Although they have legitimate medical uses, steroids are increasingly being used by individuals as a way to quickly build up muscle and increase strength(Goldberg, 316). Anabolic steroids or anabolic-androgenic steroids are derived from naturally occurring testosterone (male anabolic hormone). Both androgenic and anabolic steroids have their origins in the Greek words means masculinize. They are used by athletes who want to build up body muscle, for weightlifting, football, and any other sport that require explosive amounts of strength (Mohun, 21). Steroids use are illegal and banned by most, if not all, major sports and organizations. If a participant is caught using steroids they can be suspended, fined, or even expelled from their particular sport. So why do athletes take this explosive drug you ask’ First, it involves certain personality traits found in many athletes, especially in those who desire, above everything else, to be champions. Second, it has to do with a number of pressures exerted by the sports world on modern competitors (Dolan, 35).
Professional Athletes have a huge influence on other athletes and their fans. Mark McGwire, a retired professional baseball player, openly admitted to taking androstenedione during his record-breaking season. A few years back, NFL linebacker Brian Bosworth tested positive for steroids and was banned from playing in a championship college game. He claimed that taking steroids are safe, once it is in small amounts (Nardo, 28). Numerous retired baseball players, such as Ken Caminiti, are coming forward in the news stating that steroid use is widespread in major league baseball. These are men who us regular Joes look up to and idolize and if they are saying it’s okay to use steroids then that makes fans and young kids think it is okay too.
Side effects of Steroids
Some of the side effects of steroids include shrinking of the testes, increased acne, loss of hair, extreme aggressiveness, liver damage, high blood pressure, prostate problems, and an increased risk of heart attack and stroke due to an elevation in LDL levels (Sallis, 131). But there are also women who use steroids as well. Their side effects consist of deepened voice, rougher skin, extreme aggressiveness, mustache darkens, baldness may occur, and all the heart and organ problems that men are susceptible to (Dolan, 31).
b. Amphetamines and Cocaine
Another drug used in sports is Amphetamines, which are classified as stimulant drugs because they instill that same sense of well-being (Dolan, 45). These stimulants include a whole range of substances, from caffeine, through amphetamines to cocaine. All these substances stimulate the body, mentally and physically. Cocaine is one of the most widely publicized recreational drugs. The National Institute on Drug Abuse estimates that about six million Americans use cocaine on a regular basis(Nardo, 55). This number includes people in all professions from professional sports to police officers. But, professional athletes who use the drug both for recreation and as an energy booster before games have been hit unusually hard by the drug. Seemingly indestructible heroes have been brought to their knees, says William Gildea, a sportswriter for the Washington Post.