Before the 1990's, athletes were unique. They were able to capitalize on their
God-given talents, and make themselves famous based on their skill. But then something
happened. Steroids began to play a bigger and bigger role in sports. No longer were the
most naturally gifted athletes becoming the stars. Now, it can be said that whoever has
the best pharmacist can be the best athlete. As the amount of performance enhancing
steroids increases in professional sports, many athletes are gaining an unfair advantage
over their competition.
Athletes take steroids to gain an advantage. Steroids are used by athletes in
baseball, football, and in Olympic events in hopes of finding the edge to make them the
best in their sport. By mimicking the anabolic effects of testosterone, steroids help build
tissues, help muscle recovery after injuries, and strengthen bones. "We live in a very fast
world now and, we're always looking for a shortcut. We always want to get rich the
fastest way, we want to get famous the fastest way, we want to get strong and be
competitive the fastest way," Arnold Schwarzenegger said, on why athletes take steroids.
Some athletes simply do not feel like they can compete with the best in the world
without a little help. This could be the number one reason why athlete begin taking
steroids. Some of their peers are bigger, faster, or more skilled, and they want to feel
equal, and get a little outside help. "...Some people are naturally gifted, others have to
work very. Some people are not going to make it without extra help," remarked Erik de
Bruin, coach/husband of Michelle Smith, who won three gold medals in the 1996
Olympics, shaving almost twenty seconds off her best time from 1993. To try to gain
athletic equality, or superiority in their sports, they go to steroids for a little extra kick.
Muscle building drugs have transfonned sports into something of a freak show.
The general build of a given athlete is much bigger with their arms, shoulders, and legs
enlarged, sometimes to a point that they do not look real. "...Guys out there look like Mr.
Potato head, with a head and arms and 6 or 7 body parts that just don't look right. They
don't fit. I'm not sure how [steroid use] snuck in so quickly, but it's become a prominent
thing very quie...
... middle of paper ...
...get a six-game, nearly half a season, suspension. Third time offenders earn a
one-year ban from the sport they love. The United States Track and Field delegates
recently voted in favor of changing their steroid-use policy. The new policy, which states
that anyone who tests positive for steroids will accept a lifetime ban from participating in
any event under the U.S. Track and Field Organization, will replace an older policy that
only suspended steroid users for two years. Major League Baseball finally started testing
its players for steroids. Its punishments are not as severe as the NFL or USA TF, but that
is because it was just put into place. They do not have the best system, but it is the start
Steroid use in professional sports is only now beginning to be seen as the problem
it is, and work is finally being done to try to wipe out the use of performance enhancing
steroids in all of sports. It will take some time, but with the penalties becoming more
severe, hopefully this problem will run its course and disappear. By ridding sports of
steroids, an equal opportunity for all athletes will be restored.
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