Should Steroids Be Regulated in Sports? What are anabolic steroids? Anabolic steroid is the familiar name for synthetic substances related to the male sex hormones; androgens. They promote the growth of skeletal muscle and the development of male sexual characteristics, and also have some other effects. In the medical field, steroids are used for treating delayed puberty, wasting of the body due to such condition as HIV, and osteoporosis. Anabolic steroids are developed to copy the body building traits of testosterone while reducing its masculine effects. Also, it helps the body to retain dietary protein and aiding growth of muscles, bones, and skin. Steroids are commonly used by bodybuilders, weightlifters, and other athletes. The usage of steroids gives the user an unfair advantage over other athletes that have worked hard to gain muscle mass without using steroids. It is easy for someone to cheat and win. With steroids, you are tricking your body. You are creating something that is not you, and that is why you are cheating. It is estimated that as many as six million Americans have used or currently use steroids. It is unbelievable that somebody could somehow live more easily and more pleasantly because of chemicals. It is fine if someone is using steroids to recover from an injury so they can get back to work and behave like an ordinary person, but God forbid they should use anymore steroids than necessary and become unusually strong. That would be morally wrong. In the same way, it is fine if people use Prozac to feel normal, and it is fine if they use Xanax to calm down before giving a speech; as long as these drugs are used only for the point of functioning as a citizen. However, as soon as the person starts using Xanax for fun it becomes morally wrong. Athletes should be regulated closely because anabolic steroids are considered cheating. The use of these drugs violates the rules of all athletics. Anabolic steroids are traced far back in history. Most steroids are illegal but still athletes use them, and put themselves at risk themselves of dangerous side effects that come with using steroids. First of all, it was believed that anabolic steroid use began in the early half of the 20th century by athletes. Beginning in the 1930s a German scientist accidentally discovered anabolic steroids in pharmaceutical form. It was originally used to treat hypogonadism, a condition in which the testes do not produce the sufficient amount of testosterone for normal growth, development, or sexual functioning. Researchers had no immediate interest to pursue the drug utility. However, in the late 1930s researchers started testing dogs with anabolic steroids and they discovered an increase in muscle mass. In the 1940s it is believed that anabolic steroids were given to Prisoners of War that were suffering from malnutrition. Anabolic steroids were introduced into the sports world in the 1940s. After a decade athletes in Europe and Russia were using steroids to increase their strength. Dr. Ziegler was able to prove that testosterone was the reason for the increased performance. The Olympics created the first history of steroid use in sports after the Russian weightlifting team won medals at the 1952 Olympics. The FDA approved Dianabol after the promising trials in other countries. The Dianabol is believed to be the first anabolic steroid in sports history. Dianabol quickly became popular among athletes or other sports persons. The drug helped the United States weightlifters win in the 1962 World Championships. In 1964 all the top steroids were on the market. In 1972 a study was done that showed no big difference of noticing who received anabolic steroid injection and those who were given placebo. Later in 1996, the National Institute of Health (NIH) decided to examine the effect of the drug by injecting testosterone enanthate in high doses intramuscularly at the rate of 600 mg/week for 10 weeks. The results gave clear indication of increase in muscle mass and decrease in fat mass among those who took the test as against those who took placebo injections. Although physicians soon noticed that the drug had unwanted side effects, it was too late to halt its spread into the sports world. The bans and illegality of steroids opened a serious chapter in the history of steroids. This created a black market of steroids that began to flourish for the illegal production and sale of drugs for non-medical purposes. As recent as January 20, 2005 the Controlled Substance Act has been amended to make it where both anabolic steroids and pro-hormones are controlled substances. Pro-hormones are hormones you already have in your body they are just amplified to the max, anabolic steroids are macrobiotic cells from cycloartenal sterols that are found in plants or lanosterol sterols that are found in animals and fungi cells. Secondly, federal and most state laws controls the sales of steroids, possession of steroids, or possession of steroids with intent to sell, are all classified as felonies. Any person who is guilty of selling steroids, or possesses steroids unlawfully with intent to sell, may be punished by up to five years in prison under federal law. That same person may face more than five years of punishment, depending on their states own laws. Almost every state has laws that place anabolic steroids