Top 10 Sports where Players Use Steroids

Posted by Wendy Hammond on December 20th, 2020

For any sports, players are always prepared to win at all costs, be it individually or as a team. The pain of losing is unbearable, sometimes. Sportsmen and women participate in their respective sports at the local, regional, national, and international levels for different reasons. While some do so to satisfy themselves, most compete for fame and recognition. The latter group of athletes is prepared to do anything to succeed in the competition. Anything that will put them in front of the eyes of the world is an option worth exploring. And it comes with humiliation and loss of morale. Although doping, better known as the use of performance enhancement drugs, is illegal in most sports, players continue to do it. Some have been banned for life, and others have been given lighter punishments for using Steroids in Sports.

Steroid in Sports

               In the world of sports, anabolic steroids are referred to with terms such as roids, pump, hype, and juice. Although many people view steroids to be generally illegal, they are, in fact, powerful prescription drugs. Most anabolic steroids have been derived from testosterone. When not misused, anabolic steroids are sometimes used as a treatment for certain disorders. Including managing some forms of cancer. Abused steroids, on the other hand, can be fatal, and that is the reason their use has not been given a greenlight by most governments and organizations. Consequently, steroid use is prohibited in most sports because they are not only harmful, but they also give users an unfair advantage over the rest.

        We don’t know the exact number of athletes who use steroids, but we know sports where they compete. We also know they are many, even though most of them have not been caught. Some are in contact sports while most are in the track. Although sports regulatory bodies have tried to crack the whip on steroid-using athletes, they have not been successful in eliminating the vice. Somehow, athletes are still finding ways to cheat their way to victory.

The top 10 sports where athletes use steroids:

Baseball

         Baseball players have used steroids to enhance their performance for many years without being detected. However, before 1991, there was no clear rule prohibiting doping in baseball, so we cannot say the players broke the rules.

In the years that followed, it was discovered that indeed the prevalent use of steroids in the sport gave some teams and players an upper hand. Consequently, the use of steroids in baseball was banned in 2005. Since then, there haven’t been many cases of steroid use reported, but the players keep using them. The BALCO Scandal of August 1, 2005, involving baseball player Palmeiro saw the Major League Baseball Players Association call for stricter regulations on doping in baseball.

Track and Field

         Doping in Olympic games started as far back as the 1968 Summer Olympics when Hans-Gunnar Liljenwall, a Swedish pentathlete tested positive for PEDs (Performance Enhancement Drugs), specifically alcohol. As a result, she lost her bronze medal and became the first athlete to be punished for doping. Since then, athletic regulatory bodies have tightened the rope on doping to ensure a level playing ground for everyone. However, athletes continue to invent new ways of cheating the system and performing beyond their natural abilities.

            The fight against doping at the Olympics is being derailed by sabotage.  It happens in and without the International Olympic Committee (IOC). For instance, the KGB was accused of posing as anti-doping authorities to undermine doping tests on Soviet athletes in the 1980 Summer Olympics. It was not until the 1990s that the IOC started taking a more organized approach against doping in athletics. The new regulations saw the introduction of efficient testing methods and harsher punishments for athletes found to have used doping substances. Some of the steroids that have been banned by the International Olympic

Committee includes:

  • Stanozolol
  • Mibolerone
  • Boldenone
  • Oxandrolone
  • Danazol
  • Trenbolone
  • Methasterone
  • Bolandiol
  • Furazabol
  • Norclostebol

Bodybuilding

              Bodybuilders use anabolic steroids for two main reasons; to build more muscle and to recover from injuries sustained much faster. Although there are no tight regulations against the use of steroids in bodybuilding, the drugs’ side effects are not hard to notice. Bodybuilders rarely seek treatment when they get affected by steroid use, and this is partly why data on steroid use in bodybuilding is quite scarce. Additionally, bodybuilders tend to distrust professionals when it comes to steroids. All in all, steroid use is very much prevalent in bodybuilding despite the adverse side effects.

         There have been calls to test for steroid use during major bodybuilding competitions such as Mr. Olympia, but the National Physique Committee has been reluctant to heed those calls. Somehow, bodybuilders are more responsible when it comes to steroid use compared to other sports, and that is why it is not prohibited. Additionally, steroids help bodybuilders burn fat and build more muscle.

Basketball

            The use of steroids in basketball has been ongoing for some time now. For instance, the National Basketball Association (NBA) has seen a sharp rise in suspensions due to substance use in the sport. However, the most abused performance enhancement substance by the new generation of NBA players is not a steroid. The latest suspensions are due to the use of the growth hormone, Ipamorelin. The hormone has been found to help players reduce fat and increase lean muscle. Chandler is the latest high-profile NBA player to be suspended for using the substance.

           When it comes to steroids, basketball players use them to increase their muscle mass and overall performance. The NBA first came up with an anti-doping policy in 1983. Since then, players caught using outlawed substances have between 5 and 20 game bans. Other notable NBA players to test positive for performance enhancement substances, precisely, steroids, are Don MacLean and Matt Geiger.

