If Lance Armstrong is the biggest lie in sports, Lyle Alzado was its spawn.
It has been 20 years since the brain cancer wasted away and eventually killed the once-hulking former NFL lineman. Steroids had been made a controlled substance by Congress a couple of years earlier, but the images of a gaunt Alzado and his assertions that steroid use had led to his illness did more to demonize steroids than any law could.
"You see all these reports that steroids cause heart disease, cancer, strokes and so on," said Dr. Norman Fost, a professor of bioethics at the University of Wisconsin. "Then it gets repeated over and over again. There is not a single study out there that proves steroids cause any of these diseases."
A decade after Alzado's death, the steroid fervor hit its crescendo with the raids on Bay Area Lab Co-Operative (BALCO). Dozens of athletes -- including baseball's all-time home run champ Barry Bonds and elite sprinter Marion Jones -- were alleged to have received banned su...