& Olivia Grout
6 Dec. 2012
Steroid Use in Sports
The NCAA and MLB have very different, yet strict drug policies that protect their athletes and run throughout their programs. Termed as “Performance Enhancers”, the NCAA bands any drug or hormonal substance that is chemically or pharmacologically related to testosterone, as well as any current illegal drugs. Stimulants, anabolic agents, masking agents, analogues, anti-estrogen and beta-2Aagonists are examples of currently banned substances. The MLB has a much more in-depth list of banned substances, including 70 banned steroids, 56 banned stimulants and 8 banned “drugs of abuse”. Among the 70 banned steroids, three of the most popular within professional sports are listed including, Methandienone, Nardrolone and Stanozolol. “Drugs of abuse” are classified as those drugs that are already illegal under the federal government; marijuana, MDMA and cocaine for example. Today there is a cloud over the use of steroids that creates the idea that performance enhancers are bad, not matter how they are termed or classified. However, as studies continue to show that steroids can be used safely, more people are beginning to take them and therefore, the argument for the use of them to be legalized continues to get stronger. Each year the NCAA spends approximately 6 million dollars on drug testing and drug education. In regard to steroids and the current trend of athletes taking them, along with the costs of physically banning the substances, questions of rather to allow for the use of regulated performance enhancers have begun to arise and gain interest.
In an article by Chester and Green, anabolic steroids have been linked to cardio vascular disease in many studies. Other negative health effects of steroid use are infertility in both men and women, negative effects on the liver, as well as ligament and tendon deficiency. Though, when strictly monitored by a physician, anabolic steroids have shown positive effects on patients (Sari, 2010). According to Sari, “synthetic analogues were initially developed to treat catabolic medical conditions”. These catabolic states of patients, in which anabolic steroids have been used, were osteoporosis, severe burns and even depression. Although we have seen situations in which steroid use is monitored and overseen by doctors, many professional athletes have not used such guidance. That being said, numerous people around the world believe that there are several pros and cons associated with the use of steroids. Aesthetically there are obvious pros that come with taking steroids, such as the increase in individual self-confidence due to an enhanced physical appearance. However, not all but most athletes take steroids mainly in order to increase physical performance and overall fitness. The way steroids increase muscle efficiency is by providing synthetic energy to them prior to a work-out and then shortening the amount of required rest time needed after a workout, therefore enabling athletes to not only workout harder, but for longer and more often also. Although an increase in self-confidence is not always the primary goal for an athlete to begin taking steroids, its effect is likely realized due the correlation between physical appearance and performance to individuals perceived self-confidence. On the other hand, the cons associated with steroid use are why the use of them is currently banned in sports. As steroids provide a “quick fix” mentality for athletes, they are often taken as a morally binding issue. Also, steroids not only create an unequal playing field for athletes who refuse to use them, but also steroids create a reliance on drug use in order to achieve high levels of competition, which negatively effects the youths perception of role models. When kids see their sport hero’s taking performance enhancers, it not only perpetrates the continued use of them, but also the idea that without steroids, a high...