In order to understand the arguments presented against and for the use of anabolic steroids, it must be understood what anabolic steroids are. Anabolic means “tissue-building.” Anabolic steroids are also known as an androgenic hormones which means that these drugs are “masculinizing” (Strauss 59). It is also known that testosterone, the male sex hormone, has muscle building properties and is conducive to aggressive behavior (Williams 87). Anabolic steroids work by increasing the testosterone levels in the user to increase the strength and size of muscle tissue. Anabolic steroids have been around in professional football since the early 1960’s, and the use of anabolic steroids by high school athletes has been documented as early as 1959 (Yesalis 59-64). While these drugs have been banned by the International Olympic Committee, the NFL, and the NCAA, all these programs have poorly maintained the enforcement of steroid use. Other programs, like Major League Baseball, don’t even ban some types of anabolic steroids (Morrissey and Japsen). All sports programs, amatuer and professional, have to strictly enforce a complete ban on anabolic steroids.
The most troubling aspe…
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… athletic endeavors. Hard work and dedication have always been the traditional methods.
Morrissey, Rick and Bruce Japsen. “US: McGwire’s Spiked Swing Raises Health Questions.” Media Awareness Project. Aug. 1998. 5 Oct. 2001.
Mottram, David R., Ph.D., ed. Drugs in Sport. Champaign, IL: E.
Anabolic Steroid Use by Athletes
In the 1988 Summer Olympics, an unbelievable feat occurred. The feat happened during one of the premiere events, the 100 meter dash. The event was set up to be a great race between Carl Lewis of the United States and Ben Johnson of Canada. This did not happen. Ben Johnson blew away the field running a 9.79, a world record. Carl Lewis finished a distant second with a 9.88 (“Ben Johnson”).
That is not the end of the story. Later on, the runners had to take a urinalysis. All of the runners passed but one, Ben Johnson. He tested positive for anabolic steroid use. It was later discovered that he’d been using steroids for several years. He was striped of his gold medal and his world record. Carl Lewis was given the gold and the world record (“Ben Johnson”).
In the many years since this incident, no one has come close to Ben Johnson’s time. The next fastest that has ever been ran was a 9.84 by fellow Canadian Donovan Bailey in the 1996 Summer Olympics. Steroids definitely enabled Ben Johnson to reach a new level that others haven’t.
Steroids are used as much in sports now as they have ever been in the past, even with stricter testing and knowledge of the harmful side effects. Olympians are especially prone to use these drugs because of the great pressure put on these athletes, but it is becoming wide spread through all sports. For the most part, the athletes get away with steroid use because of new technologies and using patterns which make the steroids undetectable to the tests.
There are three main classifications of drugs in athletics. The first class is performance continuance drugs, which is the only accepted class in athletics. This class contains such drugs as aspirin, ibuprofen, and asthma inhalers. The se…
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“The Steroid Bible.” [On-line]. Available: http://www.anabolicsteroids.com. March 26, 1998.
“The use of Anabolic/Androgenic Steroids by Athletes.” [On-line]. Available: http://www.medstudents.br/sport/sport2.html. March 26 1998.