By Rie Naito
Some people take anabolic steroids because they have some positive effects. Nevertheless, anabolic steroids are one of the most dangerous drugs. Those who take a little amount of anabolic steroid will have performance enhancement, and can keep good tension or a strong mental state. Many athletes want to win in competitions, such as the Olympics. Therefore, some of them try to use anabolic steroids or other drugs. However, the negative effects of taking drugs outweigh the positive effects. Athletes should not take anabolic steroids because doping is illegal in official sports events, and they have many kinds of physical and mental side effects.
“Doping is illegal in sports and can lead to a damaged career or end the career of an athlete if they are caught.”
Doping is illegal in sports and can lead to a damaged career or end the career of an athlete if they are caught. Doping means to enhance competitive skills with medicine or drugs. It is banned in official sports events such as the Olympics because it’s harmful for athletes’ health and is unfair. Most athletes keep to these regulations but some of them do doping because of they want to win. One of the examples is Lance Armstrong. He was a famous road racer around the world. He won in many sports events, especially the Tour de France. He won this event seven times in a row. However, all his titles since 1998, including seven consecutive championships in the Tour de France, were taken away because he was discovered to have used steroids. After that, he appeared on a TV show and confessed his own crimes. According to Andras Nemes, who is a professor at Semmelweis University in Hungary, “Oprah Winfrey made an interview with him where he admitted that he had cheated during most of his famed cycling career and that he bullied people who dared to tell the truth about it.” He answered all the questions that he could answer with only YES or NO. For example, she asked him if he ever took banned substances to enhance his cycling performance and he answered “Yes.” He won many competitions but he used some drugs such as anabolic steroids and EPO. Many people learned to think about doping because of him. Doping is wrong for athletes on the point of honor.
There are many kinds of physical side effects of taking anabolic steroids. First, some of the side effects are cardiovascular. For example, athletes taking this drug may have quick heart rate, increased blood pressure, and changes in lipid metabolism, including lowered high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and increased low-density lipoprotein (LDL). Cary Lanzoni, who was a student at the University of Central Missouri, said “The most common deleterious effects of anabolic steroid use are on the cardiovascular system”(82). Thus, there are many cardiovascular diseases and they are all serious. Second, anabolic steroids cause organic diseases. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), “Anabolic steroid abuse may lead to serious, even permanent health problems such as kidney problems or failure and liver damage.” If athletes have these diseases, they cannot compete in events. Finally, there are other gender specific effects. For example, men taking anabolic steroid may have baldness and increased risk for prostate cancer. On the other hand, women may have growth of facial hair or excess body hair, male-pattern baldness. In short, anabolic steroids cause many negative physical problems and they are dangerous for athletes.
“People who abuse steroids may experience withdrawal symptoms when they stop using, including mood swings, fatigue, restlessness and steroid cravings.”
Taking anabolic steroids can also cause mental side effects. Those who take anabolic steroids tend to get annoyed or anxious about something and their judgments decrease. According to NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse), “Abuse of anabolic steroids may lead to mental problems such as paranoid (extreme, unreasonable) jealousy, extreme irritability, delusions – false beliefs or ideas and impaired judgement.” Moreover, these diseases become worse if athletes continue taking anabolic steroids and they remain after stop taking. There is a study by Gundersen and others in Oslo University in Norway. They gave anabolic steroids to rats and observed them. Their muscles became bigger. After they stopped giving anabolic steroids, their cell nucleus, which is increased by this drug, didn’t decrease for three months, which is ten years in the case of people. It means the effects remain, not only in their muscles but also in mental problems. NIDA also says people who abuse steroids may experience withdrawal symptoms when they stop using, including mood swings, fatigue, restlessness and steroid cravings. Athletes’ minds are very important when they compete. Curing these mental diseases takes much time. Therefore, athletes shouldn’t take anabolic steroids.
To sum up, doping is illegal in official sports events, so athletes must not take drugs. Moreover, many kinds of side effects of anabolic steroid influences an athletes’ body and mind. If no athlete takes drugs, athletes will maintain good health and sports society will be fairer.
References and Further Reading:
Nemes Andras. “What Did the Lance Armstrong Case Teach to the World’s Doping Controllers?” International Sports Law Review Pandektis (ISLR/Pandektis), Vol.10 March-April, 2014: 395-399
Lanzoni Cary. “Are Steroids Harmful to Health?” Missouri Journal of Health, Physical Education, Recreation & Dance 2014: 80-84
“Drug Facts: Anabolic Steroids” National Institute on Drug Abuse. March 2016. Accessed 7 Jun. 2017 <https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacs/anabolic-steroids>