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Making the List …and Making a Point

Just recently, CMG partner Rick Collins was named to a high profile list of the country’s “Most Controversial Health Figures” – coming in at #8 (just below Dr. Oz, but above celebrities like Richard Simmons, Jamie Oliver and Kim Kardashian – see the whole list here: https://www.livestrong.com/slideshow/546327-most-controversial-health-figures/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=111011#slide-18 ). Rick is one of the country’s leading legal experts when it comes to anabolic steroids and has recommended a more practical and sensible approach to controlling their use – one that balances preserving fairness in sports, protecting adolescents from drug abuse, and enhancing adult liberties regarding personal health. Given that steroids continue to be one of the most heatedly controversial topics today, his inclusion on this list of controversial health figures is not surprising.

Unlike many of the others who “made the list” due to their involvement in conflicts of interest, questionable promotions/endorsements, and/or unfounded health claims, Rick’s inclusion on this list has nothing to do with any of that. He made the list by simply “telling the truth” as he sees it and speaking out vocally (and rationally) on a highly controversial subject – proving the notion that “controversy sells” and bringing more attention to this timely topic.

In his definitive book on the topic and in numerous articles, Rick has cited medical and scientific experts who believe that the body of evidence condemning anabolic steroids as too dangerous to be administered to healthy adults is lacking and note that these drugs have been utilized in the medical context for many decades (key points made in the documentary film “Bigger, Stronger, Faster*”, in which Rick appeared, and in a ground-breaking exposé on HBO’s “Real Sports”). However, as is all too common in media reports, the “Most Controversial Health Figures” list write-up oversimplifies Rick’s position on this complex subject. He doesn’t advocate “legalizing” these drugs by removing them from the supervision of physicians. On the contrary, he advocates a more practical control of them, through physicians and within the doctor-patient relationship, to reduce the black market and keep steroids out of the hands of cheating athletes or misguided teenagers. In today’s society – where government seems to be trying to play a greater role in health care by calling for such measures as a government-mandated smoking ban in public parks and other food and beverage regulations/mandates (including the much debated “sin tax” on sodas and other similarly unhealthy beverages), there’s a fine line that exists between having our health “protected” by the government and protecting our mature adult freedoms. Mature adults are legally permitted to make their own health decisions (even including poor ones) on smoking, drinking, diet choices, risky cosmetic surgery options, and high-risk sports activities, so why is physician-supervised administration of anabolic steroids a crime? When it comes to adult personal health choices, whose decision is it really?

The controversy over anabolic steroids won’t settle down soon, but where there’s controversy, there’s conversation. It’s vital to keep the conversation going when it comes to how we can find the proper balance between protecting our health and protecting our freedoms.

The debate continues … and, at CMG, so does our overriding commitment to helping people protect their rights in the criminal defense context generally, and regarding anabolic steroid crimes in particular. For more information about our groundbreaking work in this area, and to see just why Rick Collins was named to this high profile list of some of the most recognizable names in health care today, visit www.steroidlaw.com and www.supplementcounsel.com.

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