Steroids in Sports
In many places around the world today, sports competitions are increasing in popularity due to the quest to win, to be the best. Many athletes will do anything to win, whether that means breaking the rules or cheating. The desire to win is imbedded into all humans, especially when professional athletes of today’s age are becoming icons and are viewed as figures of greatness by their rare abilities to perform at such a high level. The quest for money and fame is also a common reason for athletes to cheat or bend the rules. Steroid use is the most common form of cheating in all sports today. Other than the fact that they are harmful to your body, they are taking away from sports and sending the wrong messages to aspiring athletes. The issue that is currently being addressed in the sports industry is that if so many people are already using steroids, such as bodybuilders and athletes, then why not make them legal and let people use them at their own risk? Or rather should we just keep them illegal due to their harmful health risks and promotion of unfair advantages in sports? Before getting into the ethical concerns about the legalization of steroids, let’s talk about what steroids are and how they work. A steroid is a synthetic substance similar to the male sex hormone testosterone. The most common use of steroids is having them injected into skeletal muscles or they are taken in powder and pill form. There are so many types of steroids and each of them has its own value. Many types of steroids are used for medical conditions and health problems. These types of steroids are prescribed by doctors. Any type of steroid that is not prescribed by a doctor is illegal. Steroids that are taken by athletes and other abusers take them in cycles of weeks and months. This is called cycling. Cycling involves taking several doses of steroids over a definite period of time, stopping for a period, and then starting again. Along with this method, steroid users often use the “stacking” method during their cycles (NIDA 1). This is when users will combine several different types of steroids to get maximal results while minimizing negative effects. There are many effects from the use of steroids, some positive and some negative. Though there are more negative effects then there are positive ones, many of the positive effects of steroids include treatment for medical conditions. Anabolic steroids can be legally prescribed to treat conditions like delayed puberty as well as diseases that result in loss of lean muscle mass, such as cancer and AIDS (NIDA 1). Short term effects of steroids are the ability to train harder and longer and an increase in lean muscle mass and strength. Minor negative side-effects include excessive hair growth, oily skin, acne, and a deepening voice. These are just minor short term side-effects though. The effects of steroid use that are the main concerns of users are increased risk of cancer, heart attack and liver disease. Also, increased blood pressure, increased risk of atherosclerosis, and obstructive sleep apnea may occur (NIDA 2). For men, shrinkage of the testicles, baldness, and risk of prostate cancer are things to be aware of. For women, common side-effects are facial hair, male-pattern baldness, and a deepening voice. Lastly, adolescence taking steroids may stunt their growth and accelerate puberty changes. The use of steroids in baseball has been revealed, and was put out in the open. Steroids have been utilized in baseball for decades, but just lately have arrived into the lime light. In the summer of 2003, the USADA obtains a secret fluid, brought in anonymously. This fluid, 'the clear', turns out to be Tetrahydrogestrinone. It's an untraceable steroid utilized by some of the world's top athletes. Later it is disclosed that Trevor Graham, a sprint adviser to some of the elite sprinters, submitted the steroid and the baseball steroid era began.
The steroid was traced back to Victor Conte...
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