Sports and Steroid Usage
Athletes are focused on winning and will do almost anything to achieve their goal. Depending on the sport, every athlete’s ambition is to either get stronger, bigger, to be able to jump higher or to be able to lift heavier.
Anabolic steroids, commonly called as ‘roids’ or ‘juice’ are very powerful prescription drugs that boost athletic performance. They are controlled substances that are meant to be used under supervision. Anabolic steroids help build muscle, thus increasing the body’s overall muscle mass. Many factors determine athletic ability- genetics, size, structure, age, diet, training routine and most important, how hard the athlete trains. While the steroids may not improve one’s skill at playing a game, they enhance skills especially in games that call for strength and size like football, basketball, weightlifting, wrestling and endurance sports like athletics and swimming.
Steroids cause changes in the body which might not be noticeable immediately but catch up with you later. Side effects include high blood pressure, heart disease, liver damage, cancer, to cite a few. Athletes believe that an athlete taking steroids has the same advantage over an athlete not taking steroids as an athlete with proper sports training and nutrition has over one who doesn’t have access to these.
The sheer competitiveness of sports today and the demand for excellence has caused athletes to seek refuge in quick fix solutions. The use of steroids to better one’s performance seems to defeat the very purpose of competing which is to find the best athlete or team at a particular sport. Most international sporting authorities have banned the use of steroids and have mandatory tests that an athlete has to undergo to prove that he or she is steroid free. No matter how cool it might seem to use steroids, the risks far outweigh the gains.