Abscess from Anabolic Steroid Injections or B12?

ESPN reports that trainer Brian McNamee claims Roger Clemens developed an abscess in his buttock resulting from injections of anabolic steroids in 1998. No medical records have surfaced to corroborate this claim. Of course, if Roger Clemens claims that he regularly received intramuscular injections of B-12, then this could have been equally responsible for the alleged abscess. However, Clemens’ attorney has denied that Roger Clemens’ had an abscess.

But ESPN found an “anti-doping expert” who claims that anabolic steroid injections represent a special type of intramuscular injection that is more likely to cause abscesses. According to Gary Wadler of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

It is far less likely that any injection of vitamin B12 or lidocaine, which is usually not injected deep into the body, would have created an abscess… Steroid users tend to repetitively inject the drug deep into the muscle and this has been associated with the development of sterile abscess.

Seriously, there needs to be some sorta minimal standard by which individuals can be called doping experts. It is an unfounded and unsupported claim that an (unspecified) anabolic steroid injected intramuscularly is more or less likely to cause an abscess than an intramuscular B12 injection especially when injected repeatedly over time.

B12 injections are delivered via either intramuscular or subcutaneous injections. B12 is only injected subcutaneously when there is no acute deficiency and a more gradual release from the body’s fat stores is required. Most individuals, especially athletes, desire an immediate effect.

If Gary Wadler is stating that intramuscular injections are more likely to cause an abscess than a subcutaneous injection, he is correct. But his statements were carefully delivered to suggest steroid injections and not B12 injections cause abscesses.

Anabolic Steroid Injections vs B12 injections - abscesses
Anabolic Steroid Injections vs B12 injections – abscesses

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