Anabolic Steroids in Exercising, Athletics, and the Effects on the Human Body Through all of history, athletes have searched for certain “foods” and “potions” to turn their old bodies into more powerful ones. By doing this, many athletes turned to anabolic steroids.
When did these drugs come about, or what is the history behind steroids? The noted history of anabolic steroids being abused drugs began in 1954 among Olympic weight lifters. During
1956, American athletes first marketed Dianabol (Methandrostenolone) in the U.S., which provided a way for use. In the beginning only the “worldclass” athletes that participated in some of the sports that required more strength used them. Athletes and their trainers began to develop high doses with different types of drugs. These athletes and trainers went against scientist’s opinions about the high dosages. Even though some scientists stated that there was no real evidence that steroids even caused muscle growth or caused the athlete to have improved ability. They even warned that the large amounts would lead to serious side effects.
As steroids reputation grew they spread to other sports. The only Olympic sports in which steroids have not been detected are figure skating and women’s field hockey. Throughout the
1970’s and 1980’s anabolic steroids spread beyond the Olympics. In 1983, nineteen athletes were disqualified from the Olympics for steroid abuse. A survey in 1970, showed that five
American universities had at least 15% of college athletic abusers. By the year 1984 20% of college athletes were using steroids (Koziris. 2000). Anabolic steroids or anabolicandrogenic steroids are the synthetic derivatives of the naturally occurring male anabolic hormone testosterone. Both anabolic and androgenic have origins from the Greek: anabolic, meaning, "to build," and androgenic, meaning "masculinizing."
Testosterone's natural androgenic effects trigger the maturing of the male reproductive system in puberty, including the growth of body hair and the deepening of the voice. The hormone's anabolic effect helps the body retain dietary protein, which aids in the development of muscles. There are many types of steroids with varying degrees of anabolic and androgenic properties; it is the anabolic property of steroids that attracts athletes, primarily to increase muscle mass and strength (Gallaway 73). There should not be a controversy over anabolic steroid use in athletics, nonmedical use of anabolic steroids is illegal and banned by most, if not all, and major sports organizations. Still, some athletes persist in taking them, believing that these substances provide a competitive advantage and by the desire to hopefully look, perform, and feel better, regardless of the dangers. When taking anabolic steroids, it makes the athlete more aggressive, competitive, and fatigue resistant, which enables them to train harder for a longer period of time when the drug is being taken (Katch, Katch, and McArdle 458). Athletes usually take anabolic steroids during the active part of their careers, in a practice called “stacking”, which they take a combined dose of the drug through both oral and injection form. Anabolic steroids frequently are taken in conjunction with a resistance training program and an augmented protein intake
(Embleton and Kennedy 267). The result once again, is improvement in sports that require strength, speed, and power. With all of this talk about better performance and everything. Does taking anabolic steroids really work? In the past, doctors believed that steroids did not really help athletes to gain muscle tissue. The athletes taking steroids only thought this would happen, so they worked harder. It was the focused attitude of the athlete and the physical stimulation of training that produced bodybuilding effects.