Bigger, Better, Stronger The Increasing Use of Steroids in Sports w ref

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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, but their primary one is the building and storing of muscle tissue protein. Thanks to the steroids, the body is able to retain certain chemicals and convert them into muscle. Another thing steroids have an effect on is biological functions. Steroids stimulate the building of bone tissue and strengthen protein matrix in bones. They also heal many wounds both on the inside and the outside of our body (Duchaine 48). Without the biological functions steroids perform we would die.

There is an extremely high amount of steroids available, for over 100 have been developed. Each steroids requires a prescription to obtain but that usually doesn't stop athletes from getting their hands on them. Anabolic steroids can be taken orally, injected intramuscularly, or rubbed on the skin when in the forms of gels or creams (Drug Facts).

The use of steroids does not come risk free. There are many side effects directly related to them that would seem to outweigh the positive benefits of using them. Years after taking steroids athletes can live to have serious heart problems, sterility and lack of restraint over ones actions. More side affects could be acne, liver problems and possibly even death.

When a person thinks of steroids if often calls to mind NFL lineman who just a couple of years ago weighed 250 pounds, or bodybuilders with trapizius muscles that ascend like mountains from their shoulders to their ears (Dudley 12). However every sport at every level is tainted with the use of steroids and other more exotic substances like human growth hormone. Michael Mooney, a California bodybuilder and authority on steroids said. "I would say every top level athlete is on something."

"There's a saying that to be a great athlete today you need a great coach, a great chemist and a good lawyer (Dudley 13)."

Steroids were first used in the 1930's; they were marketed as a miracle drug that could make you stronger and fit. The use in sports began in Russia in the mid 1940's. They...
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