Many athletes hope to gain a competitive edge over their rivals by taking supplements for building their muscles or other drugs to enhance their performance. They pursue their dreams of winning accolades for their country or securing a position in their professional teams as it gives them the sense of personal accomplishment and satisfaction. To achieve this dream, they begin on performance enhancing drugs not realizing the risks to their health and the fact that they are actually using dope.
Steroids For Enhancing Performance
Many athletes, in order to increase their strength as well as muscle mask, take anabolic steroids, the hormones of which are produced by the body in the form of testosterone. There are two effects of this hormone which are to promote building of muscles and to develop male traits like deeper voice and facial hairs. However, athletes take these steroids in the synthetic modification in the form of injections or pills or even topical treatments and the after effect is a feeling of aggression and an ability to work out longer and harder without over training.
There is one class of anabolic steroids which are called designer drugs and they have been created illicitly so as not to be detected by current drug test. They have no approved medical use and are made especially for athletes but they can be a huge threat to them.
Risks Of Anabolic Steroids
Due to the drug’s effects that anabolic steroids have on athletes, they land up taking a much higher dose than that which is prescribed. To accurately pin-point the effects of these large doses on athletes may not be possible for researchers as enough studies have not been conducted. However, some possible side effects are-
On Men – Baldness, impotence, breasts that are prominent, infertility and shrunken testicles.
On Women – Increased body hair, baldness, irregularity of periods, deeper voice and enlarged clitoris.
Common to both Men and Women – Drug dependence, circulatory and heart problems, hyper tension, depression, aggressive behavior, severe acne, tumors and liver abnormality, enlargement of the prostrate gland, future health problems in teenagers as well as stunted development and growth, risk of tendon rupture, increased LDL and decreased HDL i.e. good cholesterol increases while the
Good Cholesterol Decreases, etc.
Taking such steroids for the enhancement of performance by the athletes is illegal and there have been effective Law Enforcements in the US to push back this illegal industry into the Black Market. The drugs are not subjected to the safety standards of the government and can be mislabeled and impure, posing health risks to its users. These drugs are either smuggled into the US or made in their clandestine labs and are prohibited by almost all sports organizations.
Performance enhancing drugs can alter the function of the normal body and have been banned in sports as they provide an unfair advantage over others as well as pose a serious health problem. The International Olympic Committee as well as the World Anti-Doping Agency have become the pioneers in the battle against drugs in sports.