Posted November 28, 2012

Brandon Marshall: I’ve heard of players using Viagra ‘to get an edge’

Chicago Bears

The NFL’s fight against performance-enhancing drug (PED) use amongst its players has focused recently on Adderall — Tampa Bay’s Eric Wright just landed a four-game suspension for taking that drug, while Seattle cornerbacks Brandon Browner and Richard Sherman face similar punishments.

Chicago Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall told reporters Wednesday, though, that Adderall is not the only unusual source of help turned to by some NFL players. From Sean Jensen of the Chicago Sun-Times:

The Chicago Tribune‘s Brad Biggs provided an extended version of Marshall’s comments:

“I don’t know too much about Adderall,” Marshall said. “I know guys, it is such a competitive league, guys try anything just to get that edge. I’m fortunate enough to be blessed with size and some smarts to give me my edge. But some guys, they’ll do whatever they can to get an edge. I’ve heard of some crazy stories. I’ve heard (of) guys using like Viagra, seriously. Because the blood is supposedly thin, some crazy stuff. So, you know, it’s kind of scary with some of these chemicals that are in some of these things so you have to be careful.”

Naturally, Twitter erupted with a plethora of quippy responses to Marshall’s revelation. But the notion of NFL players taking Viagra may not be as far-fetched or ridiculous as you might think.

The use of Viagra by athletes is a phenomenon that’s been tackled by many news outlets in the past, including online news magazine Slate and the New York Times. In a 2008 piece entitled “Does Viagra gives athletes an advantage?”, the Times examined why the little blue pill might be the next wave of PEDs.

Viagra, or sildenafil citrate, was devised to treat pulmonary hypertension, or high blood pressure in arteries of the lungs. The drug works by suppressing an enzyme that controls blood flow, allowing the vessels to relax and widen. The same mechanism facilitates blood flow into the penis of impotent men. In the case of athletes, increased cardiac output and more efficient transport of oxygenated fuel to the muscles can enhance endurance.

Viagra provides a different effect than Adderall — the latter’s effect was described by NFL senior vice president of labor law and policy Adolph Birch to USA Today as “a stimulant that can combat fatigue and feelings of fatigue on a playing field.” However, for players, the main goal is the same: to find a boost, even an unnatural one.

The NFL has been fairly proactive with its attempt to corral PED use, even putting a clause in the league’s new collective bargaining agreement (agreed to last year) that allowed game-day testing for those substances.

But as Marshall’s comments indicate, players, either desperate for a little help improving their play or simply some help making it through a brutal NFL season, will continue to push the boundaries of what is and is not allowed.

24 comments
Kevin11
Kevin11

Wow, he's as STUPID as his quarterback. There is NO WAY I could've played any sport with, how to put this, raging tumescence. 

Rickapolis
Rickapolis

I'd like to see the NFL come up with a rigid punishment for the abusers.

AlanHayesKillen
AlanHayesKillen

5-HOUR ENERGY, RED BULL AND PURPLE GRAPE JUICE ALL DO THE SAME THING!!! TAKING VIAGRA IS A WASTE OF MONEY!!!

m.guszak
m.guszak

There is something troubling about reading an article about Viagra and the person relating the story saying "I'm fortunate to be blessed with size."

kyleglasscoe
kyleglasscoe

imagine what a center would think having to bend over in front of a 'raging' qb

Ryan9
Ryan9

So the next Hard Knocks will be filmed in the Vikings' shower room?

M as in Mancy
M as in Mancy

Viagara gives guys an extra lift? Sounds like performance enhancing. BMarsh needs to give some to the O-line to raise their spirits. When the moment's right they need to rise to the occasion. Seeing guys play hard and going long and strong always leaves me satisfied and smiling. I could go all night...

 

Raise your flags if you want stiffer penalties against inappropriate innuendo on these comment boards.

eddie577
eddie577

I find that hard to believe. No pun intended. Maybe just a little. Hard can you play with a hard one?

Slush Himself
Slush Himself

I"ve taken the blue pill for an edge, an edge like a hot knife thru butter.  Seriously though, it causes bad side effects...headache, sinus congestion, back pain and blurred vision.  Worth it to keep the woman happy but hardly feel like playing any sports except hide the salami. 

vince2
vince2

Can you imagine the disaster if Arod was taking Viagra before games?

provguard
provguard

I wondered where that 'rooster' mentality came from???

Cool
Cool

This takes the phrase "playing hard" to a whole new level.

M as in Mancy
M as in Mancy

 @AlanHayesKillen

 Unless this advice comes from Doctors Willie Johnson or Peter Wang, that's hard to swallow. A lot to take in at one time.

T.J.Young
T.J.Young

 @m.guszak I try to pull that line out on first dates. It's a crowd pleaser...

M as in Mancy
M as in Mancy

 @Ryan9

 I heard before viagra infiltrated the PED scene, HBO's show was called Soft Knocks.

M as in Mancy
M as in Mancy

 @Slush Himself

Come on now. Everyone knows it's stamina that separates the men from the boys. My friend Peter Johnson told me. If you need an extra lift, talk to your doctor. And I'm spent...

T.J.Young
T.J.Young

 @vince2 Have you seen the girls Arod dates? He doesn't need viagra.

M as in Mancy
M as in Mancy

 @Rickapolis  

I see a lot of holes in the thrust of this argument, but I'll raise my flag in agreement with you.