Performance Enhancement Drugs


Performance- Enhancement and supplement is to enhance ones appearance and to avoid fatigue in an athletic. What can the performance-enhancement drugs do to your body, and the side effects and risk of using steroid has on an individual? The effects steroids have on a male, female and an adolescent. And why would any body use these drugs to enhance their body futures by putting something in your body that is naturally produced.

The usage of performance-enhancing drugs in today sport is more often heard of; like in baseball, football, basketball, weightlifting, and even in the Olympics. It is not only in the major league but it is also in our school sports as well. There are different types of drugs that is being used, how they are being used, and why they are being used by the athletics, some of the side effects these drugs may have and the consequences they may have on an individual. Some of the most commonly used steroids are anadrol, oxandrin, dianabol, winstrol, decadurabolin, and equipoise.

Why Usage of Drugs in Sports

The reasons why most of the athletics are using the drugs is to increase their muscles mass, it also cut down on them from being fatigue after they are done with their workouts it also keeps them from getting sore. Some of the high school athletics are using is to increase their admirations from their family, friends. It is also that they are peer pressured into using the drug by friends family and even their coach. The athletic are sacrifices their body to their sports so they can win the games. Some of the high school students who are using may get the opportunity for them to go to the major league and a chance to receive a scholarship to a school of their choice.

Some of the names of the drugs that is being used are:

  1. Anabolic-androgenic Steroids? Is a man-made substance that is related to the male sex hormones?
  2. Creatine? It is amino acid found in your skeleton muscle, which is naturally found in your body, and it works by supping your body with energy.
  3. Androstenedione? It is testosterone that is natural produce by your body as well, and the more your body has the more muscle mass in your body and less body fat.
  4. Ephedra? Is a plant that contains ephedrine a stimulant that is similar to an amphetamine? This reduce fatigue help you loss weight.

A lot of people who uses these drugs in the sports use it to help them achieve their lifting capability and more. It also helps the individual from not getting so fatigue or sore after they get done lifting weights it can also allows them to be able to lift heavier weights, their muscles get bigger and leaner due to the steroids can makes you have less body fat. The way steroids are used is by injecting or in pills. When they are using the liquid steroids they inject the steroid into their muscles. Some of the other reason the athletics use steroids is to build muscles mass, loss weight, hide pain, to relax their muscles, increase oxygen to their tissue, and to hide the use of other drugs they may have used. Steroid is also used in stacking and pyramid.

Some of the side effects of steroids use for a man, woman, and adolescents:

  1. Man: Some of the side effects are low sperm count, baldness, shrinking of the testicles, infertile, a slight development of breast and painful erections.
  2. Woman: Some of the side effects are growth of facial hair, deepen of their voice, irregularity of their menstrual cycle, some manly-baldness, and their breast will be reduce due to loss of body fat.
  3. Adolescents: The effect for adolescents is that it can stunt their growth. The effects for all that uses steroids male or female is that they can have server acne, may become jaundice, swelling increase in bad cholesterol but decrease in good cholesterol, and mood swings. The most severe side effect is that you can cause your liver and kidneys to fail, you can get kidney and liver cancer and tumor, and it can even cause. This can also cause you to have aggressive behaviors, such as mood swing, depression, paranoid, jealous, your judgment impaired and you feel like you are invincible, in all around way it just impaired the way you would think if you were not on steroids. The drug anabolic steroids was developed in 1930’s to treat hypogonadism this was a condition when males testes did not produced enough testosterones for normal growth development and sexual functions, it was to treat puberty that was delayed.

In February of 1991, the Controlled Substance Act has passed a Federal law and a penalty that has passes for anabolic steroids. If you were caught with steroids the maximum penalty is one year in prison and a $1,000 in fines. If you decided to traffic the drugs then it is a five year in prison and $250,000 and then if you a caught again for trafficking then the fine will double. In the early 90’s the National Institute on Drug Abuse (1991) has done a survey on the usage of anabolic steroids and how much school kids have used the drug once in their lives for example the: 8th graders were 1.9%, 10th graders were 1.8%, and 12th graders were 2.1% that have taken the drug once.

Then in (1999) they have done another survey and the percentage for 8th and 10th graders was 2.7% and for the 12th graders there were 2.9%. They have noticed there was an increase in the percentage of the school age adolescents in the United States have used the drug once. The NIDA has noticed that the steroid abuse was growing higher in the females, then the adults are higher then the adolescents.

