November 2002
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Athletes and Steroids Don't Mix!
By Jason C., Age 14, Delta Secondary School, Delta, BC

Anabolic steroids can cause serious damage to any teens consuming them. They not only make you bigger and tougher, but steroids can cause many serious mental side effects. Some steroid users go through violent, uncontrollable rages called "Roid Rage". Once people start consuming steroids it's very hard to quit. Soon they will be depending on them for everyday use. Take Mark McGuire, for instance. In the year of 1998, there was plenty of talk about the "home-run king" and his controversial use of androstenedione. Mark McGuire was very intent on breaking the home run record and the use of steroids helped him achieve his goal. Young athletes, especially, are at high risk of osteoporosis when using these drugs. Osteoporosis is when your bones tend to get thinner and soon become very fragile. Steroids cause the formation of new bones to be inhibited and osteoporosis and joint damage occurs. The three main problems that can occur are adverse effects in the liver, cardio-vascular system, and reproductive system. Men can also develop breasts as a short-term side effect.

The main problem associated with steroids is the abuse of the drug by athletes in sporting events. All around the world judges have certain expectations of athletes when they are competing in events. Nowadays, before you enter the Olympics, you are usually tested for any drugs in your immune system. Any evidence of steroids can cause athletes to be disqualified immediately.

When using steroids athletes must take serious precautions. First, steroids cannot make an athlete improve skills or agility. If athletes use needles to inject themselves with steroids it can cause serious infections and disease. Sharing needles can make you at high risk of Hepatitis B and the AIDS virus. Steroid use is not limited to males, but females are putting themselves at risk by using these drugs. The use of anabolic steroids, commonly a problem with college and high-school students, has been documented with children as early as fifth grade. Athletes in middle school should not be taking drugs; in fact, no one should be taking drugs at all!

Professional athletes in search of size, strength, and a competitive edge have been using steroids for decades. Well-known athletes such as Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson, was stripped of his gold medal after testing positive for steroids. Professional football star Lyle Alzado suffered an agonizing death as a result of years of steroid abuse.

Drugs commonly referred to as "steroids" are classified as anabolic, androgenic, and corticosteroids. Corticosteroids, such as cortisone, are drugs used to control inflammation, and are not the steroids that make you bigger and build muscle. Rather, it is the anabolic steroids that are used by athletes and bodybuilders "to bulk up" and improve their performance.

The athletes who are "clean" are the ones who are affected the most. If an athlete is using steroids, he or she will be physically stronger than their opponent and would constantly be superior to them. It wouldn't be fair for those who train hard and do get not get as good of a result. Those who use the steroids will have strength over them and will have the competitive edge. Many gold medals, championships, world records, and Hall of Famers have been achieved through this form of cheating. If they are tested positive for it, they can be banned from their sport. Many professional sports are making drug tests mandatory for athletes. But those who choose to take drugs are making a big mistake and taking one heck of a chance.


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