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Steroids In Sports Essay

2424 words - 10 pages

Americans today tend to believe that there are only a select few in sports who are users of steroids. However, according to Julian Savulescu, "20.3% of professional athletes said they have tried drugs or steroids to improve their performance in the game" (3). At this high percentage, about one in five athletes are considered "cheaters". Jacob Beck believes that "using steroids is not cheating if a whole generation of the best and most promising athletes have been doing it" (5). There is no reason to continue trying to catch steroid users when so many athletes take them. All major league sports are filled with steroid use to some extent. It is impossible to have a perfectly "clean" sport without eliminating a good percentage of its players. Since steroids already have a major presence in major league sports and there is no way to ever completely get rid of them, steroid use should be legalized. By legalizing steroids, athletes would no longer have to worry about unsafe or risky suppliers; with prescriptions from doctors, steroids would be safe for the athletes, and users would be less likely to abuse them. Also, the playing fields for all sports would be more equal than they have ever been in a long time. By creating an equal playing field, sport records would be more meaningful and there would be much fewer arguments for cheating or an unfair record. With an increase in muscle strength, there would be fewer injuries and more quality performances, which would make fans more inclined to go to a game knowing there was going to be a great display of strength and athleticism.
In 1935, German scientists developed anabolic steroids as a way to treat hypogonadism or testosterone deficiency. Through scientific experiment and studies there have found to be "fifty eight types of anabolic steroids, five types of hormones, and fourteen types of steroids" (Hassan 4). A steroid is a type of organic compound that contains a "specific arrangement of four cycloalkane rings that are joined to each other" (Pantuosco 7). Common types of steroids are estrogen, cortisol, and testosterone. Anabolic steroids are part of the class of testosterone steroids. They help in the process of "protein synthesis inside the cells which can help in developing anabolism (building up of the cellular tissue), and secondary sex characteristics such as voice deepening" (Hassan 5). Many people believe that it is unhealthy to take increased levels of testosterone when not needed, however, "increased testosterone levels have been proven to increase positive moods and decrease stress" (Pantuosco 8). With these views, people have passed acts to try and eliminate steroid use. In 1987, when steroids were becoming a major part in the sport, the NFL began testing players for steroid use. They hoped to catch users and make the game a little more fair. However, according to the International Amateur Athletic Federation, only "10 to 15% of participating athletes were actually tested in each major...

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