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Anabolic Steroid Use in Athletics

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Essay title: Anabolic Steroid Use in Athletics

Anabolic Steroid Use In Athletics

Why is there such a huge controversy about non-medical anabolic steroid usage in sports? It is illegal and banned by most sports organizations everywhere. I believe that anabolic steroid use by athletes should continue to be banned. It is dangerous to the athlete's health, and is also cheating. Society is sending a mixed message about punishing athletes for the usage of anabolic steroids. In my paper, I plan to discuss each of these in detail.

What are anabolic steroids? They are artificially produced hormones that are like male sex hormones in the body. There are many types available with testosterone being the most powerful. There are also steroidal supplements which used to be sold in health food stores. They are now illegal and you have to have a prescription to get them. Steroids basically help your muscle tissues grow. They help improve muscle mass, strength, and endurance. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has legalized anabolic steroids for the therapeutic treatment of some types of diseases such as osteoporosis, breast cancer, and others. Steroids have many names such as stackers or pumpers, and come in many forms, like gels, pills, or injections. Using steroids is referred to as "doping."

Anabolic steroids are dangerous to an athlete's health. "The biggest use of these steroids today is seen among body builders and athletes who could wind up with significantly damaged hearts and livers, says principal investigator Carl Grunfeld, MD, PhD." (Howe,2006). There are many risks involved with their usage. Liver damage, nausea and vomiting, high blood pressure, mood swings, paranoia, and problems sleeping, to name a few. For women, steroid usage can cause menstrual cycle changes and the development of masculine traits. For men, they can cause testicular shrinkage, impotence, breast development, and infertility.

Some say that the effects of steroids are not bad. Dr. John Baxter, professor of medicine at the University of California at San Francisco says "I don't want to say there's nothing bad about them because there are side effects, especially in younger people. But putting them in a league with cocaine and heroin is way out of perspective" (Dvorchak, 2005). The truth is that steroids are bad for you and should be put into a classification with heroin and cocaine. People have died from using steroids, and people have suffered from long-term damage from using them.

My next point is that the use of anabolic steroids to enhance an athlete's performance is cheating. Damaging your body and getting disqualified are not great ways to improve your performance. "Sport is considered as character building, teaching the virtues of dedication, perseverance, endurance, and self-discipline" (Mottram, 2003). Some say that in competition, the athlete is seeking an advantage over their opponent. It is what competing is about. I believe that competing is about training, strengthening, and practicing so you can become a good athlete. Competing is not about taking any medication of any kind to enhance your performance.

My last point is that rule makers are sending a mixed message to society when punishing athletes who use steroids. They set rules banning steroids and threaten disqualification, but a lot of the athletes that are caught using steroids get a slap on the wrist and are right back playing again. Take this for example. A statement was made by Adolph Birch, an NFL attorney who enforced the ban on performance-enhancing drugs, to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "You are not going to eliminate steroids unless we control we control borders and the pharmacies. But we can make the consequences of using them such that we deter the vast majority of players from even wanting to try and make sure we catch everybody who does. We think our policy

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