The British military is now investigating whether stimulants or body building steroids played any part in the July deaths of three Territorial Army Soldiers - Corporal James Dunsby, Lance Corporal Craig Roberts and Trooper Edward Maher -who collapsed while trying out for the Special Air Service in the Welsh Mountains. If true, this would be a very scary development. How long before British soldiers going into action start throwing away ammunition to make more room in their webbing pouches for pills? If folk need pills to get them through the selection test, they’ll probably need them to meet the physical demands of the job as well. And if steroids are involved, then there’s a danger of soldiers suffering from psychotic ‘roid rage. It’s probably not a good idea to give people prone to psychotic episodes weapons. A US Staff Sergeant, Robert Bales, is claiming that steroid use was contributed to him going on a murder spree in Afghanistan which cost 18 people their lives. Of course, I always take the claims made by US defence lawyers with a pinch of salt. Their clients’ actions are always someone else’s fault. The first thing these folks do is blame the victim. When US pilots bombed a Canadian training exercise in Afghanistan in 2002, killing four soldiers and maiming several others, it was claimed that stimulant pills provided to them by the air force were to blame, or even better, the Canadians had opened fire on the US F-18s. The Canadians say that they were unaware that the American planes were even overhead until 500lb bomb hit the ground. But back to the steroids. The shame of what is going on is that there use by British soldiers has more to do with personal vanity than building strength. Perhaps now that soldiers will no longer be dealing with the mind numbing boredom of off-duty life Afghanistan by pumping iron this fad may die out. But sadly I doubt it.