (or, have ESPN broadcast his name for a whole day with steroids across their networks) for using them to not only treat a medical condition but also when they were legal in the sport?