Steroids and Sports Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

steroids are being used by many athletes, some of who will eventually admit that they used them, and more young boys (teenagers, primarily) are using steroids because there is pressure to be better, stronger, and faster even at a younger age. When the Mitchell Report came out, many big names in sports, such as Mark McGwire, were named as steroid users. McGwire was one of the athletes who came forward and admitted his mistake, in an effort to be honest with his fans and the people who had supported him as an athlete. He felt conflicted about what he had done, and wanted to come clean. This can happen with athletes, although many of them do not feel any remorse for the problems that they have caused through the use of steroids. They do not realize the ways that the steroids have affected them and those around them. The changes that they undergo may not be obvious to them, but steroids can cause many biological problems that can be irreversible.

These problems can be both mental and physical issues and can result in rage, anxiety, sleeplessness, hallucinations, and damage to the heart and other internal organs, not all of which will resolve when steroid use is discontinued. Strain theory can be used to describe the behavior of many of these users of steroids. They did not start out interested in drugs or criminality, but they ended up there because of the societal pressures. The pressure to do drugs specifically might not have even been the pressure to which they succumbed. Instead, the pressure to which many of these people succumb is the pressure to fit in and be accepted by their peers, along with the pressure to perform to a certain level. Their fans want to see them succeed, and they can get so caught up in that support that they will do whatever it takes to see success. It is wonderful to want to impress one's fans, but the reasons behind the desire to impress those fans should be examined. It is also important to consider whether breaking the rules and damaging one's body is worth having people cheer and clap and wear clothing that represents one's team name and/or number.

Strain theory says that social structures and societal pressure people to commit crime. While possession of most steroids is not illegal per se, the use of it in athletic events is against the rules of that event. Even using in the off-season is not permitted, and the players on teams and in individual sports are expected to be drug-free. The only "drugs" they are allowed to take are those that are legally prescribed for them through legitimate doctors for actual medical problems, and over-the-counter medications for colds, flu, aches, pains, and other concerns. When they consume other drugs, such as steroids, they put themselves at risk for health problems that will be ongoing throughout their lives in many cases. They can also disappoint family, fans, and friends when their drug use comes to light. They feel like criminals and are often branded as such by the media and by people who formerly supported them. In some cases, the offenses they have committed are actually illegal, criminal, and punishable. In other cases, they are tried and convicted in the court of public opinion, found guilty, and banished from the sport they loved - and that is punishment enough.

Part of the problem with the glorification of athletes such as Mark McGwire, Barry Bonds, and others is that, if and when those individuals get into trouble for things like steroid use, there are still many fans who feel as though they have done nothing wrong. Often, those fans are young boys who want to be "just like" their idols on the playing field. These young boys many play the same sport, and they may feel very inadequate because they are not able to do what their idols can do. They may also feel inadequate if they are not progressing toward being better at what they do very quickly. Steroids can become the answer for these boys as they move into their teenage years and find that many of their competitive and athletic classmates already…

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