Do you love watching sports? If so, you might have heard of baseball players, weightlifters, or cyclists getting into trouble for taking steroids. Punishment for taking these drugs can be severe. Athletes have been fined and even banned from playing. So, what’s the big deal? Why is taking steroids wrong?
- The body produces natural steroids or hormones. These steroids are important for good health. Sometimes doctors prescribe steroids, such as cortisol, to treat asthma and other problems.
- The bad steroids – the ones that can get athletes in trouble – are called anabolic steroids. They try to mimic male sex hormones, or androgens. The most common male hormone is testosterone. Anabolic steroids are designed to build muscle like testosterone does. Athletes use them because they hope the steroids will make them faster and stronger.
- Unfortunately, these steroids can have serious health consequences, such as high blood pressure, hair loss, stunted growth, and aggression.
- Anabolic steroids are found in creams, supplements, powders, and pills. They’re illegal for athletes to take because they’re a form of cheating. Although researchers still aren’t sure if they really work, they have the potential to give an athlete an unfair advantage over other athletes.
Questions and Answers
Question: How do judges know if an athlete is using steroids?
Answer: Most professional athletes must now take blood tests before competing to ensure that they haven’t used steroids.
Sometimes even high school athletes are tempted to use steroids. Read here to find out why this is a bad idea.