Lyle Alzado is best known for playing for the Broncos, the Browns, and the Raiders, finishing his 15-yearcareer in 1985.1This was the year before the NFL started testing for steroids in its athletes which meant thatAlzado never got in trouble for steroid use during his career. However, much of his family and friends knew abouthis abuse of steroids and human growth hormone during his time in football and onward. At the height of hisabuse, Alzado was known to spend upwards of $30,000 on drugs each year.2Since his drug abuse caused moodswings which morphed into physical abuse of those around him, his second wife even ended up divorcing him.Alzado died only 7 years after his last season from brain lymphoma.2The year was 1992 and he was only 43.There is no known medical connection between steroid abuse and brain cancer, however Alzado was adamant thathis use of drugs led to his illness. He finally came out about his steroid use months after his diagnosis. He haddenied steroid use for many years and explained how the drugs messed with his brain.Alzado started his steroid use in 1969 and continued even after his career because they were so addicting.3He is one of the first major athletes to come clean about steroid use, writing an emotional plea in SportsIllustrated. He explains that none of it was worth it and he’s wasting away because of the steroids. He also pointedout that ninety percent of the athletes he knew were also taking performance enhancing drugs and that all of themare in danger.3Alzado is one of the reasons why steroid use has become such a huge focus in professional sports.2The reason why Alzado began taking steroids started with him being undersized in high school.1Hedidn’t receive scholarships for football in college and was turned down by Kilgore junior college who did notthink he was good enough to play college football.2While he had the speed to be a great football player, he didn’thave the size. He was finally accepted to Yankton college which is where he felt the need to do something abouthis size. He easily got his hands on steroids at a local gym and got compliments on his gains, feeding his need formore.4He soon reached 265 pounds and could bench press over 500 pounds.5The Broncos assistant coach endedup watching him play with his new skill and he became the 4thpick for Denver.2He quickly set a record for theBroncos with 13 sacks in 1974.1This was a large change from the football player he was before steroids.Football was something he could control unlike his personal life. Growing up, Alzado had an abusivefather.2This was one of the reasons why Alzado was interested in football since it has a focus on violence. Alzadolater added human growth hormone to his daily routine when trying to make a comeback in football in 1990. Hebelieved his cancer had to do with his steroid use as well as his human growth hormone use. Since steroids andgrowth hormone both stimulate the cells of the body, it’s possible that they could lead to the development oftumors though no evidence has been found yet.5Based on Alzado’s need to succeed after a scarring past, it made sense for him to turn to supplements. Itgreatly improved his game which made it hard to give them up. They were also addicting, changing the chemistryof his brain. He became violent on and off the field, further pushing him away from his friends and family.Alzado only realized the error of his ways when he became sick. It caused him to lose the body he worked so hardfor, facing the damage of the steroids. His honesty about steroids changed the way we viewed performanceenhancing drugs and athletes. He continues to be an important spokesman against steroids even in his death.