The Use of Anabolic Steroids and History of Doping

The Use of Anabolic Steroids and History of Doping
When athletes compete to win in sports, they tend to sometimes want more out of them than they can perform. This occasionally leads athletes to steroids. There are a large amount of athletes today who actually want steroids to be legitimate in competitions, but at least for now you get disqualified for using them. While reading this essay, you will understand why. The consequences of steroids are severe and if you would legitimize it, everyone would take the most powerful stuff to get ahead of the competition which will lead to a lot of deaths and a lot more injuries in sports. I chose this subject because I really wanted to know more about steroids. I?ve heard so much bad things about it so I wanted to know if it was all true. My question for the essay is: What are Anabolic Steroids and what is the history of doping?
What is anabolic steroids?
Anabolic steroids are a male sex steroid which is produced through different chemical processes. A man produces testosterone himself in his testicles but it is a very small amount. The testosterone that is produced in a man is around 3-11 mg per day and it affects body-hair, the evolution of the genitals and the sperm production. The hormonal production is at its highest during the ages of 12-20 years and it?s also then the body-hair and other parts of the body are evolved the most. The testosterone also has effects in the man?s behavior and sexuality. Even a woman produces testosterone but it?s at a much smaller scale.
The testosterone has two effects on the body. On one hand you have the androgenic effect which makes the male features emerge clearer. This effect amplifies your body-hair and you get a more aggressive behavior. On the other hand you have the anabolic effect from testosterone which gives you better muscle growth with of course is very appreciated by bodybuilders. It is the anabolic effect of steroids that bodybuilder are looking for.
That?s also the reason that it?s called anabolic-androgenic steroids (aas). During the production development of aas you want to remove the androgenic side of the supplement but up until this day they have still not find any way to do that.
People who misuse steroids often take very high doses to improve their muscular growth. A dose of steroids for an addict can contain as much as 100 times more than a prescription dose contains.
Teenagers whom haven?t developed fully who start to abuse steroids can lead to that they stop growing. You basically end up much shorter than you would have if you would have stayed away of steroids. The direct affect of the hormonal system can also lead to developing womanlike breasts, also called gynecomnasti. The reason for this is that some of the testosterone from the steroids turns into estrogen which is a women sex steroid.
Apart from enlarging the breasts a steroid addict receives a lot of acne, mostly on your back, and you start losing hair. They also tend to cause your muscle cells to retain more water which makes you look bloated.
Anabolic-androgenic steroids affect in many ways your inner organs. Especially exposed are liver, kidney and heart. Continuous use can lead to liver cysts, the step before cancer. Even other liver functions can be affected and start to decompose and you also run a risk of getting liver damage as a result of the abuse.
Your sexuality is another part of you that takes a big amount of damage during a abuse of aas. For example, the sperm production can come to a total stop or at least be greatly decreased and continuous misuse can lead to infertility. This is especially bad for teenagers whom the hormonal production not yet has been stabilized. Known side effects on women are deeper voice, smaller breasts and a beard growth.
The most known side effects on your psyche is that you become much more aggressive as a result of taking the steroids. Your reality perception changes and there are several cases in Sweden were you can connect crimes of violence such as murder to anabolic steroids. The addict has also consumed alcohol and together with the high dose of steroids, he becomes mad and really loses his reality perception. Other phenomena can be depressions, insomnia, suicide thoughts, nervousness and withdrawal symptoms.
After a steroid addiction, your production of testosterone is reduced and the body becomes smaller. You can, depending on how your body reacts to steroids, become less muscular then you were before the addiction.

Popular steroids

Winstrol / Stromba
?Pharmaceutical Name: Stanozolol
Chemical structure: 17 alpha-methyl-5alpha- androstano [3,2-c]pyrazol-17 beta-ol
Molecular weight of base: 344.5392

Effective dose: 50-100 mg/day injection
Average Street-price: 50mg injection
Available Doses: 50-100 mg/ml
This steroid is the steroid that Ben Johnson took when he beat the world record in 100 meters back in 1988.?

?Pharmaceutical Name: Oxymetholone
Chemical structure: 17 beta-hydroxy-2-hydroxymethylene-17alpha-methyl-5 alpha-androstan-3-one
Molecular weight of base: 332.482

Effective dose: 50-150 mg / day orally
Average Street-price: $1.50 ? $2 per 50mg tab
Available Doses: 2.5, 5 and 50 mg tabs?
This is the most effective steroid up to date. With this you can experience gains such as 5 kilos 2 weeks. 

Even as far back as 5000 years ago Chinese doctors recommended different types of plant extracts to give an anabolic effect in combination with sports. Ma Huang is an example of a medicine which was used for its anabolic effects in the old China to enhance the circulation of the blood to easy coughs. At the year of 1885 a Japanese scientist managed to isolate the active substance in ephedrine, which comes from the plant Ephedra distachya.

Other early anabolic substances was the different types of mushrooms athletes used in the old Greece to enhance their physical performances in the early Olympic games.

The marathon was an early arena for performance enhancing substances. It was in the beginning of the 20th century the big test to prove that you are a man. Thomas Hicks won the marathon in S:t Louis 1904. He?s coach, Charles Lucas, thought that Hicks started to look a bit vague halfway through the race. He drives up in a car alongside Hicks and hands over a mix of cognac and Strychnine. Because they didn?t know better they thought at that time that small doses of that substance made you more energetic. Hicks could just as well have fallen dead onto the ground, but instead he became faster. A few miles before the finish line the procedure was repeated and Hicks wins the race. It took him 3 days to recover well enough to pick up his gold medal. After the ceremony Thomas Hicks tells his coach that he doesn?t want to run anymore.
During the mid-thirties scientist manages to produce the first chemically produced testosterone, the male hormone. They had created what we today call anabolic steroids and it was of course intended to be used in medicine, mostly to decrease the degradation of protein and increase the muscular growth. However it wasn?t the immediate success they had hoped for. Instead people realized the value of the effects during World War II. The German trench soldiers were given the substance and it made them both bigger and stronger, but also more agressive. Jensen died at the Olympics 1960 in Rome. Affected by amphetamine he collapsed and got so severe skull injuries that his life could not be saved. This became a big turning point.

