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  • Writer's pictureAnatomy Of Fitness


Updated: Oct 17, 2021

Steroids and sports share an old but weird relationship. Steroids help increase performance in sports but are regarded as the villain that destroys bodies and careers. However, that doesn't stop professional and recreational athletes from using them. With such rampant use of steroids in sports and breakthroughs in steroid science, let's understand What are Anabolic Androgenic Steroids or Performance Enhancing Drugs? Why do athletes use steroids despite the side effects, and what is the philosophy of using steroids for increasing performance? Read on to find out the Science & Logic of Steroids.

Most athletes take steroids but keep it a secret.
Athletes never accept STEROID usage.

Steroids and ATHLETES:

We have heard athletes saying they have never used steroids or performance enhancing drugs. Most athletes do not want to say anything about steroids. They like talking about the hard work they put in to reach their level, their training, diet, etc. Undoubtedly, there is much hard work, passion, obsession, exercise, nutrition, etc. Still, very few athletes readily accept that they use and abuse performance enhancing drugs or steroids to increase performance.

Most (if not all) athletes use STEROIDS.

Professional athletes are sports fanatics. They can go to any extends and use everything in their reach to qualify for or to win the game. All competitive athletes play to win. No athlete competes to participate or to lose. The logic is simple, the one who wins becomes an icon, is endorsed by big brands, earns tons of money, and most importantly, becomes an authoritative figure. So people start looking up to them.

After winning, there is an enormous responsibility of always keeping a few things secret. Most (if not all) international athletes in competitive sports use and abuse performance enhancing drugs. That is an irrefutable fact of the sports industry.

Doping in sports is a widespread practice.

Sports like swimming, skiing, running, baseball etc., require immense power, and the sporting community realised that this power, when increased to supraphysiological levels, would help improve performance.

Not many know that local athletes, film stars, models and even recreational sports enthusiasts use steroids for increasing performance.

But what about the side effects of steroids? Yes, everything has side effects if done/ taken in excess, even water, but saying that steroids are safe and have no side effects would be unethical and misleading.

Steroids and Athletes.
Almost all athletes take steroids but, very few accept taking it.


If we check the graph, it is noticeable that today, athletes outperform athletes in the 60s and 80s. Why is it that every record is being broken? We would not be far from the day when we see a new record of a sprinter sprinting 100 meters in 5 seconds and then 4.5 seconds and then 4 seconds and so on. We are not attributing all the records only to steroid use and abuse. Even if we are jacked up like a beast, nothing can increase performance unless we train like monsters. Steroids will help us prepare better, run faster, carry more muscle, lift heavier etc., but we will have to work extremely hard to break any record.

Role of the Male Hormone - TESTOSTERONE:

Have we ever wondered why men are physically stronger than women? One of the reasons is the male hormone called testosterone, which is present in more significant quantities in males compared to females. If we increase testosterone to supraphysiological levels, we would physically perform better and may surpass all our previous records.

Testosterone's link to STEROIDS:

Anabolic Androgenic Steroids are synthetic derivatives of the male hormone Testosterone. Typically, these are intended to treat conditions like sexual dysfunction, low sperm count, erectile issues etc. and are to be sold only on a valid prescription of a registered medical practitioner. However, it can be easily obtained by people who know how to source it and where to source it from.

STEROIDS in Bodybuilding Vs. STEROIDS in Other Sports:

Athletes started using anabolic androgenic steroids even before the scientific community proved steroid effectiveness. Some athletes were caught, most were not. It is a fallacy to think that only bodybuilders use Steroids. Steroid use in bodybuilding and powerlifting is more evident due to the superhuman physique. National and international level athletes attempt superhuman feats all the time, be it running, weight lifting, swimming etc. We see new superhuman records being set all the time. Why only target bodybuilders and powerlifters for steroid use and abuse?

Do we think elite endurance athletes with a thin frame body, achieving superhuman records, are clean? There is something more than just diet, training, determination and genetics that makes them win.

For example, elite marathon runners, triathletes, cyclists etc., take Erythropoietin. Erythropoietin is a hormone that the kidneys secrete. It helps to increase the rate of production of red blood corpuscles. Taking erythropoietin gives athletes an edge in performance by increasing their red blood corpuscles count in the blood. An uptake in the red blood corpuscles increases the oxygen-carrying capacity. Higher oxygen-carrying capacity means better performance. However, a side effect of this drug is an increase in the viscosity of blood. In higher doses, it has the potential to trigger a stroke or a heart attack.

Athletes take different steroids for excelling at various sports.

It may be shocking to know that even bow & arrow players and chess players take steroids that help them concentrate, lower their heart rate and enhance focus. However, if we think that the governing bodies regulating and organising such events are not aware of the rampant steroid use, we are dead wrong. All of them know everything. Also, there is no cheating, as all the athletes are using it.

Athletes never accept that they take Performance Enhancing Drugs.
Athletes never accept that they take Performance Enhancing Drugs.

The SIDE EFFECTS of Steroids:

Partaking in the use of steroids is like playing with fire. There is a high chance we can set ourselves on fire. There are many side effects associated with the abuse of steroids in both men and women.

In men, the most common side effects are:

  1. Elevated Estrogen levels leading to Gynecomastia or man boobs.

  2. High Dihydro-Testosterone level leading to acne and hair fall.

  3. Erectile dysfunction and impotence.

  4. High liver stress from the consumption of oral steroids etc.

In women, it may lead to:

  1. Deepening of the voice.

  2. Facial hair.

  3. Clitoral hypertrophy etc.

The SOCIAL SANCTION of Steroids:

Athletes are ready to do whatever it takes to win. They are so much determined to win that they can risk their lives for it. However, there is an immense social stigma attached to the use of steroids for increasing performance.

Steroid use for increasing performance has not gained social sanction. Yet, ironically, smoking and drinking have.

It is considered highly unethical to use steroids for enhancing performance. Smoking and drinking are way more detrimental to health than steroid use (not abuse) to increase performance. People who have conveniently accepted tobacco and alcohol as parts of their lives raise eyebrows hearing about someone taking steroids. People socially boycott and ostracise the unfortunate soul caught in steroid use.

No steroid on earth will help us achieve anything unless we put in 110% of our efforts. But who cares about our struggles and compromises when we are caught using steroids? Heros become zeros. Careers get flushed down the drain. However, athletes can go to any extends to win. All they care about is winning at any cost. They are ready to risk their lives.

Who is to be BLAMED for STEROID Use & Abuse?

We all are to be blamed for the rampant steroid use and abuse. We demand the records be broken. We want to see athletes run faster, lift heavier, swim longer. We are constantly hunting for the next superhuman. We all love this. We will continue enjoying this.

There is a big industry with a lot of stakeholders, making tons of money. As steroid science progresses, we will have a lot of genetic freaks taking advantage of this science to set new benchmarks, set new records and break the old ones. Those who do not get caught will never be labelled as cheaters as they have somehow managed to cheat the system.

Key takeaways:

  1. Most (if not all) athletes use Steroids, and very few accept using them.

  2. All steroids have side effects.

  3. The governing bodies are entirely aware of the rampant steroid use and abuse by athletes.

  4. It will take some time for Steroids to gain social sanction.

  5. Steroid science is progressing with each day.

  6. Doping in sports is a fairly common practice.

Now we understand what Anabolic Androgenic Steroids are, why athletes take them despite side effects and the philosophy of using steroids to increase performance.

#steroids#performanceenhancingdrugs #drugs#bannedsubstance #illegal#steroidscience #steroidabuse #sports

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