Submitted By shaunmarmin
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Ryan Minniti
Professor Comerford
English 115
Steroids: The Misunderstood Super-Drug Imagine a pill or injection that could give you everything you ever wanted. “If there was a drug available to allow a journalist win the Pulitzer or to allow me to win the Nobel Prize, I pretty well think we would be injecting that drug on the steps at Old Main, here at Penn State” (“National…”). We all have a dream, something we want more than anything else in the world. Most of us would do just about anything to realize that dream. So we can sympathize with athletes when they take steroids. They are trying to achieve what they want most in the world. Whether it be making it to a professional sport, or if they are already a professional then it’s being the greatest to ever play the game. We should legalize steroids because they will be in sports regardless, athletes can pick and choose what they want in their bodies, “roid rage” does not exist, “fairness” and “ethicality” are uneducated assumptions, we can make them safer, and increase education for athletes on how much to take and when. Anabolic steroids are synthetic, or man-made, versions of the hormone testosterone. What is commonly unknown about steroids, however, is that the human body produces them every single day. During the day, your body produces catabolic steroids in the form of the hormone cortisol. Cortisol suppresses your muscles and breaks them down throughout the day. When you go to bed at night, your body produces anabolic steroids in the form of testosterone. Testosterone rebuilds your muscles and makes them stronger than they once were. So why do athletes take steroids? While you are exercising or competing, your body produces a compound called gluco-corticoid. Similarly to cortisol, gluco-corticoid suppresses your muscles and breaks them down, causing them to not reach their full potential. This also reduces the testosterone levels in your body to that of a castrated man. Your body has ten times the amount of gluco-corticoid than it does testosterone. In turn, athletes take steroids to promote more testosterone production while they exercise or compete. This gives the muscles their maximum potential, thus making the athlete perform better and recover quicker (“National…”). One fact we need to get over as a society is that steroids are here to stay. Dr. Bennett Foddy, who works in the Harold T. Shapiro Postdoctoral Fellowship in Bioethics in the University Center for Human Values at Princeton University, says, “It would be much easier to eliminate the anti-doping rules than to eliminate doping. The current policy against doping has proved expensive and difficult to police. In the near future it may become impossible to police” (Foddy). It will be impossible to police because athletes will always find a new drug to mask the steroids. Last year in the NFL it was Adderall. According to Richard Sherman, a defensive back for the Seattle Seahawks, about half of these players were coming away from drug tests with high levels of Adderall, just so happens that these players were some of the best players in the league, including Mike Neal, an outside linebacker for the Green Bay Packers (Copeland). When the NFL finds a way around Adderall, players will find a different drug to skew the results. It’s a constantly repeating cycle. Who are we to tell athletes what to do with their bodies? As Lewis Kurlantzick, a Professor of Law at the University of Connecticut School of Law, said, "Athletes are in a position to make a decision about what behavior is in their best interest, to weigh the risks and benefits according to their own values” (Kurlantzick). These men and women are adults, well into their twenties. Their brains are fully developed and they understand the risk of what they are putting into their bodies. It is a risk they are willing to take in order to become the best athlete they can be in their individual sport. One risk we all seem to get stuck on in the