The Pursuit of Excellence: Steroid Myths in Sport
Steroids are used for many reasons. Some use them because they want to look better than others or they want to improve their performance.
Others use it for health purposes such as weight loss, muscle building, recovery from training sessions etc. Still other uses steroids due to money making opportunities like endorsements, financial gain and so on.
In any case, there are some facts which everyone must know before deciding whether to take steroids or not. These facts include:
1) There is no scientific evidence that shows that taking steroids will make you stronger or faster.
You might get bigger but you won’t become fast or strong. On the contrary, your muscles will probably just grow weaker and eventually atrophy.
2) Even if you do achieve certain goals with steroids, you may still experience side effects such as liver damage, heart problems, depression and so on.
And these side effects are usually permanent.
3) Steroids don’t really work for everybody.
If you have a genetic predisposition towards being weak or slow then you shouldn’t even consider using them.
4) The same goes for people who are prone to anxiety and other mental diseases.
If you have a weak mind then using steroids may make you go insane or even commit suicide.
5) There is no way to prove that steroids actually help in the sporting arena.
We all know that some of them have been caught with them but there are many who haven’t been caught and continue to break records.
Now, people may have other reasons for taking steroids such as they make them look more attractive or they help them make money. These reasons may not be scientifically sound but they are quite valid from a certain point of view.
If you really want to use steroids then do so at your own risk.
Types of Steroids
There are many types of steroids out there in the market and it definitely isn’t easy to keep up with all of them. In this section we will look at some types of steroids that are used primarily by athletes and bodybuilders.
– Anadrol: This is a steroid that is used to treat people who suffer from HIV or those who have suffered a great loss of weight. It helps in such cases to help people gain weight again.
For bodybuilders and athletes it is used to gain massive muscle mass.
– Dianabol: Another one which is popular with athletes and bodybuilders. It is a derivate of testosterone and helps the users gain muscle mass and become stronger.
It was widely used in the old days.
– Deca Durabolin: This one is also a popular steroid and helps people build muscle and become stronger. Over the years it has become more and more difficult to source this steroid.
– Winstrol: A steroid that does not have any fat building properties but helps people become leaner and stronger. It also helps people become more defined.
– Anavar: This one is the complete opposite of Deca Durabolin and was widely used by the Soviet athletes. It helps them become leaner, faster and stronger.
– Clenbuterol: This one is not exactly a steroid but it does have some anabolic effects and is used by many athletes and bodybuilders as a fat burning agent and helps increase muscle mass to a certain degree.
– Human Growth Hormone: This is a very complex hormone which is primarily used to treat children who suffer from stunted growth as well as adults who have cancer. In the bodybuilding and athletics world it has become very popular as it helps dramatically increase the muscle mass of users.
– IGF: This stands for Insulin like Growth Factor. It is a substance that is naturally produced in the human body.
It is very difficult to obtain and use in sports due to its highly sensitive nature. It helps people increase muscle mass and also have rejuvenating effects on the human body.
– Clomifene: This substance increases testosterone production in men as well as women and is used to treat female infertility. In athletics it is popular with athletes as it helps them increase testosterone production as well as having anabolic effects.
– DHEA: This one is actually a steroid precursor. It is not an anabolic steroid but it is very popular with athletes as it helps them increase testosterone production.
It also helps people increase bone and muscle mass and is also used to help treat people who suffer from depression.
-Ephedrine: This one is also popular with athletes and bodybuilders as it has been proven to have effects similar to epinephrine but only to a lesser degree. It increases blood pressure and also has effects similar to adrenaline.
-Epinephrine: Also known as adrenaline, this one is the real deal when it comes to stimulating the sympathetic nervous system and is taken to treat a person who has low blood pressure or a person who has had an accident or heart attack to stimulate the heart. It is also taken by bodybuilders and athletes to increase their adrenaline levels.
-Insulin: This is a very important hormone that is produced by the pancreas and helps control blood sugar levels in the body. Injected insulin taken from animals or even synthetic forms of insulin help people suffering from diabetes as well as bodybuilders and athletes as it helps them build muscle and recover faster from workouts.
– Melanotan: This substance is what has been called the Barbie Drug due to the fact that it aids in tanning as well as having effects similar to other classes of drugs. It is not an anabolic steroid but carries many of the same risks.
It is still a relatively new drug and as such its long term effects are not yet known. It has been known to cause nausea, dizziness and headaches in users. It has also been known to cause erectile dysfunction in men as well as other sexual related problems.
– Erythropoietin: Also known as EPO this is a naturally occurring hormone which stimulates the production of red blood cells. It is taken by bodybuilders and athletes to increase endurance and recovery from injury.
It can also increase the risk of health problems such as heart attacks, strokes, tumours and arthritis.
– IGF-1: This hormone is similar in structure to growth hormone and is taken by bodybuilders and athletes to increase recovery, muscle mass and endurance. It can have serious side effects including cancer.