The professor Arne Ljungkvist is probably the person who meant the most for the entire international cooperation which covered all questions about performance enhancing drugs. He was competing himself in the 1952 Olympics in Helsingfors as a high jumper and the combination of a athlete and a scientist was very rare at the time, and he was involved early in the international Olympic committee, ioc.

The program took time, and it was not until the Olympics 1968 in Mexico that there was a type of list over all the forbidden substances. The first person to ever get caught for using performance enhancing drugs was actually a swede. He had taken a couple of beers before the main event to calm down his nerves, but alcohol was a forbid den substance according to the list, so his team was disqualified and the bronze medals had to be returned. It would later on show that other forms of performance enhancing drugs were significantly worse and at 1972 the testing started.

As late as 1976, the decision to forbid Anabolic Steroids was taken, because it wasn?t until then that good methods to analyze people existed. However for the Olympic boards steroid hunters the games 1980 in Moscow became a fiasco. Not even one single case of steroid abuse was found. The Soviet union and eastern Germany took 127 gold medals. The rest of the world took 55 together.
In East Germany sports had become politics and steroids a city concern. The country had a hard time getting its communistic ideology accepted by the western world. A part of the solution was a small blue pill. The miracle pill which was brought forward during the 60s was called Turinabol. It is an anabolic steroid which had the advantage of breaking down fast in the body and being hard to trace, plus that it gave a slow, more qualitative effect than other substances known during that time. Around 10000 athletes, women and men, is believed to have been exposed to hormonal treatments and anabolic steroids according to the documents that Stasi, the east German security office were keeping.

The east German cheating was as most obvious during the European championships in swimming 1983 in Rome. All the gold and silver medals in the championship were won by them.

Another thing that the ioc had been suspecting for a long time without being able to do anything about it is blood doping. There were no rules against it or methods of measuring it, but during 1984 at the Olympic games in LA they received a non suspected confirmation. The American team which took the bronze admitted to all being blood doped. Blood doping was forbidden 2 years later and the American team could keep their medals.

The 24th of September 1988, a sizzling hot day in South Korea, was the day that many people?s illusions of sporting being something beautiful was changed, and it all just took 9.79 seconds. Later on Ben Johnsons urine test tested positive for the anabolic steroid Stanozolol and he was disqualified.

The international cooperation started working very hard after the scandal in Söul and Tour de Franc e 1998, were loads of different ways of doping were discovered at the different biking stands. The primary thing they did was to create a organization called wada, World Anti-doping Agency in the year of 1999. With money from the ioc for starters and later on financed by governments around the world meant big possibilities in the hunt of the cheaters.
Wada became an immediate success. Now there were good test methods to see if anyone has used anabolic steroids. Because of that people focused more on a new form of blood doping, eop, which was a hormone brought to help sick people with a impaired ability to produce red corpuscles, and thereby the muscles oxygen uptake. It was of course a really desired hormone for the cheaters in conditioning and endurance sports. ioc banned epo already in 1990, but it took all the way until Sidney 2000 before wada could trace epo-doping in a effective way.

ioc and wada had known that something was wrong in the usa for a long time. Even before the Olympics in Sidney the international athletic association had acted against usa, when they discovered that a large number of athletes left positive doping tests, without any reaction from the American athletes association. In the year of 2003 the American doping agency receives an anonymous phone call, later on identified as Trevor Graham, coach to athletes such as Marion Jonas, who tells them about a steroid misuse in the Balco Laboratory in California. He had also sent in a sample of a substance to the agency. The Balco laboratory had managed to special design a steroid for athletes. It was called Tetrahydrogestrione, thg. Tests had shown that thg is almost ten times more effective than other anabolic steroids. Because of the sample the American doping agency could quickly find a way to track the substance. The result was a chock. A large number of star athletes such as Tim Montgomery, Marion Jones, Regina Jacobs and Kelly White either confessed or got caught. Kelly white actually was provided this substance without actually knowing it. Kelly White wes told by Balco head Victor Conte that it was just supplements and vitamins, not steroids. When she realized that it was steroids she stopped taking them at once. However, after the injury plagued, losing year in 2002 she started taking them again.

In modern medical care it has started to be possible to treat some hard, often hereditary diseases by swapping the sick hereditary genes to a new healthy one. This is called Horizontal Gene transfer (hgt). There is a enourmous doping potential in this teqnique, but also new ways and possibilities to trace more traditional cheeters. Jenny Jacobsson Schultze is working at the Karolinska Universitets sjukhuset in hudding. She has in a study managed to prove genetic differences which could lead to different results in doping tests. So this could either bring a better doping future, or a much worse one.


Steroids are something you should stay as far away from as possible. The consequences you get from abusing them are far worse than the results you get. I think people like Ben Johnson actually knew that they would get caught, but they just wanted those few days of fame until they got caught. Imagine being the world record breaker for a few days and the whole world knows your name as the fastest man alive. By doing this essay I got a really good look into steroids and I know a lot more about them now than I did before. To sum it up, I think that the media hasn?t shown enough of the bad effects of steroid abuse. Beforehand I thought they were talking to much about it but after doing this I changed my mind. People need to be aware of this problem, so young athletes doesn?t get caught and addicted so I hope you learnt something by reading this. 

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