Blair Dean feels his idea's time has come: a drug-tested body building competition.
"I began promoting body building competitions back in 1973," he says. "Back then most of the guys were still natural. Right at that time steroids began to hit Utah, however. Over the years that followed steroids really became popular. Five years ago I staged a drug-free competition, but I think that might have been a bit premature. Now, however, it's the right time for another one."The competition is slated for April 15 at Woods Cross High School. There will be a seminar and sign-up from 3 to 6 p.m. on April 14 at the Salt Lake City YMCA (750 E. Second South). For information call Dean in Brigham City at 723-7277. The Utah Department of Social Services' Division of Substance Abuse also has information at 538-3939.
What makes this year's competition unique is that the proceeds will go to the Division of Substance Abuse.
"We're strongly supporting this effort because of our concern over the evidence of drug abuse by athletes," says Lorraine Furia, the division's associate director.
"Young people are not generally aware, for instance, that steroids can affect every cell of the body and have long-term implications. Some side effects won't be apparent for years. There's higher risk of heart disease and stroke, the liver and kidneys are often damaged. Steroids also affect the central nervous system and can lead to dizziness, tremors, headaches and irritability."
Adds Dean: "We hope our competition serves a dual purpose. First, we may be able to get some users off steroids. And second, it gives the `natural' body builders a place to compete."