– HGH: Also known as Human Growth Hormone this is a hormone that exists naturally in the body. It helps people grow when they are children and also helps maintain muscle and bone mass in adults.
It is taken by athletes and bodybuilders to increase recovery and muscle mass.
-Insulin: This a hormone that exists in the body to help with sugar levels. It is also a banned substance as it has been proven to enhance endurance, strength and recovery.
It’s illegal forms are taken via injection just like all the other steroids.
-Clenbuterol: This drug is often found in fat burners as well as being available on the black market. It has a similar effect to adrenaline in that it increases the heart rate, blood pressure and is highly toxic.
It can help athletes and bodybuilders with muscle gain, fat loss and increasing endurance. The primary side effects are anxiety, headaches, vomiting and nausea.
-Ephedrine: Also known as Ephedra this herb was banned by the FDA in 2004. It has similar effects to adrenaline, increasing heart rate, blood pressure and can lead to cardiovascular problems.
It is often found in fat burners and also taken by bodybuilders and athletes for its ability to increase endurance and decrease muscle fatigue.
-Dietary supplements: These are common among bodybuilders and athletes especially before contests to lose the last bit of fat or to gain a slight advantage over competitors. They come in all sorts of forms such as tablets, capsules, drinks, strips, gums and more.
It is not always clear what these supplements actually contain and side effects can include anything from heart attacks to psychosis and death.
Nike – “There is no such thing as over preparation.”
The use of performance enhancing drugs has become so common place that most professional sports have set up extensive testing programs to try and combat it. As the technology around detection of different chemicals improves so do the methods that athletes use to try and beat the tests.
Most sports now have a banned list of substances which athletes are not allowed to take.
A List of Commonly Found Substances:
Anabolic steroids: These drugs are derivatives of testosterone and are taken to increase muscle mass and decrease recovery time. They have been used by athletes, bodybuilders and also regular gym goers.
The use of these drugs is controversial due to the dangerous side effects they can have on users such as increased risk of heart attack, liver and kidney problems, aggressive behavior and even psychological addiction.
Human Growth Hormone: This is a naturally occurring protein in the body which controls growth in children and adolescents. It is banned for use in professional sports due to the fact it aids in building muscle and recovery.
Blood doping: This method involves taking out some of your own blood a few weeks before a competition, storing it and then replacing it just before the event so that your blood has more oxygen carrying particles. The extra oxygen boosts endurance levels and improves reaction times.
Corticosteroids: Synthetically made derivatives of naturally occurring substances in the body. They can be taken orally, injected into joints or applied topically.
They are used to decrease pain and inflammation as well as to treat a variety of health conditions.. The side effects are serious and include immune system suppression due to increased susceptibility to infection, aggressive behavior and psychosis. Long term effects can also include diabetes and problems with the pituitary, thyroid and adrenal glands.
Herbal supplements: These contain a variety of substances and while some are completely safe and beneficial, many have not been researched at all and can have negative effects. They may interfere with the treatment of illnesses as well as having negative reactions when taken with prescription drugs.
Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT): This is the use of hormones such as estrogen and testosterone to treat health conditions resulting in low levels of those hormones. It is mostly used to treat menopause and low testosterone which come with aging.
Athletes and bodybuilders use them to boost their performance but the side effects are serious and can include increased risk of cancer, heart disease and stroke as well as liver damage.
Insulin: This hormone is used by diabetics to control blood sugar levels. It can also be taken by healthy people to increase energy as well as muscle growth.
Side effects are similar to Cushings Syndrome and may lead to coma and death due to low blood sugar.
Melanotan: Also known as a “tanning” drug this is used to increase the rate of pigment production in the skin resulting in a darker tan. It has also been used to treat symptoms of depression however there have been reports of people going into remission from melanoma developing the cancer again while taking this drug.
Recreational Drugs: Everything from alcohol, marijuana and caffeine through to cocaine, speed and LSD fall under this category. Although many of them have medicinal uses, they are mostly used for recreation enhancing the senses and making people feel happier, more energetic or more in tune with their surroundings.
This is a huge subject and the side effects can range from nausea, anxiety, blackouts and psychosis to death due to overdose.
Stimulants: This category of drugs includes everything from coffee and tea to cocaine and speed. They increase energy levels, reaction times and in the case of cocaine improve mood.
Doctors may prescribe them to treat hyperactivity and ADHD however they carry risk of dependence, toxicity and even psychosis or death due to heart failure.
Testosterone: Also known as “steroids”, these drugs are used to improve muscle growth, increase energy and increase libido in men. They carry a high risk of side effects including liver and heart problems as well as enlargement of the male reproductive organs.
They can also cause aggression leading to increased risk taking behavior and even psychotic episodes.