High School Sports

             If you thought steroid use only happens in professional sports, think again. The fact is that steroid use occurs at the high school level, where participants use them to shine in their respective fields. Sometimes the young lads face tremendous pressure that pushes them to take shortcuts. You may wonder where these youngsters got to know about performance enhancement substances. In a world where information moves thousands of miles in the blink of an eye, wonder no more. Social media has played a particularly central role in exposing high school students to substance use, including the use of anabolic steroids. Furthermore, most teenagers who want to pursue careers in professional sports do anything to get noticed at such an early stage.

           Steroid use in high school games continues to take a toll on the competition because players are rarely tested. In the United States, for example, only 20% of schools test their players for PEDs before sending them to the competitions.

NFL

          Steroid use in the National Football League sometimes started before 1987. Currently, all performance enhancement substances are prohibited by the sport’s governing body. NFL tests players for substances such as steroids once per season.

             Those found to have been using them are banned for a minimum of 4 games. Although the body regularly increases the number of random tests every season, the use of anabolic steroids in the sport has doubled from the 90s. Anabolic steroid use is not only seen in professional American Football but also in high school and college football. Richard Sherman was the most prolific NFL player to test positive for PEDs. He subsequently made a successful appeal that saw him avoid a 4-game ban imposed by the NFL.

Soccer

               The association football has not seen wide-spread steroid use, but we cannot say it is not there. It is more of a case of missing evidence rather than no use. The late Argentine soccer star Diego Maradona was criticized for using cocaine later in his soccer career, especially in his time at Napoli and Barcelona. Lately, soccer management bodies are putting more stringent measures in place to control the use of banned substances in the beautiful game. That includes furthering PEDs investigations among players, improving data collection strategies globally, and coming up with effective detection techniques.

          Before the 2006 FIFA World Cup, the soccer management body ratified the anti-doping code as provided by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). However, FIFA has not put strict measures in place to battle the use of performance enhancement substances. It only applies a 2-year ban on soccer participants found to be using prohibited substances. In the run-up to the 2010 FIFA World Cup, WADA announced that it would increase the punishment for offenders from a 2-year to a 4-year ban.

Cycling

            Wide-spread steroid use in cycling was first witnessed in the 1970s. Unlike in most sports where performance enhancement drugs are used to build muscle, steroids are used to improve the recovery process in cycling.

           Research has shown that most unfit men in cycling use synthetic testosterone to compete with more fit ones. Over the years, there have been reported deaths among cyclists who have used steroids and other PEDs in competition. The first case of fatal doping in cycling was that of a Welsh cyclist who died after combining cocaine, caffeine, and strychnine. Lance Armstrong, a US cyclist, was handed a life ban and loss of previous results after testing positive for a banned substance.

Boxing

            There is a dark side of boxing many people don’t know about, that is the use of illegal PEDs. Notable boxing icons have been linked to steroid use to enhance their performance in the ring.  The mouth-watering money returns associated with boxing is partly the reason participants resort to using banned substances to beat their opponent.

              However, as is the case in bodybuilding, steroid use in boxing goes undetected for various reasons. One such reason is the fact that boxing competitions don’t happen often. If a boxer has been using steroids a few months before the actual battle, the substance may be hard to detect in their system. Kid Galahad, an undefeated boxing professional from the UK, was recently banned for two years after testing positive for Stanozolol. A popular steroid used by boxing professionals.

Triathlon

             Although triathlon is not well known in most parts of the world, it somehow made it to our list of top sports where players use steroids. It is worth noting that virtually every triathlon player caught doping has not had a better performance than those who don’t use PEDs.

         So one wonders, why are they taking the drugs in the first place? Dmitriy Gaag of Kazakhstan is the closest player who ever came close to winning a title in the 2000 Olympics after using the drugs. Interestingly, he wasn’t second or third, but fourth from the title. Subsequently, he was suspended from future competitions.

Conclusion

             Steroid use in sports continues to be a big problem, and the end to it is nowhere in use. According to sports governing bodies, they are not only trying to ensure fair completion by prohibiting steroid use but are also protecting the lives of sportsmen and women. However, sportspeople don’t seem to buy this line of thought. More of them continue to use steroids in different sports to enhance their performance and improve recovery.

              While steroid use has helped many of them cling titles. Some have not been very lucky and have died or become seriously ill after taking the drugs. That begs the question, what is the difference between the two kinds of steroid users? The answer lies in the steroids they use and whether they use them correctly or not. Like we mentioned earlier in this article, most steroids are prescription drugs that are used to treat certain conditions.

Overall

           Whenever a drug is abused or misused, there are bound to be consequences. That is why regulatory bodies for most sports have banned drugs in their sports. However, some sports such as bodybuilding do not entirely prohibit the use of steroids by participants. If you are really into steroids and not ready to stop using them, you are advised to avoid some sports altogether. Furthermore, you can always choose those sports that do not have strict anti-doping policies and excel.


Wendy Hammond

About the Author

Wendy Hammond
Joined: December 20th, 2020
Articles Posted: 10

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