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Steroid Usage In Professional Sports In America

1723 words - 7 pages

In today's world, being the best at everything is the striving goal for most.Becoming a professional athlete has surpassed the youth males former American Dreamof following in their fathers footsteps in the workforce. Parents who are now formerathletes that did not make it to the professional level are now pushing their kids toand past their limits to ensure that they to do "make it". Some of these parents force theirchildren to take performance enhanced drugs to better their chances. This has brought upa nation-wide debate: If taking steroids can make a person become a better athlete orguarantee a million dollar contract in the future, should it really be considered illegal andbanned?Why do athletes use steroids? Most athletes, especially in college, have dreams ofmaking it to the professional ranks. Those already at the pro-level want to be the best ofthe best, and some believe that consuming steroids can do that for them. Mark Fainara-Wada speaks on why athletes and body builders use steroids: "Nearly all steroid users aretaking steroids because they trust it, as is the only way to develop muscle and strength. Inaddition, almost all bodybuilders are taking steroids because they want to get as muchstrength and size as they possibly can" (Fainara-Wada 37). Steroids are a drug; like otherdrugs, people take them to escape reality, and they enjoy what the drug does for them.Steroid users like what the drug has done for their size and strength, and it has taken themaway from their original, smaller body. The public sees steroid users as cheaters orpeople who have the lack of doing something "the hard way, even though steroid userswork just as hard if not harder than those who do not indulge in steroids"(Taylor 17).Major side effects from abusive usage in taking anabolic steroids include "livertumors, cancer, jaundice, fluid retention, arthritis, high blood pressure, and cholesteroldefects. Other negative results can be kidney tumors, severe acne, and trembling."(Yesalis 34). There are also gender specific side effects that can occur. Men mayexperience "shrinking of the testicles, a loss in sperm count, infertility, baldness, and inincreased risk for prostate cancer" (Yesalis 36). Women may encounter "growth of facialhair, changes in the menstrual cycle, and a voice with added bass. Adolescents may haveto overcome growth spurts, and accelerated puberty and skeletal maturation" (Yesalis 37).Anabolic steroids can also affect a person mentally. In a survey taken in 2004 by theNew England Journal of Medicine, out of two hundred and seventy-seven men who usedanabolic steroids for physical purpose, eighty-six percent suffered from paranoid jealousy,extreme irritability, delusional thoughts,and/or impaired judgment coming from thethought that they appeared invisible to themselves.Steroid usage is primarily individual, so then why does the use of steroids insports bother us? Those who agree with steroid usage say that, "It only hurts me, so whydoes society...

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