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The issue of performance-enhancement drugs in sports is one of the most controversial topics and a subject of endless and varied interpretations the world of sports. The use of performance enhancement drugs such steroids can be traced back to the World War II when Hitler used anabolic steroids to increase the aggression of his troops (Waddington, & Smith, 2008). Since then, increased use of performance enhancement drugs has been widespread among sportspersons because of the desire to improve their performance and achieve excellence. Other reasons responsible for fueling the increased use of steroids in sports include the need to increase strength, muscle mass, and as well, improve sustainability to training conditions (Waddington, I. & Smith, 2008). However, the adverse effects associated with the use of steroids are many, whether due to illegality or due to health complications.
Coupled with the illegal use of steroids in sports, the use of performance-enhancement drugs is extremely condoned in many competitive sports and sporting events. Stringent measures and screening processes have been implemented to ensure that steroid users are not allowed to participate in competitions. The use of steroids has shuttered careers and record titles of sportsmen following failed drug tests. Along with the illegalities associated with the use of steroids come the health complications. According to Dawn-Marie & Hercules (2011), continued use of steroids causes a variety of health complications that are not limited to psychological effects, physical complications, and injuries to internal organs. Psychological effects include depression, aggression, and increased dependencies on performance enhancement drugs. Physical complications include irregular or stunted growth of body organs, and shrinking of reproductive organs such as testicles in men. Finally yet critical, steroids can cause liver tumors, and heart-related complications resulting to death.
To conclude this discussion, it is obvious that the dangers associated with the use of performance enhancement drugs in sports outweigh the benefits. For this reason, sportsmen, whether amateur or professional, should avoid the use of steroids because of the dangers it poses to their lives and careers.
Dawn-Marie W. & Hercules E. J., (2011). “Attitudes of injecting male anabolic androgenic steroid users to media influence, health messages and gender constructs”, Drugs and Alcohol Today, 11 (2), 56 – 70
Waddington, I. & Smith, A., (2008). An Introduction to Drugs in Sport, Routledge