Cut and Run

In the game behind the game, the guys with the juice still have the edge.

Updated: November 21, 2003, 9:41 PM ET
By Shaun Assael
For William Llewellyn, it's simply The Book. He won't show you the title, but between its cracked leather covers is the collected research on nearly every steroid known to science. "There are more than 500 steroids in here," he says, flipping through the pages to make his point. "All the drug tests in the world can maybe find 50."

The 29-year-old supplement maker, whose knowledge of chemistry is self-taught, doesn't actually manufacture the steroids in the book. For one thing, most of them are highly experimental and have never been produced commercially. For another, they're illegal, and he's had enough trouble with the law. When he was 16, cops showed up at his house with handcuffs to bust him for computer hacking. He copped a plea, and after promising to find a new hobby, hit the gym. Now, 13 years and some serious steroid use later, he's trying to strike it rich in a great race to make the perfect -- and perfectly legal -- strength pill. From a nondescript office in Jupiter, Fla., he and his wife run Molecular Nutrition, a fledgling company that sells his custom-label supplements to muscle-mad America.

Shaun Assael | email

ESPN Senior Writer
• Senior writer for ESPN The Magazine
• Author of "Wide Open: Days and Nights on the NASCAR Tour"; the New York Times best-selling "Sex, Lies and Headlocks"; and "Steroid Nation"