Last updated on: 4/2/2009 | Author:

Michael Dillingham, MD Biography

Retired San Francisco 49ers football team physician
Con to the question "Should Performance-Enhancing Drugs Be Accepted in Sports?"

“Unfortunately, steroids are still ubiquitous, and one of the problems is that we let people use them. Society loves sports and tends to look the other way when they become dangerous. We tolerate boxing, where you have two guys beating each other’s brains out; we tolerate sports that have severe lifetime side effects like some elements of track and field.

The conspirators in this are everywhere – coaches, institutions, even some parents. We see parents who are in complete denial when their kids – college athletes with eating disorders – have stress fractures of their tibias or patellas because their bones are fragile from anorexia. The parents are living through the children’s achievements, so it’s very difficult to break this pattern.

Steroid use is part of this whole youthful delusion that says, ‘If I just do this for a period of my life, I’ll be fine. I’ll smoke until I’m older; I’ll only binge drink in college; I’ll be anorexic or bulimic so I can run, and then I’ll stop being that way and I’ll go on and have a wonderful life.’

That’s playing Russian roulette, which is not a game I think we want to encourage.”

“Steroids, Sports and the Ethics of Winning,” Website for Markula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University, Aug. 25, 2004

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Orthopedic surgeon, Sports Orthopedic and Rehabilitation (SOAR) Surgery Group
  • Retired San Francisco 49ers football team physician
  • Adjunct Clinical Professor, Orthopaedic Surgery – Sports Medicine, Stanford University
  • Medical residency, Stanford University Hospital
  • Former Fellow – Spinal Cord Injury, Santa Clara Valley Medical Center
  • Board Certified, American Board of Orthopedic Surgery and American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
  • MD, Orthopaedic Surgery, Stanford University, 1971
  • BA, History, Stanford University, 1966
  • None Found