To win at all costs is basically the rationale behind every individual athlete resorting to steroid use. It is morally wrong whenever means other than those prescribed by the organizations that oversee athletics, are used in enhancing the performance of athletes. Sports enthusiasts and professionals alike employ a variety of techniques to boost their dexterity at their specialized fields to be able to enjoy their sport better and compete better. To professional athletes, the motivation might be, to contend in such a way as to get the coveted prize – the gold.

There are many legitimate ways to boost the player’s capabilities. All of them can be crammed and summarized into one old word – discipline. As there are many factors involved in preparing an athlete – and to each of them, sufficient amount of discipline has to be allotted – the aspiring contender must brace himself/herself for an extended period of holistic organizing of self. By the way, given this picture of rigorous preparation, a guaranteed one hundred percent victory is not yet secure. To lose in the competition is still a real possibility.

Because this is the real case for the aspiring winner, and this is not an easy prospect considering the amount of sacrifice, the temptation to look for or use unlawful means is for the taking. If one can cheat without getting caught, why not? It will be worth it. One who has been through a lot of pain cannot afford to lose the gain. The hype that accompanies sports entertainment is so exhilarating that even those who are not players themselves get caught up and feel they are part of every game especially when their heroes are playing.

Who does not enjoy one bit of it when the whole ingredients of fun, glitter and glamour are all wrapped in every jam-packed arena? Besides the spectacle of the celebrity athletes playing in the huge arena, the presence of other Hollywood stars themselves who grace these events as fans, make for the titillating atmosphere that provokes awe on the thousands that have become aficionados. This picture is not an overstatement, rather, it is the stuff that consumerism and entertainment are made of. However, behind these scenes, are the realities that most sports spectators do not realize.

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With the popularity goes an unimaginable pressure. The ramifications of all these are the strains of year-round non-stop practices and performances, where all are at stake for the athletes, and oftentimes – as is the case – these incur damage on some of our celebrated athletes. There are already individual athletes who succumbed to the “ultimate” solution and use anabolic steroids to boost their athletic performances whether to entertain or to win, or to simply secure the harvests of winning.

More commonly, the reasons that athletes use steroids are the following: to augment the power and the skill to play the sport, to be able to push one’s self beyond and past normal physical limitations, and stand head above shoulders over other athletes – believing they can get away with this kind of cheating. It is wrong to use steroids because these are not healthy to the body, declared illegal by the federal government, and whatever good it offers is an unnatural method that defies the rules and rationale behind every sports activity. So what are steroids, and what made these substances illegal when used by athletes or sports professionals?

This paper examines the prevalence of the use of steroids among athletes today; the legal, medical or health risks those athletes and other eminent people who allegedly use such illegal substances face. And, lastly, the regulative measures and interventions authorities prepare and impose to minimize and do away the use of steroids in sports. Definition and Demographics There are actually two kinds of steroids: the corticosteroids and the anabolic (anabolic-androgenic) types. When doctors try to control inflammation in the body, they prescribe corticosteroids.

Health conditions like lupus and asthma are regulated with the use of this type of steroids. Anabolic-androgenic types are not the same as corticosteroids. The former have become well-known as performance-enhancing drugs or ergogenic due to the prevalence of athletes’ and bodybuilders’ use and the awareness that those in the media have brought into the public’s consciousness. According to literature, the literal meaning of these words, “anabolic” and “androgenic,” are “growing or building” and “masculinization or developing male characteristics,” respectively .

Steroids are synthetic hormones and they operate or function by boosting the capacity of the body to generate muscle and inhibit the breakdown of these muscles. The promised result is the individual’s power and capability to do/endure more, jump higher, and lift more heavy weights, hit farther, and even run faster. All feats that normal or average athletes can barely do even to just half of these activities in natural ways, can be done by those who use steroids.

When athletes or bodybuilders desire to build muscle, androstenedione or “andro” is customarily taken, without the users’ taking into consideration the risks that entail such utilization of this kind of medication. These are administered either orally or by injection. The latter lasts and remains longer in the body and can be detected for a much lengthier period of time. Major League Baseball’s sports celebrity Rafael Palmeiro had become the object of inquiry in 2005 because he was tested positive despite his denials to have used the drug.

