Methandrostenolone, sold as Dianabol, was the first steroid to hit the market in pill form. It was launched in 1958 and was initially meant to treat specific medical conditions. So, back then, the words “methandrostenolone” and “pro football” were seldom part of the same sentence. However, there were quite a few athletes who were aware what magic methandrostenolone could spin, and were therefore using the drug to gain weight and improve their muscle mass and strength. At that time, the complications associated with the drug weren’t out in the press yet, which is why the players were not being restrictive with their usage of methandrostenolone.
In 2008, methandrostenolone turned 50 and by that time, the drug’s trademark production in the United States was ceased. What you see today is not Dianabol, but generic methandrostenolone, which is equally effective and still used by some athletes in moderation. It’s being currently sold under the brand name “amoral”. It can be easily purchased in today’s times. However, during the 1960s, Methandrostenolone 2018 was not easily available, at least for footballers. America, back then, took a strict approach to pills and drugs that claimed to fix anything.
Bob Waters, a member of the 49ers team, has admitted to using the drug, but also added he wasn’t the only member in his team on the steroid. Though Bob didn’t come up with names, other members of the 49ers team didn’t admit to usage of anabolic steroids of any kind. In fact, Charlie Krueger even went on to say that he never came across the term “anabolic steroids”. He made this statement in 1962. According to credible sources, anabolic steroids were certainly in use within football circles, even in high schools.
During the early 1960s, a high school football team physician, who worked in tandem with a pharmaceutical firm, administered anabolic steroids to football team members. This news was reported in 1969 in Sports Illustrated, as a part of a series on athletics and doping. Later, in 1963, the claims of steroid usage gained more strength when an entire professional football team and some college players hit the juice, under Alvin Roy’s direction, who was the Louisiana strength coach, and also a free weights pioneer and steroid guru.
As aforementioned, Dianabol was not the first synthetic anabolic steroid, but it was certainly the first to be released as a pill. Released by the old New Jersey-based Ciba Pharmaceuticals, the majority of methandrostenolone inventory back then was distributed via prescription channels. However, some of them managed to escape through the back door, landing in the hands of American weightlifters, specifically the York Barbell weightlifters. The York gang comprised Dr. John Ziegler, who did the delivery from Ciba. By the way, he did not make the drug.
According to multiple accounts, Los Angeles Chargers’ players were given Dianabol, and were told the pills were nothing but assimilated protein. The pills were supposed to be taken with meals, one after every meal, and the players complied. And the players immediately noticed a difference in their strength training sessions. After being on the steroid for straight five weeks, the players came to know about the ill effects of the pills, resulting in most players quitting the supplement. During later years and till date, some players still buy methandrostenolone (though there’s no direct methandrostenolone for sale) and the usage remains steady.