Term Paper: Steroids the Main Reason

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Steroids

The main reason for the use of steroids in college sports is the desire for better performances by players, and the process is somewhat like using medicines, but in the long run the health of the players are affected.

The first three paragraphs of the paper shall deal with when the first attention of steroid usage was brought to notice, how and why the steroids are being used by players. The next three paragraphs shall deal with examples of players found guilty of using steroids. The following two paragraphs shall deal with the health dangers associated with the use of steroids. Finally the paper shall also provide a conclusion.

The attention to steroids was first brought about by the Ben Johnson incident at the Olympics and the following enquiry. This brought steroids into the limelight. In recent years, the attention has been brought about again by Mark McGwire who has been able to break the home run record set up in 1961 by Roger Maris. According to newspapers, he has admitted to the use of a new type of steroid called Androstenedione, and this is an item that can be legally bought in the country. The purchase can be from health food stores, sports nutrition centers and medical shops. The item is legal as it is not testosterone but a chemical which can help the body prepare the steroid. Speaking in more technical terms, when the body has more of Androstenedione it is able to produce more of testosterone. When the body gets more of testosterone, the muscles in the body start producing a higher number of protein contractile bands which are also called myofilaments. (Playing Steroid Roulette: Is Mark McGwire Putting Himself at Risk?)

This increase in the number of myofilaments within the muscles leads to greater strength and increase in the size of the muscle. This is how an increase in testosterone helps the player go beyond his regular genetically produced strength and muscle development. Since there is a production of anabolic properties by testosterone, many organizations have been interested in developing related products so that they can get an advantage in marketing. This led Ciba Pharmaceutical Company to produce Dianabol which is a form of synthetic testosterone. This drug was considered very useful by the players especially among the weightlifters. This led to almost all players start using anabolic steroids by the 1964 Olympics, and especially in sports where strength was involved. (Playing Steroid Roulette: Is Mark McGwire Putting Himself at Risk?)

In the international field anabolic steroids are used by two methods through oral consumption or through injections. In general the injections are preferred as they are very similar to the chemical produced by the body and can be altered to produce an even greater anabolic effect on the body. In the oral consumption process, a large section of the chemical is spoilt on its path to the stomach through the enzymes that it comes in contact with. This results in only 5 to 10% end up acting on the body system like muscle fibers. (Playing Steroid Roulette: Is Mark McGwire Putting Himself at Risk?) the popular steroids like nandrolone which is a form of testosterone; the detection period in the body is about one year. When the same chemical is injected, the detection period is 3 to 6 months. The costs of these tests are high and that stops them from being conducted regularly and is not done outside the sports field. When an individual starts the use of steroids, the level of the steroids in the blood rises to very high levels. This is leading some of the players to start injecting themselves with a combination of chemicals so that they can avoid detection. (Steroid Drug Test) the question that the player should ask oneself is whether they are trying to become players or steroid handlers.

One of the potential players found in the season, Luis Castillo from Northwestern University has been recently found guilty of using steroids during 2004. His ranking had improved from draft to first round due to the use of steroids and he has sent a letter to all 32 NFL teams about the steroid situation. The situation was a result of his testing positive for using of androstenedione, which is now taken as a steroid by the league and the concerned government authorities. Castillo has told the teams that he had taken the drug to recover faster from an elbow injury that he had suffered in the last season in the first game for Northwestern against TCU. In spite of using the drug, he had played the full season last year and got some honors in the all America level. When he was found to have reasonable suspicion of using drugs, he was put under reasonable cause testing, and that required him to take a maximum of 24 tests in a year. This has been ordered by the medical advisor for steroids and performance enhancing drugs for the league. At the same time, Castillo had earlier given a medical of his own history regarding drugs, and that showed that he had earlier never had a positive result. This was also certified by the coach of the team who had also said that the player had never tested positive. (Walker says Castillo was steroid-free in college)

Another player is Garibaldi who played baseball at Casa Grande High School, and there are no proofs of his using steroids at the level of high school. Then he passed out from school and played baseball in college and started dreaming of a professional career. He then started using steroids which were obtained from Mexico according to some of his friends. Yet he was not a big person being less than 6 feet and weighing less than 150 pounds at the time of passing out from school, but rapidly put on weight with steroids. When in college, he became very good and was community college player of the year at Santa Rosa Junior College. Then he joined University of Southern California, and gained success and helped the university to reach the college World Series. Personally he became among the top 100 of the college players. At this stage, steroid use started reacting on him and he was dropped from the college team and finally committed suicide with a stolen gun. (Steroid use still in the shadows)

The sorrow still hurts his father and mother and they are sure that their son was in a steroid influenced depression when he committed suicide in October 2002. There was Congressional committee to look into the use of steroids in professional sports a few months ago, and they testified before the committee. The mother is a clinical psychologist and said that despite there being a lot of denial of use of steroids by professionals some positive facts came out of the hearings. There are still many coaches and players who cannot talk about steroids but even they agree that they are a problem today. Only a few of the top name players are now openly stating that they use steroids and talking about the costs of using steroids. One of them is Kelli White who is a famous track player from Union City who accepted more than a year earlier that she was using steroids. But there are not many like her, and not many try to stop their use in sports. This has cost Kelli her career in sports. (Steroid use still in the shadows)

It has been seen that any attempt to cover up the use of steroids through stealth, special modifications or other methods puts all types of player's health in danger. Steroids lead to great health risks and the anabolic types are connected with early heart disease, and said to be leading to sudden death. The manifestations are through bad cholesterol profiles, an increase in tendon damage, liver tumors, abnormal increase in the breasts of males, testicular atrophy, male pattern baldness, severe attacks of acne, sudden closing of growth in adolescents, and emotional disturbances among the users. (Steroids threaten health of Players and integrity of sports performance) the problems arise as the players use very large quantities of these chemicals and that is the danger to their use. When individuals receive testosterone injections for medical purposes, they receive a dose which amounts to about 15 mg a day through Dianabol. On the other hand, the players consume even 300 mg a day. This poses great dangers as these put on a super physiological level on the body causing the blueprints of the genetic make up to be changed. This is unnatural and has a powerful effect and leads to early death or disease only so the individual can get an edge in sport or competition. (Playing Steroid Roulette: Is Mark McGwire Putting Himself at Risk?)

Steroids initially increase body mass, physical strength, endurance and speed, and these are apparent benefits. Yet they have much harm with damages to the body much more than… [END OF PREVIEW]

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