Sports and Steroids and Their Thesis

Excerpt from Thesis :

Every team has a full-time strength and conditioning coach. There are weight rooms, training assistants, blenders, packs of powder drinks for players. Teams thought that if they have to spend, they needed to do the best to get the most out of their players. But some guys do not want to take the hard way of going to the weight room and learning from a strength tutor. They prefer taking performance enhancers and they get desired results. They make up only 5% and they talk about what they do to those who have a hard time making money or stretching their budget. These athletes also feel others are getting ahead and that they have to take something to catch up or get to their highest level of performance. When those who take the hard way get bigger and stronger, everyone assumes that steroids are behind the progress. The 5% who resort to steroids do not shoot steroids in the open. But those who choose to progress the hard way are visible. They are seen drinking shakes, eating health bars, taking supplements and using joint lubricators for better performance. They deserve greater notice (Faraudo).

Steroids and Sports

All the controversy about steroids draws from the lack of knowledge about them.

Steroids affect the body in two ways (Dobbins 2009). One is the androgenic effect on male sexual characteristics. The other is the anabolic effect on muscle mass and strength. Chemists devise anabolic steroids in such a way as to increase the anabolic effect and decrease the androgenic effect. The purpose is to increase mass, strength and endurance. Anabolic steroids also possess ant-inflammatory properties to rehabilitate injuries. Steroids are actually similar to cortisone and share the same negative and positive effects with cortisone. Anabolic steroids increase the body's ability to us protein. This allows the athlete to train more strongly without losing muscle mass. They help build muscle mass, strength and endurance. They have anti-inflammatory properties for protection from injury or for recovery from it. But they do not automatically produce these results. Hard training must complement them. Simply taking anabolic steroids will not make an athlete train harder or longer without getting over-trained (Jones).

Doctors say that anabolic steroids do not produce the desired or imagined athletic benefits yet pose risks to health (Jones 2002). The true and main elements of athletic excellence or achievement are good genetics, hard training, good coaching and the proper diet. All the elements have to be present. The lack of even one will deter success. Just taking steroids will certainly not bring that success in. Test results on power-lifters showed that the younger and less-experienced performed much less. This indicates that anabolics do not increase the potential of highly trained athletes (Jones).

The potentially harmful side effects of steroids include a temporary and short-lived increase in sex drive, shrinkage of the testes, suppression of natural testosterone in men; masculinization in women; and acne in both sexes (Jones 2002). Masculinization symptoms include deepening of the voice, menstrual irregularities, facial hair, enlargement of the clitoris and male baldness. Anabolic steroids may also increase aggression and irritability, and changes in blood pressure and blood chemistry. They are particularly risky for teen-agers who are still developing physically. The risk depends on the form, dosage, duration of use, and the user's age, gender and state of health. Oral steroids appear to produce more serious side effects because they pass through different body systems through the process of digestion (Jones).

Prevalence among the Young

A recent study was conducted on approximately 10,000 Norwegian high school students to predict patterns of behavior in latter years with the use of anabolic androgenic steroids (Wichstrom 2006). The students were aged 15-19. They were followed up by the same researcher 5 years later. Follow-up survey measured frequent alcohol intoxication, cannabis use, hard drug use, getting offered with cannabis, eating disorder, conduct problems, sexual experience before age 15, engagement in power sports, perception of physical appearance and satisfaction with different body parts. Results showed that young age, male gender, use of anabolic androgenic steroids, involvement in sports, and alcohol intoxication predicted prevalent steroids use. The results implied that frequent alcohol intoxication and involvement in power sports tended to follow from future use of steroids (Wichsrom).

The non-therapeutic use of steroids is high among high school students in the U.S. And other Western countries (Wichstrom 2006). Recent statistics showed that there are 2-6 times as many male as female youngsters who use steroids. The risks are not limited to liver and vascular problems and permanent secondary sex changes and characteristics. Psychological effects may also develop, such as increased aggression, irritability, mania, depression and suicidal tendency. Steroids use offers competitive edge by providing muscle mass and impressive strength, which are essential to winning in sports competitions. It was, then, no surprise that the high-level use of steroids was found among contents of sprint sports events. Football, weight-lifting or power lifting, body building and self-defense are among these. The prevalence of steroids use increases as the level of performance goes up. It is highest among those competing in the international level. The high rewards of winning are the very motivation for the drug use. Qualification for the national or international levels in power events may have achieved partly because of steroids use (Wichstrom).

The contemporary masculine body ideal is a muscular body (Wichstrom 2006). Hence, dissatisfaction with one's physical looks and eating problems can lead to steroids use. Heavyweights are the ones most concerned about physical looks. Adolescents are second in rank. It appears that the motive to compete and look impressive occur highest in these two groups. Many of those listed in steroids literature have a history of long-standing steroids of mis-use or abuse. Young users are very likely offered the drugs by a supplier and they are the ones most at-risk. Not only do mis-used steroids create physical and psychological side effects. Withdrawal disturbances also occur in those who attempt to stop the use. Depression and suicidal behaviors are among these withdrawal disturbances. And authorities are worried that steroids may also be used as a connection to illicit drug to unwitting populations (Wichstrom).

Sports as Business

If the expenses on sports events are merely taken from the community budget, it is likely not to have a multiplier effect (Palmer 2002). A lot of the spending done in a local economy also tends to be for goods and services outside of it. The multiplier effect is, then, small and even negative. Job creation is minimal and most of the expense comes from businesses outside that community. The other kind of benefit is non-monetary. Sports and culture in a community improves the environment, raises the moral, civic pride and increases the enjoyment in living in that community. But this argument is difficult to measure. The only justification is increased demand for residential housing in the community. It is not clear if major league sport, franchises or regional cultural events enhance the demand (Palmer).

If non-monetary and quality-of-life effects of sports and cultural events businesses are important to the people in the community, these values should, by themselves, make living in it desirable (Palmer 2002). If living in it is desirable, it should raise real estate values. Experience shows that major theatrical festivals contribute real estate values to a given community and increase the demand to live in it. But this is not the case with major league sports franchises. Some people may be attracted to relocate into the community because of the franchise but does not translate into higher real estate values (Palmer).

Whatever benefits derive from major sports or cultural events, they are offset by a decrease in economic activity somewhere else (Palmer 2002). For example, subsidizing a National Hockey League team in one town may require a reduction of government spending in another town. Benefits from sporting or cultural activities are, therefore, not as large as claimed or imagined. Even the social, aesthetic or environmental goals of these events produce little impact on real estate values in the community, which are the true of the desirability of those events. Because the benefits are minimal, the government must seek out the funds somewhere else to justify them (Palmer).#


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