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Deep inside the clinic that built baseball's steroid-driven elite from anti-aging science

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Alex Rodriguez
Alex Rodriguez

"Baseball players use steroids" is perhaps the least surprising sentence uttered this decade, but the picture painted of the steroid era was one of players shooting needles into themselves and each other in the locker room. But at one company, steroids were just part of the medical routine. The Miami New Times has an incredibly rich, detailed piece describing how Biogenesis, an anti-aging clinic in Miami, turned its medicine and science away from rich-but-aging lawyers and businessmen and toward professional athletes in need of a new edge. And, ultimately, how it blew up for everyone involved. Researched over many months, the report makes clear how quickly medicine is improving and evolving, and how athletes and doctors have stayed ahead of those tasked with enforcing the league's rules:

"Anti-aging clinics contend their services are legal because they are treating aging as a disease. Therefore, they'll tell you, testosterone is a medical necessity for aging adults, as is human growth hormone in some cases," says Shaun Assael, author of Steroid Nation, a book about the history of performance-enhancing drugs in competition. "But that's an argument that's already been litigated in sports."

The steroid war continues to rage in baseball and elsewhere, and as hard as authorities both legal and regulative may work, they're fighting a losing battle. Behind the smokescreen of "anti-aging medicine" lies a vast array of innovative new science and medicine that will keep doping athletes out of trouble for a long time to come.