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Bravo for Terry Todd (The Steroid Predicament, Aug. 1)! He addresses the fundamental question of how far athletes will go to reach a plane above others. Competitors and officials have made a mockery of the tests for anabolic steriods that have been designed to protect athletes from the physical and psychological dangers of these controversial drugs. It is frightening to think that so many individuals will sacrifice their health to satisfy their egos. As a competitive powerlifter, I frequently find myself studying my opponents and wondering how many of them have an unfair edge over people like me because they take artificial stimulants. Todd makes it painfully obvious that our society places too much emphasis on winning at any cost.
Wenham, Mass.

I'm 26 years old and have been into weight-lifting for only a year and a half. I had naturally big muscles, and when I went to gyms, I was always asked what type of steroids I was taking. This fueled my curiosity about them, and, finally, I got some money together and got steroids very easily.

I used no more than 30 milligrams a day for one month. During that time my bench, squat and dead-lift performances all increased, as did my heart rate, blood pressure and appetite for sex. My feces turned a dark green, indicating to me a bile or gallbladder dysfunction. This was after only a month's use. I stopped taking the drugs. Still, I have a handful of friends who are using 100 to 200 milligrams of Dianabol, 10 to 20 milligrams of Winstrol, 100 milligrams of testosterone or an injection of Pregnyl every other day. Their mood swings are unpredictable. It has gotten so bad I have quit lifting with them. If this is happening in a little town (pop. 3,200) like mine, the practice is certainly widespread.

To any young athlete out there who is thinking of trying steroids, I say don't. Hard workouts, a balanced diet and plenty of sleep will get you what you want, particularly if you are determined.
Name and address
withheld by request

I agree 100% with what Terry Todd has to say about anabolic steroids. I have competed in a powerlifting meet against men who were taking them. Though I was satisfied with my totals, I still felt very disappointed. I will never take steroids, so I will probably never take first place in a powerlifting meet. It sure is nice to know that there are "clean" lifters around who feel the same way I do.

I was shocked and dismayed by the lack of a suitable response from Ollan Cassell, executive director of The Athletics Congress, to the question of why TAC has never tested for drugs. And this from a man who represents an organization that includes members as young as eight or nine. The girls in our local track club already realize that steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs are probably dangerous and without doubt unethical.
TAC National Chairman,
Girls' Track & Field
Tempe, Ariz.

I was appalled at the attitude and callous regard for human life that Arthur Jones, president of Nautilus Sports/Medical Industries Inc., advocates in using human subjects south of the border to conduct research on steroids. I suggest that Jones be the first to volunteer his body for the steroid research he outlines.
Baden, Pa.

Thank you for Ron Fimrite's brilliant article on the surging Milwaukee Brewers (Something Big Is Brewing, Aug. 1). Now the entire country will have some respect for this awesome offensive team, which has proved that last year was no fluke. I just wish there had been even more recognition of Cecil Cooper, the best first baseman in the game today. He has never hit below .300 as a Brewer, he has driven in more than 100 runs in each of the last three complete seasons, his average has been consistently better than Eddie Murray's, he has better power than Rod Carew, and he is an outstanding fielder. It's time Cooper was named MVP.

I enjoyed Dan Levin's article covering the Second Annual Manhattan Island Swimming Marathon (This Fellow Really Gets Around Town, Aug. 1). The idea of swimming around the Big Apple is fascinating, anyway, but this year I had a special interest. Claiming to have entered the contest, my husband, John, left me and three small children at home on Friday, July 22, and went off with an airplane ticket for New York City. He returned the following Monday night, penniless, haggard and exhausted to the point of delirium. For several hours he recounted the weekend, raving on about meeting the oldest man to cross the English Channel and competing against a topless Australian swimmer.

My skepticism about all this grew when he boasted that he not only completed the swim, but actually finished third! When I inquired as to where his medal was, he babbled, dozing off, "Oh, the meet director said he'd mail it. Besides, an SI writer was there. You'll read all about it this week."

Well, Levin confirmed everything John said, except for one thing. Could you please tell me who placed third?
Charlottesville, Va.

•According to Drury Gallagher, president of the Manhattan Island Swimming Association, sponsor of the marathon, John Shrum, M.D. finished third—second in his age group (30 to 39)—with a time of 8:25:18, nine minutes and 33 seconds behind winner Harald Johnson. Says Gallagher, this qualified Shrum for "a 32-inch trophy, which will be going out this week."—ED.

It was a shock to read the suggestion in SCORECARD (Aug. 1) that Nile Kinnick didn't live long enough to succeed in business and. therefore, did not meet the Hall of Fame requirement that an inductee "must have succeeded...after football, in business or law or medicine or the military or something."

Nile, who had been studying law, died for his country while serving as a naval pilot in World War II. He chose to let his plane go into the sea rather than land on the deck of his aircraft carrier, which had become jammed up, and jeopardize the lives of his comrades as his gas supply became exhausted. No finer deed!

My father, Nile's coach at Iowa, is in the Hall of Fame, so I will not comment on Woody Hayes or Billy Cannon. But I cannot let you so flippantly handle a person like Kinnick. Nile could have—and would have—been a success at anything. Instead, he's simply a dead military hero.
Dade City, Fla.

Letters should include the name, address and home telephone number of the writer and be addressed to The Editor, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, Time & Life Building, Rockefeller Center, New York, N.Y. 10020.