He consistently denied the allegation even until he was requested to appear before the Congressional hearing. Many were stripped off of their gold medals and other awards in various competitions because they had been tested positive of steroids. There have been studies and surveys conducted by government funded agencies on the use of these illegal drugs among teens in high school. The result of these studies among these teens, is the 2002 findings that showed there were three percent of those in the 12th grade who took steroids at least once (see figure 1. 1).

Steroid use is wrong due to ethical or moral issues, physical and health risks, and legal ramifications Touching on the ethical issues aspect, steroid use by people in sports has this dilemma in their sleeves: is it morally right to employ steroids to boost performance? Or, is it fair for a guy who is presumed to be a “sport” to use other means than what is naturally prescribed in sports? There is no room for confusion at all here because this drug, the anabolic steroids, are not specifically manufactured and prepared for such purposes. Essentially, if something is illegal or prohibited, it is immoral.

Since its usage creates an unfair advantage over other athletes and competitors who are there to play and are determined to abide by the rules, the idea of some players in the game having this performance-enhancing-drug in their system, is morally wrong . One of the presuppositions that sports in general is advocated in the educational curricula is the rationale that athletics completes the notion of a holistic pursuit of building a nation of individuals who are educated in all aspects of their being. Sports and all athletic activities stand on the belief that when the body is healthy, the mind is healthy as well,. r vice versa.

Therefore, public policies ensured that this notion is driven into the educational system, be they private or government held institutions. People who excel in athletics or sports have instilled in themselves the discipline to attain health and integrity, and sustain that level of health/integrity as much as possible. When an individual uses steroids, he has started to void this aspiration in his life, and is on the downhill run towards illness, physical destruction, and bad reputation . It is morally wrong because its usage makes one a transgressor of laws imposed by recognized authorities.

Winning is supposed to be the reward of effort, discipline and singleness of focus. Although, it should not be the only reason for joining athletics. As mentioned earlier, health and fitness to enjoy what life holds are the reasons that people enter into sports. It is unethical and morally wrong because every individual who uses steroids look at winning as the only thing foremost in his/her mind. The competition and other competitors are situations and people that get in the way and must be eliminated by all means. Secondly, it is wrong to use steroids because of the physical risks that steroid usage poses.

According to government funded health literature, there are diverse reactions to steroid use. These range from mild to serious side effects that can do damage to vital organs that might even lead to death. Some experienced breast growth, shrinking of the testicles and the eventual reduced sperm count, hypertension, heart arrhythmias, liver and prostate cancers, liver damage, depression and aggressive behavior; these are just some of the major effects of steroid use. Imagine, if Tiger Woods would have been a steroid user; he would swing his club while his boobs do the same.

There are those effects that are reversible after stoppage of use, but some can be life-long or permanent. Lastly, the legal ramifications of the usage of illegal drugs like steroids are not worth it. Because anabolic steroids are usually injected for it to last longer and more effective, the possibility of being caught is not remote. Winning-at-all-costs should be dispensed from the minds of the competitor athletes; rather, they should replace it with a different mindset. Values that places health, and enjoyment of the competition for the sake of sports and excellence must be uppermost in these sports professionals and amateurs alike.

These drugs are often sold illegally in sports gyms; some are smuggled from other countries, through the Internet and some in competitions when visiting other countries. There are also minority of pharmacies who sell these without prescriptions or clandestine laboratories manufacture these synthetics steroids. In 1991 US Congress put into law the banning of anabolic steroids other than those prescribed for people with ailments like osteoporosis etc. , by indicating that this drug be categorized under the Schedule III of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA).

This has made the possession or selling of anabolic steroids without a physician’s valid prescription as illegal. Other States have imposed more regulative measures like additional fines and penalties for its use. Moreover, the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association), professional sports leagues like NHL (National Hockey League), MLB (Major league baseball), NBA (National Basketball Association), NFL (National Football League), and the International Olympic Committee, have imposed a ban on steroid use for the reason that they pose health risks or damage and the unfair advantage over other competitors.

Conclusion In conclusion, steroid use will never be acceptably in vogue now or in the near future. The unfair advantage, potential health hazards, and the consequences for its illegal use are not enough reasons for its consumption in sports and athletic pursuits. Winning might be everything for some people, but it can still be everything without the “at-all-costs” clause attached to it.

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