Steroids A Struggle for Size Athletic competition has been part of society since the early beginnings of man. Gladiators, wrestlers, and sprinters are some the early types of athletes that competed. Mankind seems to have been born with a desire to compete; every man feels the need to have dominance over another man. These facts are even apparent in today’s society. Now there are all kinds of sports to choose from, and many of these sports are played at a professional level.

These sporting events give individuals that chance to be the better of another person, just as the earlier ones did. That inbred desire to dominate will lead men to do almost anything for victory. This is good in many cases because it shows courage and perseverance; on the other hand, many have taken it to the extreme of using outside agents to better their chances for dominance. By this I mean, a large number of athletes use performance enhancing drugs. Athletes have taken natural or synthetic performance aids since the earliest days of organized sports competition(Clark, Cooper, and Griffen, 525).

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The usage of performance enhancing drugs like steroids has become too widespread and it needs to be stopped. The illegal production and distribution of steroids should be disrupted or even halted. The athletic community as a whole looks down upon the usage of such drugs. Many rules and regulations have been created to cut down on the number of athletes that use drugs to heighten their performances. The Olympics exemplify this strategy very well. If an Olympic competitor admits or is tested positive for steroid use the can be stripped of any medals won, or they can be disqualified from all competition.

A well remembered instance in which this occurred was when the sprinter Ben Johnson won the gold medal in the 100-meter dash, but not to long after he was denounced from his position as the worlds fastest man. Professional and college football in the United States also takes this approach to athletes caught using steroids. Football players may be fined or suspended from playing in games for testing positive. Just last month three National Football League players were suspended from the last four games of their season because of testing positive for substances that were similar to steroids. These are not the only events in which testing and penalties take place.

Many other sports test their athlete for steroid use. These methods of testing and penalizing the athlete are valiant attempts at reducing the problem. Yet, these attempts are not enough because they focus too much on those that use the drugs instead of the sources of the substances. In no way though are the athletes free from blame. They are the individuals that must make the final decision, but there needs to be more of an effort to penalize the persons distributing these drugs. In order to solve any type of problem, one should consider the source of the dilemma, and then head straight for that source with the intent to dispel the struggle. I have a simple solution to propose that will correct the escalating use of steroids among the athletes of today, but it may be hard to accomplish. Although it seems like a good plan to penalize the athletes for using steroids it really is not, because all this does is temporarily lessen the use, nothing more.

These athletes are taking the full blame for this problem, but there are others that should share this burden with them. I believe that instead of attacking athletes as though they are the criminals, we need to assault the distributors of these substances. By cutting off the problem at the root, which is the distributors and producers, we prevent the athlete from ever having the chance of getting their hands on these steroids. If we do not address the problem in this manner then it is possible that it could never get resolved. It will continue to grow like weeds in a garden if we do not rectify the issue.

Leaving it up to the athletes to refrain from usage allows the substances to continue being circulated, and this does not bring us towards a solution it merely pacifies us. There needs to be some strict fines placed on those that produce or distribute steroids. It is necessary to understand the nature of these substances and what they are. Steroids are natural or synthetically occurring compounds with a wide range of physiological activity, as defined by Encarta Encyclopedia. Steroids are substances that increase strength and size of the user. These substances do this because they possess a tissue building quality. This quality speeds up certain processes at the cellular level that involve growth and development.

Steroids are commonly used in the medical world for many ailments and injuries. Included in the family of steroids are sex hormones, adrenal hormones, and bile acids. Some of the substances are important to the field of biology, as well as medicine. It was common earlier in the century for steroids to be used to treat patients suffering from gastrointestinal disorders. The steroids helped these patients build tissue that they otherwise could not, because their disorders kept them from absorbing nutrients. Steroids come in a wide array of forms, and can be taken many different ways.

These substances can be taken orally by swallowing pills, or injected directly into the bloodstream. There are a couple new forms that can be placed between the cheek and gum, as with chewing tobacco. The most common forms of steroids are the anabolic steroids that are associated with the sprinter Ben Johnson. Anabolic steroids increase muscle development, improve strength, and enhance endurance. Few of these anabolic substances are legal for use, maybe only a handful. Some anabolic steroids such as oxymethalone, nandrolone, and stanozolol can only be found on the black market. Usage of these three drugs can lead to addiction and severe health problems and other side effects. Some of the health problems include sterility, heart or liver disease, and kidney damage.

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