An Infected Wound: The Controversy of Steroids & Sports

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By Justin De Lange
With every new breed of athletes, comes a new found competitiveness. However, with that drive to be successful, desperateness follows right behind. It seems to be the recurring problem in sports. A new ways of performing better come out each and every day. A new product is on the market almost every month.
The age of PEDs (Performance enhancing drugs) in sports is and has been a predicament for quite some time now. We’ve all seen the news headlines in the span of months. One story in particular, is the Major LeagueBaseball Biogenesis scandal. This was huge news that was released in January of the current year. It still continues to be prominent even after the names of the players were released.
Another huge case of steroids in sports was Ray Lewis’ apparent involvement with SWATS. Lewis was accused of using the banned substance IGF-1, which is a substance found in Deer antler extract. Of course, Lewis was never found guilty of using said substance. But, it is too late to penalize him if he did so. Lewis was one of the Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens last football season.
Unfortunately, Steroids and other performance enhancers have infected a wound that has been forming for years now. With professional sports contracts becoming higher in price over the course of the 1990’s and 2000’s, being competitive has never been more important than it is now. The dream of being a professional sports player has not only been more difficult, but also has been drilled into the heads of youngster that dream of playing under the lights of packed out stadiums.
On occasion, a parent or coach can be seen screaming in the face of an 8 year old for not making the proper play in a baseball game. This gives the child the mentality that he can never make a mistake again.
This leads into higher competitiveness in high school and college. Sports have never been the same since seeing these kinds of events. The days of playing sports because of sheer love of the game, whatever that game may be, are pretty much gone.
Steroids began to enter the minds of young future talents. And just as if we thought that professional sports put the kibosh on that, they didn’t. College player will still be able to gain plenty of access to these drugs and will still, for the most part, be able to get away with it. This is due to the uneducated collegiate drug testing system.
In a study done by the Associated Press in 2012, they found that by looking at rosters spanning from a decade plus, that from all 120 Football Bowl Subdivision teams, found thousands of players quickly putting on significant weight, even more than their fellow players.
Now I know what everyone’s thinking, how can the weight gains alone tell us if they were using steroids? Maybe they just started eating more Wheaties for breakfast? Well, the AP figured out how to answer that question as well.
According to the same study, the documented weight gains could not be explained by the amount of money schools spent on weight rooms, trainers and other football expenses. Goodbye “Breakfast of champions” theory. These athletes were gaining 20 to 25 pounds of lean muscle in less than a month. This should have been a sign to the drug testers that they need to work on their program.
These colligate athletes automatically think that taking steroids will save their entire sports careers. They assume that these substances have no long holding side effects to them. This in fact is an incorrect assumption.
Before taking steroids, athletes should gain some knowledge of the drugs themselves. An article by Muscle and Strength magazine tells about the drugs real uses and its side effects. These are some of the words from the article.
“Steroids normally are associated with reference to a class of drugs that are used to treat a variety of medical conditions. Steroids have several uses for medical purposes, such as maintaining sexual characteristics in males following surgery for removal of testes following testicular cancer, in adolescent males suffering with malfunction of the pituitary gland, and following surgery and cancer that involves loss of muscle tissue.”
The article then goes on to say: “The side effects that steroids have on the body are many and can cause some serious side effects including cancers, but many sports users chose to ignore any information on side effects, even to the point of using the excuse of “it’s only the drugs abuse that causes side effects” but any drug that alters the homeostasis of the body will have an effect.”
The side effects include: aggressive behavior, psychotic syndromes and a high level of anxiety have been seen in high dosages, sleep disturbances, feelings of euphoria, high levels of paranoia, various stages of depression, with some users suffering extreme mood swings, and also changes in their personality, drug dependency (or addiction), altered facial features, acne (pimples, black heads, etc.), permanent baldness, heart disease, strokes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, blood clots, bouts of vomiting, kidney stones, weakening of bones, among other things. To view the entire article click here
So as we see, not only have steroids infected our country, but they have also infected the minds of young athletes. Hopefully, we can heal the wound before its results are permanent.
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An Infected Wound: The Controversy of Steroids & Sports