On Sunday, Derrick Rose's comments about the NBA's huge performance enhancing drugs problem became widely published prior to the Chicago Bulls' playoff game against the Miami Heat.
Asked by ESPN the Magazine to rate on a scale of 1-10 how big basketball's problem with performance enhancing drugs was, Rose responded, Seven. It's huge, and I think we need a level playing field, where nobody has that advantage over the next person.
In response to the wide publication of his comments, Rose issued the following statement through his team:
Regarding the quote attributed to me in ESPN the Magazine, I do not recall making the statement nor do I recall the question being asked. If that was my response to any question, I clearly misunderstood what was asked of me.
But, let me be clear, I do not believe there is a performance enhancing drug problem in the NBA.
The controversy surrounding whether or not Rose made the comments appears to have quelled since Rose made his statement.
However, the billion-dollar question remains, does the NBA have a steroids problem?
The NBA has had a steroids testing program since 1999. As Rose himself explained, We get tested four times so it would definitely show up or something.
Commissioner David Stern, in an ESPN interview in 2005, did not think steroids were an issue in the NBA saying, It's not a problem at the present time that we think we have.
More recently, Dwayne Wade, the 2006 NBA Finals MVP of the Heat was asked about performance enhancing drugs in the NBA and said, Nothing I've ever seen in basketball. I don't think it takes place.
However, Rashard Lewis of the Washington Wizards and O.J. Mayo of Memphis Grizzlies are current players who were suspended for 10 games after testing positive for banned substances. The Golden State Warriors have not had a player caught under the NBA's drug testing program.
And unlike the other major sports, none of the NBA players ever caught taking banned substances could be considered star players. That is perhaps the reason why the issue of performance enhancing drugs in the sport has not been widely discussed.
What do you think? Does the NBA have a steroids problem?