Baseball has changed dramatically over the past ten years and a major factor impacting the changes may be players" use of performance enhancing drugs. In less than four years Babe Ruth's single season record of 60 home runs has been broken by Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire and Barry Bonds. Pitchers today throw baseballs over 100 miles per hour where 90 miles per hour was considered phenomenal only a few years ago. Today's players are bigger and stronger than the baseball heroes of yesterday and many sports writers and baseball analysts suspect the reason involves the use of anabolic-androgenic steroids. Anabolic-androgenic steroids are commonly used, however, do the affects of steroids, the risks of steroids and the consequences of steroids show players that this is a situation you might want to keep your self away from?.
Anabolic-androgenic steroids are man made substances related to male sex hormones. These steroids are used by athletes to artificially raise testosterone levels in the body. Raising testosterone levels allows the user to train longer and harder, increase muscle mass and add body weight primarily through retention of dietary protein and body fluids. Mark McGwire used androstenedione, an over-the-counter steroid supplement, the year he broke Ruth's home run record. Former Oakland Athletics slugger Jose Conseco recently admitted to being a "steroid addict." More and more baseball players and "more than half a million U.S. high school students used steroids last year to beef up their athletic image and attempt to increase their sports efficiency." (New York Post; July 13, 2003). .
Steroids in baseball and other sports have been proven to enhance performance and provide a competitive advantage. But the risks associated with these substances are alarming. Baltimore Orioles pitcher Steve Bechler collapsed and died during this year's spring training. His autopsy revealed the presence of the energy supplement ephedra - a drug banned by the National Football League.