in the Controlled Substance category. The legal consequences of possession of steroids may be a felony charge in state or federal court. The FIFA, soccer, and Union Cyclist International, cycling, banned the use of steroids in 1966. The International Olympic Committee joined the two in 1967. The Federal Anabolic Steroid Control Acts of 1990 places steroids into Schedule III of the Controlled Substance Act. This would make unlawful possession a federal offense, punishable by up to one year in prison and/or a minimum fine of one thousand dollars for a first offense. Anabolic steroids are illegal under both state and federal laws, which mean a person may be prosecuted under either jurisdiction. Many states follow the federal guidelines with charging people arrested for the possession of anabolic steroids. The World Anti —Doping Agency was created in 1999. Most of the sports agencies have strict policies against steroids, and steroids use and distribution without prescriptions is banned. Even with the laws in affect athletes still find ways to obtain steroids. Like in the 1988 Olympics the Canadian Ben Johnson was denied his gold medal after tests showed he had taken anabolic steroids. Ben Johnson eventually admitted to taking anabolic steroids. Track star Marion Jones, a record-setting track athlete, has been accused of steroids and performance enhancing drugs. She denies these accusations but they are still out there. Baseball player Mark McGuire is a prime of example of how a good role model can go badly. He is best known for breaking the single-season home run record in 1998. McGuire is often associated with illegal drug use; illegal drugs meaning anabolic steroids, which he has admitted to. Another example is NFL football player Lyle Alzado. He is perhaps the biggest name when it comes to the NFL and steroids. He was known to be fun to watch and was amazing on the field. He admitted to starting to take steroids in 1969 and also admitted that they were very addicting. Alzado blamed his violent temper both on and off the field to his steroid use. Lyle Alzado eventually died of a brain tumor thought to have been the result of his excessive steroid use over several decades. These athletes are all powerful role models to someone. How these role models perform both on and off the court has a large impact when it comes to a teenagers’ sportsmanship, determination, drive, and ethics when it comes to training and steroid use. The responsibility of role models can be frightening when you look at what’s out there for famous athletes and how the media is covering their steroid use or potential or alleged steroid use. There are many athletes out there that have achieved great things but also have been tainted with allegations related to steroid use. The problems really arise when teenagers or other people want to imitate what their role models do and achieve and may choose to turn to steroids to reach these levels. However, the athletes who take the anabolic steroids may or may not know the many side effects that come along with taking the illegal drug. Teens taking steroids have quite a few side effects. It is common for teens to feel invincible and have an attitude. Regardless of what they read or believe in magazines steroids and teens do not mix. Teens often look at the side effects of steroids as “ positive effects. ” These effects include the muscle building potential and the increase in male gender traits such as deepened voices. One of the main reasons why teens and steroids do not mix is that the use of anabolic steroids in teens can affect growth. Teenagers are not fully grown. Their body is made to keep growing until the levels of testosterone in the body reaches a certain level. Then teens begin taking steroids at an early age the growth plates will stop growing and the teen will experience stunted growth. Additionally, teens that use steroid injections increase the risk of transmitting or contracting diseases such as hepatitis and HIV. Women have many different side effects as well. When women choose to use anabolic steroids they are introducing a substance into their body that is not naturally found there. The physical side effects are most noticed in women who take steroids. Yes, the woman will become leaner and more muscular. This also means that she will begin to lose the curves common in most women. Women who use steroids start to develop a more masculine body with fewer curves and will even experience the shrinkage of the breast tissue. Anabolic steroids cause the body to retain sodium, which causes the user to look puffy. Females who use anabolic steroids will also notice an increase in male characteristics such as a deepening of the voice, male pattern baldness, and coarse skin. Many of these side effects are irreversible even if the drug use is discontinued as soon as the effects appear (Woolston). Also noticeable, but not nearly as clear as the physical side effects are the changes in behavior that come along with the use of anabolic steroids. These include possibilities of aggression and anger issues, depressions, mood swings, and addiction. Women who use steroids also experience problems with their ligaments and tendons because their muscular strength increases so rapidly that the ligaments and tendons cannot keep up with the rapid growth. Because steroids