As long as children and adults are being conditioned that winning at all costs is acceptable steroid use is going to be an issue in sports.
In an interview with the Kansas City Star, Jeremy Giambi became the first active baseball player with significant major-league experience to publicly admit that he knowingly used steroids (Passan, 2005). "
Statements from professional athletes can be a first effective step in stopping the use of steroids in sports. Professional athletes that use steroids and come forward to make statements can tell the world about the side affects they have experienced. They can also explain how they got started and why they began, which in turn will provide answers that can help in developing preventative programs.
Giambi declined to get into specifics of his steroid use, but this much is certain: He went from a decent major-league outfielder to a journeyman starving for what could be one final shot. Injuries ones he thinks might have been brought on by steroids sidelined him for most of the last two seasons. All of the promise shown during 1998, when Giambi hit.372 with the Class AAA Omaha Royals, has withered.
So before he starts over, he wants to come clean about steroids. He wants others to do the same.
They're not good for you," Giambi says. "I think we need to reach out and let teenagers know they're not good for your body and not good for your health (Passan, 2005). "
In addition to professional athletes stepping forward about steroid use there are other measures that can be taken to curb the use of steroid use in sports. Random testing at the high school level will help in alleviating the problem of steroid use in youth sports.
Student-athletes subject to random drug testing at an Oregon high school were almost four times less likely to use drugs than their counterparts at a similar school who were not tested, a study shows (Silverman, 2002).
The one-year pilot study by researchers at Oregon Health & Sciences University compared Wahtonka High School in the Dalles, where all student-athletes were subject to random testing, and Warrenton High School, a demographically similar school near Astoria, where they were not.
Of the 135 athletes subject to the random testing at Wahtonka, 5.3% said they were using illicit drugs by the end of the school year, versus 19.4% of the 141 athletes at Warrenton (Silverman, 2002). "
Steroid use in the sports world at any level is a current issues across the nation. Steroid use initially creates a belief that performance will be enhanced, but in reality it will not be. One will get bigger physically, but research has shown that no speed or strength or endurance will be gained.
The side effects of sports steroids have been documented and can be serious and fatal.
The effort to stop the use of steroids in sports has to be implemented at several levels. Professional athletes must come forward and speak up about the down side of using steroids. They must also support and implement stricter testing methods and punishments for professional athletes that use steroids.
If the punishment includes things such as being fired, or sitting out entire seasons without pay then the professional athlete will think twice before getting caught up in the world of sports steroid use. In addition the media has to work with the sports world to stop romanticizing professional athletes to the point that anything they do is acceptable.
The underlying path to stopping the use of steroids in sports will come when the young athletes are stopped. This can be done with stringent drug testing, public service work to let them know the dangers, and professional athletes publicly denouncing their use. All of these things combined with parents and coaches letting young athletes know that winning isn't everything will have a positive impact on the war against sports steroid use.
Steroid use in the world of sports has moved to the public forefront and has been receiving attention in the media. In the meantime athletes nationwide are making the choice every day whether or not to use steroids to bulk up in their sport. National perceptions have helped create the monster called steroid sports use, and national perception has to change that attitude. Working together, professional athletes, parents, coaches and mentors can change the public perception about steroid use in sports. Public service messages, mentoring, and other programs can reach sports participants and change their mind about using steroids.
____. Fighting steroid use takes attitude change; it won't be enough for schools to penalize users, the way sports is approached should change. Portland Press Herald (Maine); 4/6/2000
Jackson, Harry. "Out of bounds Illegal steroid use holds serious health risks for kids,"
St. Louis Post-Dispatch; 3/28/2005; of the Post-Dispatch
McGowan, Joe." Sports and Steroids." Time for Kids; 4/1/2005;