Tranquilizers: Also known as “benzos”, these drugs are mainly used to reduce anxiety and induce sleep. They are highly addictive and can lead to depression when withdrawn from.
Other side effects can include liver and lung damage as well as risky behavior due to overdose causing respiratory and cardiac failure.
What is the name of your Supplement/Drug?
This is a huge list of supplements and drugs (Most are Items from SR4A). If your answer is not on the list, please give its name or a brief description in the text box below (or in both).
Did you take the drug/Supplement before the race?
How much of the drug/Supplement did you take?
How long before the race did you take it?
Did you consume or inject anything else before the race?
Are you aware of any health issues?
Death: You died during the race for any number of reasons from simply bursting and exploding to having a heart attack or being beheaded by your car’s restraint system.
Injured: You managed to survive the race but during the race you were injured enough that you will require months or even years of medical treatment.
Victory: You managed to win the race and gain fame and fortune.
Second: You managed to finish second in the race, narrowly losing out on victory.
Third: You managed to finish third in the race, losing out on a chance at winning.
Did you win?
If no, did you finish first or second?
Fourth or lower
How many races have you participated in?
This is your first race
You have participated in 1-3 races
You have participated in 4-6 races
You have participated in 7 or more races
How many races have you won?
This is your first race
You have won 1-3 races
You have won 4-6 races
You have won 7 or more races
You are tied for the most wins in the league right now.
Below are various options to expand on your character, items and more that you can use to flesh out the story.
The crowd is roaring in the stands and the announcer is going insane as you make your final victory lap around the arena. You can barely hear anything due to the noise of the crowd and your car’s vuvuzelas.
As you pull up to the gate you see a member of the Zealian royal guard waiting for you. He has been waiting there for the last hour since your victory and as you pull up he hops on the back of your car and motions for you to follow him.
You pull out your earplugs as the vuvuzelas die down. “Mr.
Vahn, is it?”
The Zealian royal guard asks. “I am Lieutenant Horward, and I wish to speak to you on matters of grave importance at the request of his grace, Count Grey. He has expressed a desire to meet with you and will be expecting you in his palace. You may park your vehicle in the bomb garage and a Zealian servant will take you to meet the count.”
You park your car in the garage and note that there are many large mechanical monsters occupying spaces nearby. You board an elevator with several guards accompanying you and Lieutenant Horward and ride it up to the palace proper.
You walk through several large halls before reaching Count Grey who waits in his audience chamber. He stands up upon your entrance, a cup of wine in his hand. He wears light platemail with an emblem on the chest that you cannot make out at this distance. He is of moderate age, though his black hair shows no trace of grey and his face shows few signs of age. His eyes are light and sharp, taking in every detail. He smiles as he sees you and waves aside his guards, motioning you to approach him. As you do so, he offers you a drink from his cup, which you politely refuse.
Vahn, I trust you enjoyed your race?”
The Count asks. “I won with several minutes to spare!” You say in an attempt at small talk. “Ah, excellent! I am glad to hear it. I meant to watch, but my council talks wear on me at times. Sometimes I just need some downtime.”
“I understand.” You reply, unsure of what else to say.
“The council just finished their meeting with you.” Count Grey says.
You pause for a moment, trying to understand the statement. “
“I asked them if they needed to speak to you before I invited you in, but they said that you should meet regardless. I was confused by this at first, but after our conversation I believe I understand.”
What are you talking about?”
Why don’t you tell me?”
Count Grey replies, smiling.
“I have no idea what you mean.”
Count Grey pauses for a moment, taking a small sip from his cup. “Mm, this wine is from your family’s vineyard.
I had no idea it was in such poor condition.”
You stand in silence for a moment as you try to understand the situation. “I think you have the wrong man.” You say, trying to remain calm.
Count Grey replies, still smiling. “You are Mr.
Vahn, of the Vahns of Rask, correct? Lord Vahn, if I might?”
“Yes.” You reply.
Tell me, what brings you to our fair city?”
You tell Count Grey about the deal that Captain Gruz made with your family.
Sources & references used in this article:
Darwin’s athletes: How sport has damaged Black America and preserved the myth of race by DS Eitzen – 2016 – Rowman & Littlefield
Playing and protesting: Sport as a vehicle for social change by JM Hoberman – 1997 – books.google.com
He did it on hot dogs and beer. Natural excellence in human athletic achievement by P Kaufman, EA Wolff – Journal of sport and social issues, 2010 – journals.sagepub.com
Hormones and sport-Drugs in sport-the role of the physician by D Wasserman – The ideal of nature. Debates about …, 2011 – thetarrytownmeetings.org
The seductive powers of athleticism: Finding out why elite sport is thriving after all by RT Dawson – Journal of Endocrinology, 2001 – pdfs.semanticscholar.org
Sport, culture and society: an introduction by V Møller, B López – Catalan Journal of Communication & …, 2014 – ingentaconnect.com