SI Vault
January 26, 1987
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January 26, 1987


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It was a marathoner's nightmare come true: Two weeks ago Felix Alejandro Flores, just in from his native Peru, picked up the Spanish-language edition of The Miami Herald at the Miami airport and saw that he was already almost two hours late for the start of the Orange Bowl Marathon, in which he was to compete. He had thought the race was scheduled for the next day.

Flores hopped in a cab and rushed to the four-mile mark of the race—as close as he could get to the start—then jumped into the stream of runners. Looking like a harried businessman late for a flight. Flores ran along in dress slacks and brand-new loafers. At the outset he even carried his duffel.

Flores finished in the middle of the 1,200-runner field, though his time put him 3� hours behind winner John Boyes. "After I had come this far, I was going to complete the race anyway." said Flores, his pants soaked with sweat. Upon hearing his sad story, the organizers of last Sunday's five-mile Jungle Jog offered Flores a week's meal money if he would remain in Miami for their race. He did, and in running shoes he finished in 27:02, 15th in a field of 1,400.


In response to our Jan. 5 cover story on the NCAA's testing of football players for anabolic steroids, we received a letter from Dr. Howard R. Nay, associate clinical professor of surgery at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. "Earlier this year, a young man was referred to my office for treatment of his massive breast enlargement," Dr. Nay wrote. "He was a recent graduate from a large, well-known midwestern university with a strong and successful athletic program. He was a weight man on the track team while at this university, and in order to enhance his muscle development, the trainer placed him on anabolic hormones. His muscle development was impressive but so was the ugly breast swelling. The hormones were stopped but the breast enlargement stayed. After a thorough endocrine workup excluding any other cause of this condition, a bilateral mastectomy was successfully performed. He has returned to his usual state of good health."

While it is rare for a male steroid user to have to undergo a mastectomy, Dr. Nay noted that "the list of complications after using [anabolic steroids] is frightening and should serve as warnings for all but the foolish or suicidal." He mentions a few of the risks: "the development of liver tumors [and] cholestatic jaundice leading to liver necrosis and death; report of increased low-density lipoprotein and decrease in high-density lipoprotein in the body which are associated with increased risk of arteriosclerosis and coronary heart disease; insomnia; depression; and not the least, an inhibition of testicular function, testicular atrophy, impotence; and baldness." Of physicians who prescribe steroids, Dr. Nay concluded, "One can only have complete contempt for them, for they are delving in malpractice of the highest order."

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Kenny Jackson made USA Weekend magazine's list of the NFL's most eligible bachelors. "I'm very romantic," Jackson was quoted as saying. "I'm into those romantic novels. I don't read them, but I think that way."


Dave Kime, a ranch manager and dreamer in Sedalia, Mo., had been toying with camera-equipped, remote-controlled helicopters. He was trying to figure out a way to survey his boss's 10,000-acre spread without leaving the porch. One day when visiting a neighbor he saw a miniature horse. It clicked: What the world needed was mini horse racing with remote-controlled robot jockeys aboard.

After building a prototype jockey, Kime approached the ranch's owner, Memphis commodity trader Charles McVean, for funding. "It looked like a squeaky box on a silly-looking horse," remembers McVean. But Kime told of his vision: thousands of ersatz jockeys riding little horses in stakes races year round in indoor arenas. McVean says the mini idea sounded, paradoxically, "like something big."

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