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Anabolic steroids are artificially made substances with a relation to testosterone. They aid the body by catalyzing the breaking down of proteins and increase anabolism. The steroids have a general characteristic of virilization and the introduction of masculinity in the body. Anabolic is a Greek term that simply refers to the act of ‘building up’. The history of anabolic steroids dates back to the early 1930s. It is this period that would witness their complete synthesis and adoption to be used in medicinal therapy.
Currently, major developments in this field have seen anabolic steroids being used in quite a number of instances in medicine due to their ability to induce high appetites and catalyze body and muscle growth. They have an ability of controlling muscle wastage and hence are used to arrest chronic diseases such as AIDS and also cancer. Due to their potency in the enhancement of body strength, muscle bulge and physique, athletes use them. Although discovered in 1930s by German scientists, no particular interest or research was employed immediately to discover more details in regard to their roles in the body.
In the United States, for example it was only allowed usage in the late 1950s. Earlier research then had revealed no major differences between anabolic steroids and the natural ones; hence there had been no need to issue a ban on its usage even amongst sports men. A study done however by the National Institutes of health, conducted through introducing a rather higher dosage in the body, revealed physical enhancement of a higher level to those opting for placebo. It is their study that opened a plethora of steroid controls and their bans amongst sports men.
A wide range of pro-hormones have been banned despite their wide usage. Anabolic steroids have been established to have adverse effects to the health of the users (http://www. acsm-msse. org/pt/pt-core/template-journal/msse/media/0587. pdf) . Their side effects are rather long time and outweigh the benefits. When used, they lead to acne, heart and liver complications, aggressiveness as well as unwanted and excessive masculinity in both men and women. Use of anabolic steroids in medicine therapy is used in controlled amounts.
Research Paper On Performance Enhancing Drugs In Sports
In addition to the mentioned use, they are further used to induce puberty in boys, contraceptives manufacture and growth enhancement in children among many others. They have a wide range of usage as Pat Lene Han notes: “Anabolic steroids have been used in cases of malnutrition, including in patients with general bon-specific malnutrition”. Also aged person with “insufficient dietary protein intake may be prescribed anabolic steroids to restore their nitrogen balance and increase appetite” (Pg 26).
Non-medical usage or abuse of Anabolic steroids has been on the rise. The wide held perception especially by the media is that they are extremely dangerous although in reality the risk as seen in sportsmen has been minimal. The use of anabolic steroids in competitive sports is however illegal due to some very obvious reasons. Most of the countries in the world have either outlawed fully the usage, buying or selling of Anabolic steroids. In Canada, for example such a crime is punishable through a jail sentence.
All international athletic regulation bodies have almost in unison banned and condemned the use of these drugs although new forms continue to be introduced into the market as day passes by. Athletic organization have beefed up their vigilance and renewed their efforts in detecting these drugs.
This is in the bid to level the playing field and give equal chances to all participants, as William N. Taylor notes: “By most accounts, this problem has existed since the 1950s, but it may have been a problem even before then. Test measures had to be put in place by these bodies to correct this anomaly. He further adds that: These test measures were needed to counteract the growing claims and concerns that hormonally manipulated athletes were winning the lion’s share of medals especially in the track and field events (Pg 149). The illegality of Anabolic steroids use in sports person not withstanding, athlete still persistently use these substances in the hope of acquiring a competitive advantage over the rest of the pack.
This is but a natural instinct in all competitors whether old or young. They are taken in the belief that they will enhance performance in the competition as well as allowing for quick recovery after wards. This problem is not confined to professional athletes only but it further extends to student and upcoming athletes (Johnson MD, 1111). The urge by professional athletes to use performance-enhancing drugs is attributed to a brand of competitors who have an unquenchable desire to win at every cost. This has been the justification behind this usage.
Almost all professional sporting bodies that have put a ban to steroid use periodically testing the participants they suspect of taking them; those that fail the test are suspended. The debate on whether the use of steroids to enhance performance in sports has been raging on for years now since the various bodies gave an indication of banning them. They are those that try to advocate that it should be accepted while the opponents strongly condemn its usage citing the diminishing reputation in the competitive sports.
The world and Olympic champion Marion Jones has had herself stripped of titles after admitting to doping. A total number of five medals, two bronzes and three gold medals have been returned to the Olympics committee. In addition, she is facing a 6 months sentence in jail and a two-year ban. This is all after she had adamantly claimed she had never used performance-enhancing drugs. Other prominent medalists that have faced the ban include Torri Edwards and Chryste Gaines who are still on a ban. This list runs long and has continued to tarnish the sporting industry.
Prominent sports men and women have fallen from grace as allegations after allegations are heaped against them by the ever-vigilant anti-doping agencies. Jones had all along been using Anabolic steroids for a number of years now and had won international medals without the knowledge of the agencies. Again Tim Montgomery was stripped off his Olympic medals and world record as a result of using the steroids. These are just examples that show that more and more athletes could be taking steroids to enhance their performance without the knowledge of the international sporting bodies.
This does not only tarnish the reputation of the participants but it puts into disrepute past medals that have been won. There is a high possibility that there exists a huge number of athletes that are in possession of medals that are not rightfully theirs, denying a chance to those that could have won legitimately. If this scenario persists, majority of people could lose their faith in the competitive sports, as they would not be able to put a distinction between those who have won legitimately and those that won as a result of using Anabolic steroids.
The reputation of some sports remain tainted due to this abuse as Kayla Sheffield puts it in The Daily American: Because of the inexcusable mistakes of numerous players, the image of football (US) has been tarnished (www. dailyAmerican. com/article/2008/01/14/pulse/stories). There is a high risk that a number of spectators may be tempted to blanket condemn all players as using steroids. Such a condemnation is not unwarranted, as these cases of steroid use in sports have become a common place in the media.
The national football league has of late become tainted by such allegations where a number of players have admitted or discovered to be using steroids. Although some of these may be just mere allegations, they do not argue well with the image of the sports industry and players as well. Huge steps have to be taken to arrest the situation before it deteriorates further. The ethical issues surrounding the use of Anabolic steroids in sports are valid and if ignored will impede on the spirit of fair competition that has always been known to exist.