Instances of Performance Enhancements Drugs

Ben Johnson’s record-shattering sprints at the Seoul Olympics, Brian Bosworth’s fantastic rookie pro football career, and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s spectacular bodybuilding success are all results of steroids. Such famous instances have made steroids a very recognizable force in sports, although steroids have been in use since the 1950’s. Although the enhancement of physical ability through unnatural means has been debated for years, it is a fact that steroids have related dangers. Many athletes use steroids without knowing about the side effects or the consequences.

Steroids are drugs that can be used for medical treatment as well as for personal reasons. Steroids can be used to enhance athletic performance, alter body appearance, and strengthen the body’s recovery system. Firemen, police, military, athletes, and models, among many others, have been known to abuse steroids. Steroids can be taken orally, through injection, and by skin creams or patches.

Steroids are taken by many people, for different reasons and in a variety of different ways, but the possible side effects are still the same. Steroids can be obtained underground through the black market, by theft, or from fraudulent prescription. Steroids are now made illegally overseas, and shipped to buyers all over the world. The drugs are also produced in U.S. laboratories. Since all of these ways exist, no wonder why it is fairly easy to get one’s hands on some anabolic steroids.

One can only imagine how those youths will turn out if they start that early. People need to know that steroid users are just not muscle-bound male sports stars. According to the NIDA Research Report, there are many dangerous effects from steroid use. Some of these effects are acne, jaundice, trembling, swelling of the feet and ankles, reduction of HDL, the good cholesterol, bad breath, high blood pressure, liver damage, cancers, aggressiveness, impaired judgment, and stunted bone growth in teens.

Some dangers specific to women are impaired fertility, growth of facial hair, enlargement of the clitoris, deepened voice, and breast reduction. Some dangers specific to men are shrinking of the testicles, reduced sperm count, impotence, baldness, painful urination, and the development of breasts. Also, some users show behavior, perceptions, and attitudes indicative of psychological dependency. Likewise, a small percentage of users have experienced mental disturbances.

Food Supplements as Performance Enhancers

There are supplements on the market that can produce the same effects as anabolic steroids, but may also produce the same risk. Androstenedione is one such supplement, which is a precursor of testosterone. This supplement is banned in all sports, except baseball. The effects of Andro are disputed, but it is potentially dangerous. Nandrolone is another such supplement. It is completely illegal to use, being at the center of many controversial athlete suspensions. A number of well-known athletes have used it at their own risk. Since the effects are potentially harmful, use is not recommended.

Teenage use has elevated greatly in the last few years. Teenagers can be most prone to steroid use, to the pressure of doing well in high-school sports. As of 1999, 2.7% of all eighth graders studied have used steroids at one time or another. Adult steroid use is staggering; over one million adults have abused steroids at one time or another, many participating in sports. Major League Baseball is the one sports association that has the most steroid use. Opinions on MLB steroid use are mainly one-sided. According to Mike Arndt, the strength coach of the Texas Rangers, 15 to 22 percent of all major leaguers are on illegal substances, such as steroids. With contaminated players, many people won’t be able to keep a straight face when thinking about pro sports.

Solution and Prevention

There are many possible solutions to the eradication of the steroid problem. Crackdown on the black market would be a great tool against steroid abuse. Policing the borders with better enforcement and thorough shipment checks would be a great idea. Since steroids are also manufactured illegally in overseas labs, then these labs must be located and shut down. Investigation of fraudulent prescriptions is also a must if we are to attack this problem.

Mandatory drug testing under the penalty of being fired should apply to all sports associations. The current drug tests out there can be manipulated by the athletes, thus changing the results (NIDA). Popular, well-known athletes can avoid the tests and sometimes no one will even ask (NIDA). A better testing system needs to be devised that will present accurate, reliable results.

Even the wealthiest, most popular athlete should be no exception to drug testing. Also, if a player denies testing, it should be publicized in order to make an example out of them. Educating our youth also would not be a bad move on the schools’ part in order prevent a new generation of abuse. Also, steroid treatment is another way of eliminating this problem, even though on a smaller scale. (Rosellini, 48) Persuasion, common drug treatment programs, interventions, and alternatives could all be taken advantage of.

