Do You Need Steroids in Sports

According to (Goldman, 1984), Steroids are generally classified into corticosteroids and anabolic steroids, but the category linked with sports is that of anabolic steroids. Corticosteroids are legal drugs normally prescribed by doctors to patients with inflammation problems, while anabolic steroids are only considered legal when used under medical prescription. Anabolic steroids are a version of testosterone, which is a male hormone. However, anabolic steroids can be prescribed by doctors to treat particular conditions where the mass of lean muscle have been lost. Anabolic steroids have been banned by recognized organizations of sports on grounds that they can cause health problems to athletes who use them.

Common steroids

There are various types of steroids that are used to perform different functions. They include, androstenedione, which has been widely used by athletes although evidence on its effectiveness has not been found. Andro has been derived from a hormone that occurs naturally and was banned by the administration of drugs in US. This administration argued that, Andro had been found to cause serious problems to the health of athletes who had been using it.

Another type is Primobolan otherwise known as Methenolone, which had been linked to baseball players like Alex Rodriguez. This drug can be taken in form of tablets or injection and has been popularly used to help athletes build strength in their muscles without developing signs of bulkiness or negative effects such as the ones caused by other types of steroids. (Yesalis, 1998)

According to (Smith, 1992), Tetrahydrogestrinone is another form of designer steroid with a chemical structure similar to that of other steroids that have been banned from use. This drug was manufactured in a manner that would allow it to pass through doping tests without being detected. However, its use was banned on grounds that, it was an illegal drug like other steroids and not a legal form of supplement. Clenbuterol is another steroid which is sometimes prescribed to individuals suffering from obstructive pulmonary. This steroid has been found to have serious negative effects as well as increase the mass of lean muscle.

DHEA otherwise known as dehydroepiandrosterone is a form of natural prohormone that is derived from adrenal glands. This prohormone is then converted to testosterone as well as estrogen hormones by the body. Supplements of this particular steroid are offered for sale to reduce aging signs but limitation in its research led to its ban unless prescribed by a doctor. Therefore, it has been included in the list of substances that have been banned by organizations of sports. Anabolic steroids have been banned by all recognized organizations of sports such as NFL, NBA, Olympics and NFL.

Reasons Why Sports’ Women and Men Use Steroids

Anabolic steroids can sometimes be used to as a form of therapy for various conditions. However, in sports, they are mostly used to enhance performance where sports’ women and men hope to perform better than they would have done in other sports such as racing and fighting. Anabolic steroids are specifically produced to take the place of testosterone’s traits that enhance body building while at same time minimize effects on muscles.

Athletes, coaches, physicians as well as trainers who happen to have used anabolic steroids have given reports of noticeable increase in levels of strength, endurance and the mass of lean muscle. However, contrary to their expectations, no studies have been found to prove that they enhance performance in sports women and men. That is, they do not have the ability to improve cardiovascular capacity as well as agility. However, some of those involved in sports insist that anabolic steroids help in recovering from injury though there has not been found enough evidence to support it. (Paterson, 1991)

Dangers Associated With Steroids Usage in Sports

Research on long-term impacts of anabolic steroids’ usage is yet to be carried out. However, research on impacts of doses that have been prescribed by physicians show that, anabolic steroids have the potential to cause negative effects to sports women and men. Most of the times, these effects have been found to occur even when this type of steroids is taken in minimal doses.

Though research has not yet been done, athletes, parents, doctors, and coaches have provided their observations as well as reports showing that, anabolic steroids have very dangerous side effects. Some of these side effects can be recognized easily such as, rapid increase in weight while others occur internally and cannot be seen by naked eyes. Such effects are never realized in the early stages of using anabolic steroids but in the long run, when damage has already been caused. Some effects can be reversed through treatment as well as therapy while others cannot be reversed.

There are some dangers that are specifically related to men where anabolic steroids tamper with the reproductive system of sportsmen. This may consequently lead to negative effects such as impotence, experiences of pain while urinating, shrunk testicles, enlargement of prostate, and breast development among others. On the other hand, some side effects of anabolic steroids are specific to women where they become masculine. Others include growth of hair on the face, breast reduction, irregular menstrual cycles and deepened voice. However, there is also another category of negative effects applying to both sexes which may result to conditions that are life-threatening. These include, cholesterol reduction, trembling, bad breath, aching joints, rise in blood pressure and cancer.

Anabolic Steroids Dosage and Addiction

These drugs can either be taken in form of injection or pills. This depends on the type as well as purpose of consumption. The dose that is prescribed by doctors is usually up to five milligrams while that consumed by athletes may exceed that by more than twenty times. Addiction to steroids is mostly shown through effects on the brain where mental operations are tampered with. Others are withdrawal symptoms, cravings, situations where one becomes unable to stop steroids usage as well as reverse anorexia in athletes. (Podell, 1996)


There are several programs that are being developed to cater for abusers of steroids. However, sports women and men are encouraged to rely on alternative measures to help them improve on their performance. It is argued that, people who participate in sports should use their abilities and skills in order to excel during competition. Moreover, they should be physically fit, take the right diet and avoid taking illegal drugs to boost their energy. Education on negative effects of steroids is also encouraged where those involved in sports are equipped with information regarding dangers of using steroids. (Della, 2003)


Della R. (2003): Drugs in sports: Am Coll Physicians pp 12-15.

Goldman B. (1984): Steroids and Sports: Icarus Press pp 23-26.

Paterson E. (1991): Anabolic Steroids and sports: Whitston pub Co Inc pp 12-16.

Podell J. (1996): Sports in America: Wilson Co pp 50-55.

Smith D. (1992): The efficacy of ergogenic agents in athletic competition: Androgenic- anabolic steroids: Harvey Whitney Books pp 33-38.

Yesalis C. (1998): The Steroids game: Human Kinetic Publishers pp 44-47.