The Use of Steroids by Athletes (outline)

Specific Purpose: Use of steroids by athletes presents a social and health challenge to society advancement.
Thesis Statement: When athletes use steroids, as will be highlighted subsequently, they not only harm their bodies, but also encourage other people, especially the youth, to use such drugs for non-medical purposes, which makes these youths unable to engage in productive economic activities.
I. Introduction:
Use of steroids in athletics for performance enhancement is a growing challenge in competitive sports in modern day. Although use of anabolic steroids to boost strength and power was recognized as early as the 1950s, only in 1975 did technology enable their detection (Fitch 257). Subsequently, as better technology came up, more athletes have faced bans for doping, with exceptions for use only being allowed for therapeutic cases. Irrespective of such anti-doping action, continued use of steroids for disallowed purposes among athletes, effect of steroids on users’ health, and motivation that arises for young people to use the steroids when they see their role models using the steroids necessitates a need for continued anti-doping advocacy.

II. Body:
A. Use of steroids by athletes for non-therapeutic  purposes is intended to boost their performance and gain the benefits associated with success in athletics.

1. Taking anabolic steroids improves muscle mass and strength (Hartgens and Kuipers 519), which can improve athletes’ resilience and capability to perform better than their natural form allows.

2. Resultant unnatural muscle gain provides undue advantage for athletes using steroids over their competitors
a. Athletes such as Armstrong who were revered for their superior performance have subsequently been shown to have benefited from the use of such drugs (Mayo 1).

b. If not addressed, the behavior would encourage other people to use steroids to succeed in their athletic careers at the expense of their honest competitors.
B. Use of steroids by athletes can encourage young people to use the steroids even for nonmedical purposes seeking to identify with the athletes and develop characteristics similar to athletes.
1. Athletes act as role models in their society and hence their behavior can influence the behavior of young people in that society (Steinberg 1).
2. In the U.S., an estimated 12 % male teenagers and 2.9 % teenagers have used steroids to either boost their performance in sports or alter their body size to a preferable shape (Hua and Braddock 29).
3. Continued use of steroids by athletes challenges social development in society.
a. Use of substances by schoolchildren is associated with academic failure, and delinquent behaviors (Hua and Braddock 32).
b. Negative effects of steroid use on academic performance limit the jobs opportunities that such students can access after school.
C. Steroids use for nonmedical purposes is associated with adverse health outcomes.
1. Adverse effects on the reproductive system
a. External administration of steroids, which are chemical analogues of sex hormones, can suppress production of male sex hormones, which may lead to testicular atrophy and reduced production and quality of semen (Hartgens and Kuipers 535).
b. Effect on reproductive system may persist for a long period even after stopping administration (Hartgens and Kuipers 536).
2. Increased risk of cardiovascular complications especially following prolonged use (Hartgens and Kuipers 536 – 540)
3. Psychological problems
a. Development of steroid dependence (Hartgens and Kuipers 542).
b. Increased aggression and hostility due to unpredictable mood changes (Hartgens and Kuipers 542).
c. Dissatisfaction with body image leading to low self-esteem (Hartgens and Kuipers 542).
III Conclusion:
Use of steroids by athletes presents social and health challenges that limit the socioeconomic development in a community. Not only does it affect athletes’ health, but it also encourages young people to engage in such use, which affects their participation in education and subsequently limits their future job opportunities. Continued advocacy to dissuade the use of steroids by athletes is thus necessary.

Works Cited

Fitch, Ken. “Proscribed Drugs at the Olympic Games: Permitted Use and Misuse (Doping) by Athletes.” Clinical Medicine 12.3 (2012): 257-60. Academic Search Complete. Web. 23 April 2013.

Hartgens, Fred and Harm Kuipers. “Effects of Androgenic-Anabolic Steroids in Athletes.” Sports Medicine 34.8 (2004): 513-554. Web 23 April 2013. <http://www.nutrimove.com.br/arquivos/Effects%20of%20Androgenic%20Anabolic%20Steroids%20in%20Athletes%202004.pdf>.

Hua, Lv and Jomills Henry Braddock. “School Sports and Adolescent Steroid Use: National Trends and Race-Ethnic Variations.” Challenge: A Journal of Research on African American Men 14.2 (2008): 29-49. Print.

Mayo, Keenan. “Doping: From Deer Antler Spray to Steroids.” Bloomberg Businessweek 01 February 2013. Web. 23 April 2013. <http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-02-01/doping-from-deer-antler-spray-to-steroids>.

Steinberg, Leigh. “Why Do We Make Athletes Role Models.” Forbes 20 January 2013. Web. 20 April 2012. < http://www.forbes.com/sites/leighsteinberg/2013/01/20/why-do-we-make-athletes-role-models/>.

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