Steroids are a major part of the sports world, as well as many other walks of life, but that should not be. With all of the dangers and problems related to steroids, it is a wonder why this problem even exists. With this problem rising every day, accurate testing and treatment should be enforced more frequently. The uncertain future of our youth and the future of all sports in general may bring the steroid problem to the public attention that it needs. It is possible to eliminate the question of steroid abuse, but only time will tell if people will actually care enough to try. (Lend, 24-25)

Moral Implications

Drug usage in sport is cheating whether it be to play better, to be more relaxed or to gain more muscle mass. Like many drugs such as cocaine can give athletes, that extra advantage to reduce seconds of their time. This is unfair towards all the other athletes not using them. Athletes have always been seen as role models by young children and by using illegal drugs this gives impressionable children the wrong idea about what has to be done to succeed in sport. Performance enhancing drugs make better athletes no matter which way we look about it. ‘ “doping”- is to take or have administered to humans or animals a substance designed to elevate athletic output.’ Why do athletes take these drugs? This is a question that many individuals believe is an easy task.

The expectations put on athletes to perform from friends, family and coaches is sometimes enough to make them resort to drug usage. The problem is that these ‘illicit’ drugs aren’t exactly difficult to get, when searching the internet, websites actually selling drugs such as creatine, melatonin, omega 3, and ephedrine stimulants. There is evidence saying that athletes would use drugs if they knew that taking them would ensure they would win but not be caught. This shows that if there was no risk many of our athletes would put their bodies under too much stress by putting harmful products into their systems.

College Athletes and Performance Enhancement

College athletes are getting tested for performance enhancing drugs more often these days because of the desire to compete to higher levels. “If everyone is doing it then why shouldn’t the average athlete”, this is what many athletes are saying because they have an edge on the ones that don’t use drugs. In the NCAA, if an athlete tests positive for any banned substance they lose their eligibility for one year. A second positive results in a permanent eligibility loss.

Role models in sport are extremely important to young children because the new generation looks up to their favorite player in a sport and respects them. One of these programs that does keep kids drug free is Athletes Against Drugs. It not only helps keep the kids away from drugs, but it also helps the kids to learn to lead a productive life. The program is made up of over 300 professional and Olympic athletes. The athletes in this program are using their fame to help these kids live a better life which shows a direct influence to our society.

Athletes should take pride in being a role model, but should be responsible for acting in a way that is respectful and drug free. This encourages society to do the same and perform just as good without the need for drugs. If an athlete takes his leadership and uses it in a negative way, people will believe that by coping and following their role model they are doing what’s right, but in fact they are doing the opposite. Society expects too much out of our athletes so resorting to drugs isn’t surprising but this is still cheating no matter which way we look at it. An athlete will not achieve the same feeling when he wins a medal with drug use because it is cheating. Winning without cheating is a much better high.

The killing of brain cells is bad enough but to encourage others as a role model is worse. When a small child watches the television only to see that their hero is in fact a drug using cheater the child becomes deeply lost and has no guidance of how to achieve anything without cheating.

Athletes should take the responsibility to stop drug use in sport because it affects the growing community. This in turn, makes children lean towards drugs because they see this as the only way to win or to get that extra edge. If athletes use these drugs, they should take the responsibility of their actions and what comes of it. With so much media coverage on sport most professional athletes are role models without even wanting to be. More drug tests should be available in all sports including college and high school to stop the spread of drug use. In certain sports there is little care about drug use such as cocaine in the NFL. We need to explain that you can still be a good player without drugs such as steroids.

Even in the local scene, drug use in Grande Prairie is increasing even crystal meth has it the streets more rapidly recently. We can see it all around us as we walk down the streets and as we purchase our food. Is it that these people have nothing better to do? All these people need to do is get involved in sport but if there is little to do people resort to drugs such as in small towns where there in no recreational centers. This is why it is confusing that in Grande prairie, people are resorting to drugs when there is the leisure center, coca cola center and the crystal center.


In conclusion there should be a harder punishment and consequence for the athletics that comes up positive form any type of illegal drug use. In today’s sports there are many kids and adolescents that look up to the athletics. The little kids who get the bigger impression that if the athletic use it must be cool like for example the clothing the some of the athletics wear and then the kids see what they are wearing and then kids believe that they have to have what they have, and the shoes that some of the basketball players wear the kid’s think that they have to have those as well. Kids are very impressionable on what is cool due to what is shown on television.

The parents and the couches should inform the students that they do not have to take a performance-enhancement drug to get bigger. Even though everybody wants to win but at what cost do they want to put their children in. Even though teens’ knows better but they would fall into pure pressure and then they would just fall continue to use the drugs to keep up their appearance and then they would get used to all the attention they are getting.

