Steroid Use Controversies of the Sports World Term Paper

Pages: 17 (5176 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 20  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Sports

Steroid Use

Controversies of the Sports World

Tough Choices: A Book about Substance Abuse

Use of Anabolic-Androgenic Steroids in Adolescence: Winning, Looking

Good or Being Bad?

Athletes and Steroids: Playing a Deadly Game

Anabolic Steroid Abuse

Admissions before BALCO grand jury detailed

Romanowski: I broke RB's finger, took steroids, damaged brain

The Demonization of Anabolic Steroids I: What Makes These Hormones

So Evil?

What are Steroids?

Types of Steroids

Who Uses Steroids?

Reasons for Steroid Abuse

Performance Enhancement in Sports

Increasing Muscle Size

Problem Behavior

How Are Anabolic Steroids Used?

The Effects of Steroid Abuse

Masculinization in Women

Effect on Men

Cardiovascular Diseases

Liver and Skin

Infection

Behavior

Telltale Signs of Steroid Abuse

Use of Anabolic Steroids in Baseball and Pro-Football

Jason Giambi

Bill Romanowsi

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Term Paper on Steroid Use Controversies of the Sports World Assignment

Steroid Use have always been a big sports fan since my early childhood. Having played most sports with enthusiasm and some skill in school and at college, I was lucky to get the opportunity of adopting the profession of my dreams, i.e., that of a sports coach in a college. It was during my coaching days that I observed a number of sportsmen, several of them my close friends, take steroids for performance enhancement and suffer immensely as a result. The choice of my research topic on steroid use, therefore, comes naturally to me. By carrying out this research on how steroid use affects the body and minds of people, particularly sportspersons, I am not only fulfilling a part of my educational degree requirement, I am also educating myself. I intend to use this research and the knowledge gained about steroid to educate the sportsmen I coach and warn them about its dangers. Hopefully, I would be able to make a notable difference in my immediate sphere of influence by steering young sportspersons in my college clear of performance enhancing drugs such as steroids and promoting a steroid free culture in sports.

In order to carry out the requisite research on the topic of steroid use, I have utilized various print and electronic sources. These include books and journals from the library as well as a number of reports and web sites on the Internet. This research paper explores questions such as what are steroids, the types of steroids, who uses steroids, the effect it has on people body and minds, risks involved in taking steroids, and signs that people are using them. It also narrates examples of professional athletes in professional football, and baseball who have used steroids and how the drug has affected them.

The paper has been organized and formatted according to the APA style. It includes a Title Page, Table of Contents, the Introduction (the current page), a section on Review of Literature, Summary and Conclusions, and References.

Review of Literature

Controversies of the Sports World (1999)

Putnam (1999) discusses the use of steroids by sports people in chapter no. 9 ("pumping up") of the book. He looks at the example of some athletes who have been accused of using steroids for performance enhancement such as Mary Slaney, the American long-distance runner who set several world and American records in the 1970s and 1980s. She was tested positive for using banned steroids in 1997 but vehemently denied using drugs, challenging the testing procedures; she was later cleared of the charges.

Whether or not Slaney actually used steroids to gain an unfair advantage, the positive test did put a question mark against the validity of her previous athletic achievements. Putnam then goes on to examine the questions: why does doping continue? And if the ultimate goal for athletes is to do their absolute best in competition, then why is it wrong for them to take drugs that help them achieve that goal? (p. 117). The author also reviews the history of performance enhancing drugs in sports. In ancient Greece, for example, athletic competitors consumed extracts of mushrooms and plant seeds to enhance their performance. In ancient Rome, when chariot races and gladiator fights were major sporting events, horses as well as gladiators were frequently 'doped' to run faster or fight more ferociously. The first recorded death from drug-use in sports was in 1886 when a cyclist died from an overdose of trimethyl. Use of drugs proliferated when steroid, a synthetic form of male hormones, was invented in the 1930s. Since then, use of steroids by athletes to boost their performance has become common. Athletes in the Soviet Union and other communist nations used steroids with impunity in the 1950s and 1960s and won startling victories. Steroid use gradually became common in other parts of the world. The most infamous case of steroid use in track and field was that of Ben Johnson, the Canadian 100-meter runner who displayed the most astonishing burst of speed ever witnessed while winning the Olympic Gold Medal at the 1988 in Seoul, only to be tested positive for using steroids and being disgraced and banned.