are actually hormone relating to the gender, testosterone is the male sex hormone, men also experience problems related to their sex organs and gender characteristics. These symptoms include a reduced sperm count, even as far as being considered infertile and an enlarged prostate. Generally, these effects will go back to normal once the user stops using steroids, but the longer they have used steroids the longer it will take for the body to return to its original state. Because of the mix of hormones in steroids, men might also notice the appearance of female sex characteristics. Most often this is the appearance of breast tissue. There are other side effects that anyone, regardless of age or gender, may experience with the use and abuse of anabolic steroids. These side effects include sterility, aggressiveness, acne, injury to the connective tissues. People who start using steroids will notice one or more of the following effects: rapid weight gain, a yellowing of the skin, swelling in the feet and legs, shakes and tremors, body odor, and acne breakouts. Some of the side effects that may not be so noticeable right away and that can cause irreversible health damage include high blood pressure, which can lead to heart disease, liver damage, including cancer, stroke and blood clots, digestive problems such as diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting, headaches, joint aches, and muscle cramps. Anabolic steroids are also thought to cause, in some occasions, emotions and psychological side effects such as severe aggression, known as ‘ roid rage’, mood swings, hallucinations, paranoia, panic attacks, depression, and even in some cases suicidal tendencies. These are often attributed to the changes by having levels of testosterone that are much higher than the normal amounts in the body. While anyone who uses anabolic steroids may experience negative side effects, women run the risk of experiencing more negative effects than men because their bodies are not used to the levels of testosterone they are subjecting them to. However, anabolic steroids have many positive side effects. Such as increased muscle size, strength, and aggression. The muscles strength and size are gained by the body’s ability to increase the amount of protein inside muscles. The body’s requirements are controlled by nitrogen balance. To support the body’s building efforts athletes must be able to eat an adequate amount of protein throughout the day and be able to process, absorb, and retain nitrogen. The intense body building promotes catabolism. Catabolism is when muscle break down but allows a state of muscle protein formation. It enhances the anabolic process. Catabolism improves the nitrogen balance. When that happens muscle protein synthesis is supported at the ultimate level. Its believed that they can stimulate the growth of new protein inside your muscle cells directly and the cells of other tissue in the body. This is why some athletes think that anabolic steroids should be allowed in sports. They believe if everyone takes steroids it would not be a disadvantage in sports. Still there is some health risk that athletes have to think about. Barry Bonds feels a different way in saying, “ Doctors ought to quit worrying about what ballplayers are taking. What players take doesn’t matter. It’s nobody else’s business. The doctors should spend their time looking for cures for cancer. It takes more than muscles to hit homers. If all those guys were using stuff, how come they’re not all hitting homers (Jeff Zillgitt, Baseball not interested in banning steroids)? “(bonds atd. In “ anabolic steroids”ESPN) Barry Bonds is right about one thing, how is it that baseball players that are taking steroids are not hitting home runs. On the other hand, how come baseball players that did not use steroid have as many home runs as the ones that did? Some athletes want to become better without the risk of health hazards. In conclusion, people especially athletes will find a way to obtain steroids. Anabolic steroids will probably always play a major role in the sports world. Steroids are traced very far back in history. Many laws have been put in place to attempt to regulate steroids however; there is the black market and the prescriptions. Anabolic steroids have many side effects that come along with taking them. It would be extremely hard to regulate steroids in sports. Yes, there are the blood tests and other tests given to athletes to test for steroids. However, there is a way or a trick to passing all these tests. The sports world needs to watch their athletes with a closer eye and watch for the side effects that they may receive from taking anabolic steroids. Athletes should know the consequences if they choose to take steroids and get caught in the act of taking them. People take steroids to be something they are not. They want to become a better person or athlete. However, steroids do not really make anything better in the end. Works Cited ” Anabolic Steroid Abuse.” MedicineNet. Web. 08 Apr. 2010. . ” Anabolic Steroids.” ESPN. ESPN, 06 Sept. 2007. . Web. 07 Apr. 2010. “ Steroids.” The New York Times 30 July 2009, Health sec. Print. Woolston, Chris. ” Anabolic Steroids: Ills and Conditions.” CVS Caremark. Caremark, 25 Nov. 2009. . Web. 07 Apr. 2010.
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