I love watching sports and also playing some of them. I’ve always known that certain substances are banned from every sport such as baseball, basketball, football. Some of these banned drugs that athletes are not supposed to use include marijuana, human growth hormones, crack cocaine and steroids. I’ve often wondered, if it helps players play better then why shouldn’t people be able to use a performance enhancer? One substance that we hear a lot about and that players in many sports have been caught using is steroids.
Currently in football, if players get caught taking steroids then they receive a long suspension. The next time, if a player gets caught using steroids or any other type of drug they will be suspended a whole season. If a player is caught using drugs for a third time, they will be banned from the league of whatever sport the player is playing in. Allowing steroids in sports could make sports more competitive and maybe make sports that are boring to watch, more exciting and interesting. The drug could also cause very serious injury or death in the sport of football or boxing. In no way am I advocating for the drug, but if the drug were to be allowed it would make almost every sport more interesting to view. If that happened, this could possibly bring more money along with a lot more action and excitement to some of the less popular games. In addition, to the popularity and excitement for the fans, more athletes will experience health issues.
According to, the U.S. Department of Justice Drug Administration, steroids are a form of testosterone. There are many forms of steroids some include Deca Durabolina, Durabolin, and Winstrolao (What are Anabolic Steroids). Anabolic steroids help make athletes more muscular and stronger. Steroids help reduce the recovery time of an athlete between workouts so he or she can train harder and more frequently. People who are not athletes also take steroids because it can help with certain medical conditions. Steroids that are used for medical purposes also can cause harm to a person. Doctors prescribe anabolic steroids to treat conditions like muscle wasting seen in aids.
According to ESPN, the reasoning behind steroids being banned in all sports is because of the sides effects the drugs can cause to the individual who takes them. Steroids can cause physical and psychological side effects in both men and women. Some physical side effects in men include reduction of sperm count, development of breasts and shrinking of testicles (Anabolic Steroids). In addition, steroids can cause the user to become more aggressive and combative. Some physical side effects in women include deepening of the voice, increased body hair and liver or kidney damage.
Steroids can be taken in the form of a pill or can be injected through a needle. Steroids can also be taken through the skin. The most common method used is to take them through the mouth by a pill or injection. Surprisingly, not just athletes take the drug. Other people who might not be athletes that use steroids are regular people who work middle class jobs. These middle class people are typically white and blue collar workers. Steroid use is also seen among teens.
If steroids was allowed in sports, I think it could change the balance of competition. Currently, some people work hard to achieve the highest ability their natural body will reach. In some cases, these people are competing against another person who has an advantage over them because that person is using steroids to achieve a greater level of strength and fitness beyond their natural ability. What if steroids were allowed? I do not believe anyone would have an advantage over his or her competition since everyone could use them. For the drug to really have an effect on the athlete he or she must have some skill to begin with. For example that’s why A-Rod was such a great baseball player and a future Hall Of Famer, because he already had skill before he started using steroids. For now, people who follow the rules and do not take steroids are at a disadvantage when competing against others who choose to break the rules and take an enhancement drug. While this sounds like a simple way to solve the problem, introducing steroids into sports would only cause more problems. That is why they are not allowed.
Some of the problems that could arise are the glorification of the drug. This would give people, especially teens and young athletes the idea that the drug is safe to use. You would probably also have people showing up to games on other drugs, drunk, or hungover, just like David Wells who came a straight from a bar and pitched a no hitter while hungover. Another problem would be the image of the sport. Watching a game that is filled with cheaters would probably result in less respect for the participants, their abilities and the sport.
The only way to preserve integrity in sports and protect the health of athletes is through banning drugs. There are countless problems that could result from allowing the use of steroids. If drugs are allowed then the amount taken by individual athletes would continue to increase. The side effects would impact more and more athletes and at some point, people who may be a very good athlete would not participate in sports because they would not want to take the health damaging drug. Also, if steroids were made legal at what age would athletes be allowed to take the drug? How would side effects be monitored? What would be the social impact? Society would need to deal with the increased number of illnesses that come with this drug use. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) states that short term effects include paranoid, impaired judgment, and extreme irritability. While long term effects can include kidney problems or failure, enlarged heart, high blood pressure, and changes in blood cholesterol which increase the risk of stroke and heart attack, even in young people. In men steroids can cause an increased risk for prostate cancer ( Advancing Addiction Science). In women it can cause changes in or stop of the menstrual cycle. Teens can experience stunted growth. The Mayo Clinic also warns of these dangerous side effects (Performance-enhancing drugs). It also states that the use of the drug can lead to infections or diseases like hepatitis and HIV aids. Again, the warning is that long term effects such as circulatory problems, heart problems and psychiatric disorders or depression are a risk associated with taking steroids.
Although steroids may sound like a potential benefit to sports and to the enhancement of competition, the arguments often made by enthusiasts and athletes of how it would improve sports are greatly outweighed by the known facts of the consequences that come from using them. The medical information on the harm that the drug causes both in the short term and long term is clear and consistent. Risking the health and long term quality of life of an individual for the benefit of good entertainment is asinine. As much as I love sports and enjoy watching high level competition, I agree with medical professionals and the sport commissioners and am convinced that steroids are not the way to improve a sport. A person’s health and the integrity of sport should be first.
Steroids are not allowed in sports because it is a dangerous drug. Steroid users can develop serious side effects that may be worth the risk when treating certain medical conditions but absolutely not worth the risk for a healthy person.
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