Sports and the spirit of competition have been valued by the human race for centuries. Today, sports are enjoyed globally by millions of people on amateur and professional levels. Unfortunately, the desire to win and exceed in the athletic field has led to the development and use of anabolic steroids. I believe that the use of anabolic steroids should be completely banned in order to ensure the safety of all athletes, to preserve the spirit of honest competition, and to take away the temptation from future athletes to use steroids.
In order to understand the arguments presented against and for the use of anabolic steroids, it must be understood what anabolic steroids are. Anabolic means "tissue-building." Anabolic steroids are also known as an androgenic hormones which means that these drugs are "masculinizing" (Strauss 59). It is also known that testosterone, the male sex hormone, has muscle building properties and is conducive to aggressive behavior (Williams 87). Anabolic steroids work by increasing the testosterone levels in the user to increase the strength and size of muscle tissue. Anabolic steroids have been around in professional football since the early 1960's, and the use of anabolic steroids by high school athletes has been documented as early as 1959 (Yesalis 59-64). While these drugs have been banned by the International Olympic Committee, the NFL, and the NCAA, all these programs have poorly maintained the enforcement of steroid use. Other programs, like Major League Baseball, don't even ban some types of anabolic steroids (Morrissey and Japsen). All sports programs, amatuer and professional, have to strictly enforce a complete ban on anabolic steroids.
The most troubling aspect of anabolic steroids is that so many athletes choose to use it despite the serious health risks that they face. Most proponents of these drugs argue that the use of steroids only presents minimal side effects such as acne. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Anabolic steroids are very dangerous and produce a wide variety of problems for athletes, specifically cardiovascular concerns. Athletes using these steroids are at a greater risk to develop coronary heart disease at an early age because of their increased testosterone secretion. Anabolic steroids also increase the salt and water retention in an athlete which has a "deleterious effect on the cardiovascular system" as well. This means that the athlete's heart has an increased "workload." Another disturbing fact about anabolic steroids is that they are carcinogenic. "The association between anabolic steroid administration and tumor formation, particularly of the liver and kidney, is now firmly established." As if that isn't bad enough, anabolic steroid users may also experience permanent infertility. Obviously, the health risks associated with anabolic steroids are just too serious to ignore (Mottram 72-73).
Despite the health issues...