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Steroids and Athletes

             Competition is a highly motivating force. This desire to be one of the best is one of the reasons some athletes turn to something called anabolic steroids, commonly called "juice," "juicing," "gear," or "roids." Anabolic steroids are synthetic substances which have actions similar to those of the naturally occurring hormone, testosterone. Athletes use steroids primarily to improve athletic performance, enhance appearance, and increase muscle mass and strength. Currently there are more than one million current or former users of anabolic steroids in the U.S and users pay out $400 million to get these steroids on the black market every year (Anabolic Steroid Abuse, par.14). In this paper I will show you why I think steroids are bad by giving you a brief history of how steroids came about, the methods of use, the health hazards, and the different cycles of steroids. Anabolic steroids are the by-product of over a century's research into hormones. Early researchers were not attempting to find substances which could improve performance, rather they were searching for the "Fountain of Youth." In 1889 Dr. Brown-Sequard developed an extract derived from dog testes (Embleton & Thorne 44). After injecting himself with the concoction he felt a rejuvenating effect; particularly in the matters of sexual performance. He ended up dying five years later. So then in the fist half of the 20th century actual testicle transplants were carried out on sexually dysfunctional or older men. The operations worked and sexual potency was restored. In 1935, Dr. Laqueur, a German pharmacologist, succeeded in isolating crystals from bull testicles, which was eventually given the name, testosterone (Thorne & Embleton 535). That same year Swiss chemists succeeded in synthesizing testosterone from cholesterol. Researchers discovered that some of these newly synthesized drugs, which belonged to chemically to a class of compounds called steroids, could cause muscle-building (anabolic) effects.

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