This is the first of an eight-week series of articles examining the effects of commonly abused substances on athletic performance and overall health. There should not be a controversy over anabolic steroid use in athletics -- non-medical use of anabolic steroids is illegal and banned by most, if not all, major sports organizations.
The modern medical and scientific advantages to the use of performance enhancing drugs have merely changed the methods and manner by which athletes utilize substances to enhance performance, making it all more efficient and effective — an exact science.
But the use of these substances are nothing new to us, and this can easily be seen by looking back into ancient history as far back as several thousand years ago. The very first use Steroids in sports anabolic steroids in sports and athletics can be dated back almost two thousand years in ancient Greece.
Other instances of anabolic steroid use have occurred throughout history, notably in ancient Rome as well, but none was more prevalent than in the ancient Greek Olympic Games.
Well documented historical records state that it was prior to and during the ancient Greek Olympic Games that these ancient athletes would consume massive quantities of sheep and bull testicles .
The end result was a vast increase in performance, specifically in the areas of strength, speed, and muscular size. The athletes who engaged in the consumption of sheep and bull testes did not understand the true mechanics of what was occurring due to their dietary habits, of course, but they did understand that there happened to be a direct correlation between the consumption of sheep and bull testes and the increase in athletic ability and performance.
The real truth was that it was the anabolic steroid hormones within the testes, Testosterone, which had been consumed in mass quantities — enough to provide a noticeable positive change — that had been responsible for the assistance in their performance increases!
Performance enhancing drug use outside of the arena of anabolic steroids has also been a frequent and very common endeavor of athletes for a very long time as well.
As a matter of fact, the use of other substances and compounds that are not anabolic steroids has been more frequent and more common than anabolic steroid use itself, although this is only limited to the time period prior to the modern development of anabolic steroids.
Various herbs and foods believed to enhance athletic performance has been a commonplace practice for as long as sport has existed in human history. The true nature of many of these herbs and foods was that the active ingredients within that played a role in performance enhancement was that of stimulants, hormones, vitamins, and various other different compounds and substances contained within.
Of course, once again, this was unknown to these athletes at the time.
It was not until modern medicine and modern scientific investigational methods in the late 19th century that humans understood what exactly it was contained within these items that had such profound effects. We can see how this would have had a significant impact, as meats red meat in particular contains high amounts of the different B vitamins, and also contains high levels of Creatine, which has been proven to increased athletic performance in some areas to a certain extent.
Ancient Greek athletes were also known to eat figs under the belief that they would assist in the growth of muscle and improve stamina, which had been based upon the ancient Greek religious and mythological figure Hercules who was said to have made figs a staple in his diet.
Of course, many of these practices and beliefs would today be labeled as pseudoscientific hogwash based upon flawed reasoning and logic, as the ancient Greeks had no scientific basis for any of the claims that these protocols worked. Some of them indeed did work, perhaps for reasons different from what they had believed at the time, and others just plain did not work.
But this brings us to one major theme and point here that must be made: The fact that the use of performance enhancing substances due to the win-at-any-cost attitude was commonplace, and very widely accepted — it was in fact a trait among individuals that was highly sought after!
It was actually expected of ancient athletes as well as warriors and soldiers to adopt this notion and attitude of winning at any cost and to utilize performance enhancing substances of any sort to do so.
These same values were held very high by the society of the time. In comparison to our society today, this can be seen as being quite the drastic difference in the values held by society then and the values held by society now — but one thing is for certain:With unsupervised steroid use, wanton 'megadosing' or stacking (using a combination of different steroids), the effects can be irreversible or undetected until it's too late." Also, if anabolic steroids are injected, transmitting or contracting HIV and Hepatitis B through shared needle use is a very real concern.
Taking anabolic-androgenic steroids to enhance athletic performance, besides being prohibited by most sports organizations, is illegal. In the past 20 years, more effective law enforcement in the United States has pushed much of the illegal steroid .
Anabolic steroids help build muscle tissue and increase body mass by acting like the body's natural male hormone, testosterone. However, steroids cannot improve an athlete's agility or skill.
Many factors determine athletic ability, including genetics, body size, age, sex, diet and how hard the athlete trains. A recent survey of high school seniors found that, while a small number admitted to using steroids, a much larger number - about percent - said steroids are 'fairly easy' or 'very easy' to get.
Just this past month, Illinois said it will begin to test high school athletes for steroids, joining Texas, New Jersey and Florida. Most studies on the effects of steroids have shown to be improper and lacking credible tests as well as performing studies in a skewed fashion to predetermine the world’s view on the use of steroids in sports.
Aug 24, · Steroids, doping and other illicit performance enhancing drugs and treatments have become the biggest scourge of professional sports leagues, and that's why it may be time they were made legal.