I'd read reams about cheating as an issue, but I'd never read anything describing what it felt like to do it. Obviously, the allure of victory was incredibly powerful—why else would the best athletes in the world risk their health and lives abusing these drugs? So I wondered, Do performance drugs make you just 1 percent faster and stronger? Or 10 percent? Are the enhancements so subtle that only elite athletes gain an edge, or are they powerful enough that an everyday wannabe like me would notice a dramatic change?What follows is the author's story of spending a year taking roids, and describing the experience. Fantastic stuff.
Update: Galley Reader J.O. says that this Sports Illustrated piece (mentioned only in passing in the Outside essay) is even better.