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Bigger, Better, Stronger The Increasing Use of Steroids in Sports...

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A scenario from a 1995 poll of 198 sprinters swimmers power lifters and other assorted athletes.

You are offered a banned performance enhancing substance with two guarantees: 1) you will not be caught. 2) You will win. Would you take the substance? One hundred and ninety-five athletes said yes; three said no (Bamberger and Yeager 62).

Since the 1950's athletes have been taking anabolic steroids to help athletic performance. The steroid abuse however does not stop at just the athlete. No, it extends its arm to all parts of society. Everybody seems to be using steroids, from the high school athlete on to the Chippendales dancers. They all have one thing in common; they're looking for an "edge" on everybody else. The main focus of this paper will be the increasing use of steroids among athletes, but I will also explain what steroids are, and what they do.

Pump, gear, roids, juice, are all common terms used to describe steroids, but what exactly are they? Anabolic steroids are synthetic compounds whose molecular structure is similar to that of the male hormone testosterone. Testosterone is very important to the male body for two reasons. First, it has an anabolic effect increasing growth of the muscular and skeletal tissue. Second, it has an androgenic effect, which increases development of the male sexual characteristics. Anabolic steroids are constructed synthetically in such a way that they maximize the anabolic effect of testosterone without the androgenic effect on the body (Anabolic).

The way that steroids work, according to the New England Journal of Medicine, is by hitting the system and traveling to the male hormone receptor sites. Form there they will ensure efficient growth throughout the body systems. The male hormone receptors are not only found skeletal muscle, but also in sex organ tissue. This causes muscle-building effects to be linked to the sex related effects of steroids (Bhasin 4).

Steroids have many different effects on the body,...