Steroids2 Essay

This essay has a total of 1423 words and 8 pages.

Steroids2




May 11, 2000

Steroid Use Should Be Legalized

The 1988 Olympics in Seoul, South Korea, proved to be one of the most exciting Olympic
games of all time. World records fell in everyday of the 14-day event; in every sport
ranging from shuttlecock to track and field, records fell like dominos. The most
competitive sport in the 1988 Olympiad was the men's 100-meter dash, with a field
consisting of the ten fastest men in the world, at the time. World record holder Ben
Johnson, who shattered the world record by thirteen hundreds of a second a month earlier,
and 1984 Olympic 100-meter dash champion, Carl Lewis, highlighted the field. The winner
of this race would carry with him the title of being the "Worlds Fastest Man".

As the competitors lined up at the starting line, they knew the race would be over in less
than ten seconds. The gun sounds off and the start is clean. Carl Lewis and Ben Johnson
are tied for the lead at the thirty-meter mark but the next seventy-meters would prove to
be the most disappointing seventy-meters in Carl Lewis's life. After the thirty-meter
mark, Ben Johnson pulled away from Carl Lewis and the rest of the field with little effort
and crossed finish line first, winning the race by seven meters over Carl Lewis. Seven
meters is an eternity in the 100-meter dash. Ben Johnson now had the title of "World’s
Fastest Man".

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Four days later that title and his medal would be stripped from him. The International
Olympic Committee had found evidence that Ben Johnson had been using anabolic steroids, a
substance banned by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the International
Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF), which are the two governing bodies for amateur
athletics. Ben Johnson was not only stripped of his medal but was indefinitely suspended
from competing in track and field. He ran his fast times by using a banned substance but
still it was a man that did it, not a machine. This is why steroids should be legalized in
all athletic competition.

Steroids, which are also referred to as anabolic – androgenic steroids, are drugs that are
derived from the male hormone testosterone. Steroids promote muscle growth and lean body
mass. Steroids have many medical uses. They are used to treat asthma, arthritis;
Addison’s Disease, and certain skin ailments. Many athletes abuse steroids to boost their
performance. This use and all non-medical use of steroids are illegal in the United
States.

Though non-medical use of steroids is illegal in the United States, laws regulating
steroid use are inadequate. Steroid testing procedures are also inadequate and easily
cheated. “The word steroid calls to mind a 350 pound lineman who not so long ago weighed
275 pounds and two thirds of it was fat and now he is all muscle. True, football players
depend on drugs a lot in their everyday life, but the real problem is in the Olympics. It
is no secret that almost every Olympic athlete uses steroids in training sometime or
another. Dozens of coaches and athletes that were interviewed by Sports Illustrated say
that the Atlanta Olympics were a carnival of experiments in the use of

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performance enhancing drugs.” (“Over the Edge”, Sports Illustrated, April 14, 1997)
“Athletes are a walking laboratory, and the Olympics have become a proving ground for
scientists, chemists and unethical doctors,” says Doctor Robert Voy, director of drug
testing for the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) at the 1984 and ‘88 games. “The
testers know that the drug gurus are smarter than they are. They know how to get under
the radar. “The IOC (International Olympic Committee) hoped to fool athletes by brining
in a new piece of equipment for testing. The original machine done with a gas
chromatograph mass spectrometer, was replaced by a much newer and advanced tester, the
high-resolution mass spectrometer that would supposedly be able to catch all athletes who
had used steroids in the last two or three months. Unfortunately the two point five
million dollar drug testing effort was in fact completely ineffective. Even if the IOC’s
equipment were the cutting edge of technology, eliminating drugs from the Olympics would
be no small challenge. “All athletes have to choose: Do I want to compete at a
world-class level and take drugs, or do I want to compete at a club level and be clean,”
says Keeps Koran, the editor of the Dutch edition of Runner’s World Magazine. (“Over the
Edge,” Sports Illustrated, April 14, 1997)

The days of an athlete simply turning in a bottle of someone else’s urine are over. The
officials are required to watch the athlete urinate. Even that’s not foolproof: Cases
have been reported of an athlete urinating before an event, inserting a catheter up his or
her urethra, and using a turkey baster to squeeze someone else’s urine out. (“Over the
Edge”, Sports Illustrated, April 14, 1997).


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In 1994 it was found that two million Americans or 0.5 percent of the adult population,
said that they had used anabolic steroids, according to the National Institution on Drug
Abuse (NIDA). Steroid use by adolescent boys has decreased slightly in the past seven
years because of the wider availability of over the counter performance enhancing drugs
but has doubled over the past seven years for adolescent girls and could be as high as
175,000 nationwide. “Why? More girls are competing in sports than ever before, and they
have a strong incentive to seek any edge they can. Since 1972 the Federal Government has
required colleges and universities to expand women’s athletic scholarships to reflect
more closely the number of women athletes,” stated Christina Gorman’s article, “Girls on
Steroids”, in the August 1998 issue of Time.
Continues for 4 more pages >>




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