The adolescents in high school who plays any sport they might get pressured by their coach or a family member to start using steroids for a little while until you get a little bit bigger in muscle mass and loss some of the body fat. A lot of the coaches might give you the impression that the way you can get sports scholarship is if you get enhance your muscles and loss some body fat. As a parent if you believe that your child is using the performance-enhancement drug to enhance them that you should get help for them to prevent any short or long term side effects. There should also not be a lot of pressure from the teen just let them go out and have fun playing the sports.

Drugs have always been a problem for professional athletes over the years. Whether it be an addiction, enhancement or downright amusing, the drug usage needs to stop soon, or else the usage will only increase. The drugs in professional sports such as football and baseball are being illegally consumed without proper authorization and inefficient testing, signaling not only an increase in usage of drugs, advancement in illegal technological products as well as a changing law for allowing drugs.

Unless professional sports league registries properly test player often and efficiently and change the outdated laws, many players will continue to use drugs and continue to use advanced and illegal drugs that are both unsafe and give players a prohibited advantage. This not only poses as a problem to the health issues of athletes but as well as a major negative influence to a new generation of kids that wanted to play sports because it was fun.

One of the most serious ethical problems in today’s sports arena deals with the usage of drugs. There are many influences on drug use and there can be no justification for athletes to cheat in order to win. Drug usage in the sporting field is a moral problem. Not only is the drug use clearly cheating and is an ethical dilemma for coaches, doctors, and officials, but it also puts the well being of the athlete at great risk. Why would any athlete expose himself or herself to bodily harm? The most obvious answer is to improve their performance. Since athletic performance is composed of so many variables, such as attitude, strength, competitive spirit, and diligence in training, it is difficult to credit the improvement in performance to the drug.

It may be simply due to the placebo effect or to the increased efficient training, but the pressure of taking the drug leads the belief of a “performance enhancement” drug. An athlete nowadays is faced with meeting expectations of the coach, teammates, family and friends.

Coaches are also faced with similar pressures to generate a winning combination, coping with the fitness levels of the athletes and then making demands on individuals, all of which may present the wrong signals in respect to drug use. Other reasons athletes are using drugs include, the coaches’ emphasis on winning as the only goal, the competitive nature of the athlete, the media’s pressure to win, and in professional sport, the huge financial rewards for winning.

The central reason behind the efforts to eliminate the use of performance enhancing drugs is to create a level playing field for everyone and prevent athletes from having unfair advantages over their competitors. However, it is the major health problems associated with sport related drug use that concerns most people. Some substances, such as ephedrine and caffeine, are common in everyday medications, so is it ok for these drugs to be allowed?

Some ways to prevent drug usage could be to have stricter rules and regulations on drugs. Make the drug testing mandatory for all athletes, instead of having a random pick of a few. In order for drug usage to stop, the role models and older athletes have to project better sportsmanship, attitudes, and proper manners. Little kids grow up wanting to be like somebody and if that person is taking “performance enhancement’ drugs, the kid will want the drugs too. (NIDA, 1-9) We can’t end drug use by starting with the younger athletes because they will look up to the elders still.

So we make sure the older athletes are providing good mannerisms so that will won’t have to preach against something bad but rather preach for something good. The fundamental idea of sport is considered to be character building by teaching the virtues of dedication, perseverance, endurance and self-discipline. Our kids will use the characteristics they learn in sport in everyday life as they grow up. So by telling them that drugs are ok in sport, we are also telling them that it is ok everywhere else. By using drugs in sport, we have taken the fun and excitement out of the game. Sport is supposed to be equal for all involved and drugs are prohibiting equality among the athletes. Drug use has no place in sports.

Works Cited

‘Anabolic Steroids.’ NIDA: Research Report Series 2001:1-9.

‘Charles White’s Story.’ Sports Illustrated. 2006:52-57.

Lend, Joe. ‘Drug Abuse.’ Reader’s Digest. 2004:24-25.

Meer, Jeff. Drugs and Sports. New York: McMillan House 2003.

Olshevsky, Boris. ‘Stopping an Athlete Killer.’ Soviet Life. 2001:52-54.

Rosellini, Lynn. ‘The Sports Factories.’ U.S. News and World Report. 2002:48.

Worsnop, Richard. ‘Athletes and Drugs.’ CQ Researcher. 2005:513.

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