Putnam discusses the dangers of using steroids but also presents the alternative view of some people who argue that performance-enhancing drugs should be permitted in sports. Supporters of steroid use in sports, although small in number, argue that athletes are fully entitled to seek competitive advantages over their opponents and use of steroid is akin to using better equipment, better coaches, or better training programs. They also contend that the harmful side effects of steroids have been exaggerated. The author sees a subtle trend of leniency towards drug use by sport authorities and believes that drug use in sports would continue as long as medical science makes such performance enhancing drugs available (pp. 124-126).

Tough Choices: A Book about Substance Abuse (1995)

The author (John Langone) discusses the topic in one of the chapters titled "steroids." The chapter contains an interesting piece of information, i.e., that German soldiers in World War II took steroids before battle to make them more aggressive and, ironically, the survivors of the Nazi death camps took them too to build up their wasted bodies after the War (Langone, 70).

Steroids have their legitimate uses too. They are sometimes prescribed for treating some forms of anemia, osteoporosis, serious burns, and to replace male hormones in people who need them. However, steroids have found more widespread use elsewhere. In the 1950s, athletes, led by weightlifters began to consume steroids to add muscle; non-professionals who just wanted to improve their physical looks followed them. It is estimated that currently more than a million Americans, including 250,000 high school seniors, take the drug in order to look beautiful (Ibid. 71).

While most experts agree that steroids increase body weight and perhaps strength too, there is still some disagreement on whether it improves performance. On the other hand, it is well-known that steroid causes a number of harmful side effects. For example, steroids hinder the natural production of the male hormone, testosterone, in young males. As a result, it may stunt their growth and the development of male sexual organs. Steroids also affect the normal liver function of young as well as older people. It promotes male traits and other physical changes such as smaller breasts in women. Its psychological effects include aggressive or violent behavior in the user (known as "roid rage"), and depression. It may also cause addiction when taken in large doses (Ibid, pp. 72-73). The information on steroids in this book is rather sketchy and far from comprehensive.

Use of Anabolic-Androgenic Steroids in Adolescence: Winning, Looking Good or Being Bad? (2001)

Wichstrom and Pedersen (2001) have carried out a study on steroids in order to (1) determine the prevalence of Anabolic-Androgenic Steroids (AAS) use among adolescents in Norway according to sports involvement and demographic factors; (2) to test sports involvement, appearance and eating concerns, and 'problem behavior theory' regarding prediction of AAS use; and (3) to identify predictors of AAS use vs. rejection of AAS by adolescents.

The study is important because the search for risk and protective factors for AAS use in adolescence is vital. In addition, most studies about steroids have either focused on the sports perspective, and the need or desire in young people to look and feel good. This study also looks at the third important dimension in steroid use, i.e., the 'problem behavior theory' (PBT) -- according to which steroid abuse in adolescents is part of a larger syndrome of problem behavior in young people that includes other delinquent-type behavior such as underage drinking, problem drinking, marijuana use, use of other illicit drugs and precocious sexual behavior. PBT further suggests that young people who are heavily involved in one area of problem behavior tend also to be heavily involved in others.

The study was conducted between 1992 and 1994 in Norway. The research involved

8, 877 participants from 67 schools in Norway of grades 7-12 (ages 12-20) who were representative of the high school Norwegian population. The main categories of the participants were junior high school (31.9%), senior high school (49.6%) and there were slightly more girls (53.8%) than boys among them.… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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