Steroids in Sports
Steroid usage is the ultimate in un-sportsmanlike behavior. It is cheating in its most blatant form. There is no excuse for steroid use in professional sports. Sporting events are supposed to be fair competitions between athletes on a level playing field.
Using steroids robs any sport of its objectivity by giving some players an edge in speed, strength, stamina, recovery, or all of the above.
The joke is on these cheaters, though, as the long-term health effects of steroid use are well documented and extremely dangerous.
The harm they do, immediately and in the long run, far outweighs any benefits they could offer.
Still, many athletes throughout the history of civilized sporting events have turned to steroids for an illegal edge over their enemies.
Steroids in baseball, steroids in football, even steroids in the Olympics! There are all kinds of scandals involving steroids in professional sports.
The Grand Timeline of Steroid Usage
Steroid usage is older than you might think, given all the recent scrutiny it has received in the media and from the US government.
As far back as 776 BC, Olympic athletes in ancient Greece would ingest sheep testicles to give themselves an artificial edge over their competitors. They knew the testes were a source of testosterone production.
We don’t know if this particular food item induced a measurable increase in testosterone in these ancient athletes or not, but about 2700 years later, the Soviet Olympic team was injected with testosterone by their doctor. This marked the first time in the modern era that anabolic steroids were used to improve athletic performance.
Fourteen years later science and sportsmanship had made apparently no strides forward. In 1968, East Germany’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Manfred Hoppner handed down a recommendation that all East German athletes begin a regimen of steroid usage.
Two years later Arnold Schwarzenegger was rewarded for cheating: he won his first seven Mr. Olympia titles thanks to his use of Dianabol.
A voice of reason came from the NFL in 1987 when they outlawed steroids.
This didn’t stop the youth, however, as a 1988 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association reported that almost 7% of male high school athletes used steroids.
Three years after that, Congress took decisive action. In 1991 they place steroids into what’s called “Schedule III of the Controlled Substances Act.” This made possession of steroids without a prescription illegal.
1999 saw the creation of the “World Anti-Doping Agency” (WADA). Their motto is “play true.” Five years later, WADA announced that several professional baseball players had tested positive for THG. Major League Baseball placed this drug on their testing list.
In 2007, professional wrestler Chris Benoit tragically murdered his wife and young son, then hanged himself. Tests showed he had highly elevated levels of testosterone in his body — to a magnitude of ten times!
Steroid abuse can wreak major havoc with mood, emotions, and self-control.
2008 was another bad year for athletes and steroids. The International Olympic Committee handed down a ruling regarding Marion Jones. Based on her admission of steroid use, her teammates had to all return the medals they won with her as part of relay races.
The next year, US cyclist Tyler Hamilton destroyed his career with the steroid DHEA. After testing positive for the drug in 2009, he retired in disgrace.
In 2011, Manny Ramirez did almost the same thing, quitting major league baseball after failing another drug test.
Steroids in High School Sports
Even in these cases, doctors will usually use the lowest therapeutic dosage and only prescribe them for as long as is necessary to correct and improve the situation.
In some cases, doctors may even prescribe steroids to young children who are failing to develop properly.
However, steroids are extremely dangerous for teenagers, whose bodies are constantly in flux, releasing hormones and other biochemicals designed to induce a very specific series of changes that help young humans grow into adult humans.
Mental, emotional, and physical changes are constantly taking place, and interfering in these systems with artificial chemicals with mind-altering effects is a recipe for disaster. As we already mentioned, in 1988, almost 7 percent of high school male athletes admitted to taking steroids.
Here are some staggering current statistics:
- 11 percent of high school males say they at least “tried” steroids
- 44 percent say it is “very” or “fairly” easy to obtain steroids
- 85 percent of all teen athletes are reportedly not educated on the effects of steroids
- 40 percent of teen steroid users say they are influenced to take steroids because the pros are doing them
- 57 percent of teen users say that muscle mags help drive them to take steroids
The fact that big-name athletes and celebrities are doing steroids clearly play a role in influencing teens. Muscle magazines (which are usually filled with junk information and ads for products that don’t really work) also play a role.
Wanna buy steroids? DON’T!
If you are thinking of trying to buy steroids — think again! The side effects of steroids just simply aren’t worth it. You don’t need steroids to meet your fitness goals.