The Ethics of Steroid Use in the Olympics

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The desire to compete — and win — is as old as history itself. From the beginnings of sport, athletes have sought out foods and potions to turn their bodies into winning machines. As early as 776 BCE, the very first Olympic games, there are records of attempts to increase testosterone levels (“Steroid Abuse in Sports”). Ancient Greek wrestlers ate vast amounts of meat to gain muscle mass, and Norse “Berserker” warriors took hallucinogenic mushrooms before battle. The first competitive athletes to be charged for doping, however, were swimmers in 1860s Amsterdam. Doping of all kinds, from caffeine to cocaine to anabolics quickly spread to other sports (“Anabolic Steroids, a Brief History”). Artificial testosterone was first synthesized in 1935 and was intended as a hormone replacement for patients who were not able to produce enough testosterone. The first documented incidence of steroid abuse in sports was at the 1954 World Weightlifting Championships. The Soviets easily dominated all of their weight classes, so Dr. John Ziegler of the US team questioned the Soviet doctor about steroids. The Soviet doctor was not afraid to admit that his athletes were injected with testosterone, and because there were no regulations in place to address the issue, they went unpenalized for their actions. Thus, Dr. Ziegler set out to create an oral testosterone derivative, superior to the Soviet injectable version, and his effort led to the creation of Dianabol in 1958, the most commonly abused anabolic of all time. (“Steroid Abuse in Sports”, “Steroid Timeline”). Steroids thrived in the Olympics in the 1960s and early ‘70s. Finally, in 1975, the International Olympic Committee imposed a ban on steroids. This, however, did not stop the athletes.... ... middle of paper ... ....html>. "Anti-Doping Initiatives." Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics. The Vanco uver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, 2010. Web. 04 Mar. 2010. . "Steroid Abuse in Sports." Association Against Steroid Abuse. Web. 04 Mar. 2010. . "Steroid Timeline." Steroids in Baseball. Ed. Allan Doherty. 2009. Web. 03 Mar. 2010. . "Use of Steroids in Olympic Sports." E-SportAZone. 19 Sept. 2009. Web. 04 Mar. 2010. . "Youth Steroid Use." Kidproof. 2010. Web. 03 Mar. 2010. .

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