Performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) have a long history in sports according to Sports in America's "Performance-Enhancing Drugs" article. PEDs have dated back to the coliseum days when gladiator owners, or lanistas, provided opium to the gladiators to ignore pain and improve strength. But today, pharmacological research has led to a surge in the number of substances available, each with its own potential for misuse. Given the potential financial rewards of athletic success, it's no surprise that we've been witnesses to a seemingly endless series of allegations and scandals. The list of professional and amateur athletes who have become involved with PEDs reads like an index: Slugger Barry Bonds (anabolic steroids) who broke Hank Aaron's longstanding record for career home runs in 2007, Alex Rodriguez (human growth hormone or HGH) who signed one of the richest baseball contracts in the history, cyclist Lance Armstrong (performance enhancing drug or PED) who won the Tour De France seven consecutive times, as well as Roger Clemens (performance enhancing drug or PED) a seven time CY Young Award winning pitcher. These are only some of the more prominent professionals implicated in such behavior. The complicity of medical professionals and shadowy labs are often involved to help athletes get away with drug usage. For this to stop, drug testing procedures must increase and stronger punishments must be implemented for those who cheat the game. .
PEDs are basically any drug taken to boost performance but there is more to PEDs than just the name and effects. Human Growth Hormone and Anabolic Steroids are the mostly commonly used, as well as many other recreational drugs ("Performance"). PEDs first came into the United States from importation from Europe/Asia in the 1900's. PEDs in the past were used for cattle in the process to make the cattle stronger and heavier. The heavier the cattle were, the more money the farmer would receive per head.