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Anabolic Steroid Use By Athletes Essay

3299 words - 13 pages


   In the 1988 Summer Olympics, an unbelievable feat occurred. The feat happened during one of the premiere events, the 100 meter dash. The event was set up to be a great race between Carl Lewis of the United States and Ben Johnson of Canada. This did not happen. Ben Johnson blew away the field running a 9.79, a world record. Carl Lewis finished a distant second with a 9.88 ("Ben Johnson").

That is not the end of the story. Later on, the runners had to take a urinalysis. All of the runners passed but one, Ben Johnson. He tested positive for anabolic steroid use. It was later discovered that he'd been using steroids for several years. He was striped of his gold medal and his world record. Carl Lewis was given the gold and the world record ("Ben Johnson").

In the many years since this incident, no one has come close to Ben Johnson's time. The next fastest that has ever been ran was a 9.84 by fellow Canadian Donovan Bailey in the 1996 Summer Olympics. Steroids definitely enabled Ben Johnson to reach a new level that others haven't.

Steroids are used as much in sports now as they have ever been in the past, even with stricter testing and knowledge of the harmful side effects. Olympians are especially prone to use these drugs because of the great pressure put on these athletes, but it is becoming wide spread through all sports. For the most part, the athletes get away with steroid use because of new technologies and using patterns which make the steroids undetectable to the tests.

There are three main classifications of drugs in athletics. The first class is performance continuance drugs, which is the only accepted class in athletics. This class contains such drugs as aspirin, ibuprofen, and asthma inhalers. The second class is the performance enhancing drugs, which are not allowed in athletics. This class contains Human Growth Hormones (HGH), clenbuterol, blood doping, anabolic steroids, and any other drug that is declared performance enhancing. The final group is recreational drugs. This class is also illegal in athletics and contains drugs like cocaine, crack, marijuana, and heroin. This class is more for social use than for the help it provides the athlete, so they are used equally by athletes and non athletes ("The use of Anabolic . . .").

Anabolic steroids -- technically called anabolic-androgenic steroids -- are a part of erogenic drugs and a member of the second classification. They are a synthetic derivative of the male hormone testosterone. These drugs along with exercise training allow a person to "bulk up" greatly, which may enhance an athletes ability in a sport ("The use of Anabolic . . .").

The zeal to win is within us all, but some people are just willing to go to greater lengths to win. Doping -- the use of drugs or other substances to improve one's performance -- started back even before the Roman Empire. Greek wrestlers use to gorge themselves with large amounts of meat in hopes of increasing muscle mass...

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