The Hidden World of Police on Steroids

Professor John Hoberman turns his attention to cops.
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Dopers in Uniform: The Hidden World of Police on Steroids.

Dopers in Uniform: The Hidden World of Police on Steroids.

Dopers in Uniform: The Hidden World of Police on Steroids
John Hoberman
University of Texas Press

John Hoberman, a professor at the University of Texas–Austin, has written extensively on steroid use, primarily among athletes. In Dopers in Uniform, he turns his attention to another population: police officers. There is no way to know for sure how many cops use anabolic steroids to bulk up and project strength, but after sifting through mountains of anecdotal evidence and preliminary investigations, Hoberman conservatively estimates that there are thousands, "probably tens of thousands," of officers who do. There is no definitive proof that steroids cause violent, erratic behavior, but the two are definitely correlated, and this fact alone, in Hoberman's view, is reason enough for police forces to implement zero-tolerance policies on steroid use. Easier said than done, of course: Hoberman notes that, while the U.S. military has such a policy, steroid use remains a barely concealed fixture of military life.

A version of this story originally appeared in the December/January 2018 issue of Pacific Standard. Subscribe now and get eight issues/year or purchase a single copy of the magazine.

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