The term "freak" is bandied around a lot in the sport of BBing. On the BBing side it is seen as a compliment, on the greater public side it is an insult and derision of the sub-culture. Robbie is essentially wanting the Govt to legitimise BBing by removing some of the freak element (and create a less illegal nature to the sport) by cracking down on drugs in the sport.
The public perception of BBing goes far beyond such a naive statement of "steroids". There has actually been a raising of awareness of BBing physical ideals in the general public through action films and stars where it is now commonly accepted that action heros have to look like they actually are fit, lean and muscular. Of course this is then stymied by the overall perception of the sport itself.
To the public a bodybuilder does not perform in an athletic event when competing. A bodybuilder dresses in a thong. A bodybuilder is freakishly (not in the good way) muscled and lean. A bodybuilder is being cheered on (by mostly men) for displays of hypermasculinity that is ultimately just a bit homoerotic.
Reading some of the psychology texts on BBing you come across these themes being addressed in terms of why BBers would choose to become freaky fetish symbols willingly. Further to this why they would undertake illegal activities in order to achieve this. I noticed that drug use while associated with BBing is a relatively minor point to what is viewed as a freak show from the psychological and public viewpoint. I mean what straight man desires to hike his posing thong up into his butt crack in order to show off his glutes to a crowd of cheering male fans?
Now the larger issue of drugs in sport won't go away, BBing is not on its own here. But to essentially sanction their use with the displays of freakishness will always haunt the sport. Government control of this aspect is misguided as the sport itself recieves no public money and competitors generally not breaking any fedral laws by competing as athletes. Their personal drug use is a personal offence, not something the sport is directly accountable for (just as track and field isn't responisible for Marion Jones, etc).
Also the rabid leap to the defence of your sport, while very noble, shows a lack of perspective. This is a BBing forum where those interested in BBing come to communicate with like minded individuals. To become insular and not contemplate other views and wider issues will ultimately lead to social isolation and secularism. To live in an insular community online and not reach a greater understanding of both your sport and its place and possible future will lead to the undermining of its future. Maintaining a cult status for the sport will lead to future issues with regulation, finances and the like. Just look at the average commercial gym. They do not cater for the BBer, they cater for the housewife. Yet the popularity of gyms has come from BBing.
If BBing is to progress it needs to lose the freak label, which means losing the promotion/acceptance of steroids (etc) in the sport. Robbie is correct on this, but he is wrong on involving the govt. The acceptance of steroids in our sport is a blight that needs to be removed.
despite your laughing smiley at my response, i don't really see how this refutes what i said. your biggest arguement against me was comparing it to other sports that also have drug issues and are still nonethelss popular. which is a good point, but i still find that amongst the general population (and the people i know) they think bbers are a bunch of juice heads and thus why they don't support them. people tend to not think the same about a track athlete or football player. though this is a very good post and i agree with everything (it could have done without the homoerotic and glute flexing stuff as a bodybuilder does not view anything done onstage or in the posing room in a sexual nature. you say that we willingly become "freaky fetish symbols" and that is NOT the intent of a bodybuilder in the classic sense), it is more or less true. the general population does not associate the word "freak" as a good thing, whereas myself and other bbers take it as one of the best compliments available.
overall though i must agree with you. honestly i think all this chat of steroids will soon die anyway. SARMS are going to be on the scene in 10 years tops and if they're what they're cracked up to be, we shouldn't need steroids anymore.