History of Drug and Steroid Use in Sports

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Drugs and steroids in particular have been used in various sporting occasions by sports personalities so as to realize remarkable performances in sporting activities. Drugs can be of adverse impacts on even for the safest ones. They potentially can cause negative effects both in human health and their well being as well if wrongly used. In the early games, the Greeks integrated sports into their lifestyle just as religious and cultural alignment is viewed in the society (Tyrrell 36). Sports were therefore placed as important for developing varied sectors including economy and politics. Sports later achieved a higher status in the social setting amongst the Greeks. This made sports be highly regarded in the society leading to awarding of best performers which later resulted into the categories of highly paid sporting personalities.

Victory in sports was highly valued and would earn millions of dollars alongside other rewards like villas, exemptions from revenue returns and also deferment from occupational duties such as for the cases of armed services. Tyrrell (38) confirms that this led to sports becoming a full time profession as well as being a commercial activity.

As the Australian Sports Drug Agency discovered:

Professionalism and commercialism ultimately led to corruption. Bribing and cheating became commonplace, and competitors of this period were reputedly willing to ingest any preparation which might enhance their performance, including extracts of mushrooms and plant seeds. In addition to political interference, one of the significant reasons for the dissolution of the ancient Olympic Games was the use of drugs. (5)

The elevated status of sport would result into more engagement in drugs among the Romans too whereby horses were fed with mixtures of varied drugs to hasten their pace. This trend continued even into the Christian era when drinking and dancing was very associated with celebrations during sports. The use of performance enhancing drugs and steroids continued to be persistent with a number of sports personalities especially among the athletes (ASDA 6). This followed the perception by many that steroid would grant them the chance to overcome pressures that came with their participation in sports, hence make them win, perform outstandingly and maintain a good reputation and image in sports.

In the present age, many sports personalities engage drugs to relieve stress and to keep along with good feeling as instilled by steroids and other drugs. On the same note, players do prefer to clear out bad feelings and depressions that come with incidences of losing a game by using drugs like steroid.

The Negative Effects of Using Drugs

Any drug has adverse or negative effects associated with it. These effects are diverse and relative to the kind of drug being abused. It is advisable that players of any given game be aware of the risks associated with using drugs.

It is also very important for the people engaging in sports to keep themselves physically fit and healthy but this should not be sacrificed for drugs. Drugs have been known to derail the IQ competency and withdrawing the attitude of excelling in a number of activities, sports included thereby affecting performance in the following ways.

Tampering with performance

Like many other drugs, steroids have the greatest potential to not only tamper with but also hamper the performance in any sporting activities. A greater percentage of drugs actually have with them effects that are long lasting especially in the brain and in the human body (Wagner 2061). By using them, one had to involve opinions and physical capabilities both of which rendered a person indulge in a number of activities most of which were not of any value but to damage on their reputations.

Steroid abuse was also noted to weaken an individual’s health, diminish their physical impressions and derailed their motivational being (Smith and Perry 224). They further mutilate the manner in which people make decisions therefore resulting into risky conducts, behaviors and resolutions. These would further directly condense both physical and rational productivity and performance of the persons who were involved in consuming them.

Experiences of drug-related setbacks

In addition to these, steroid use especially upon addiction have been known since time memorial to harbor a number of risks and problems related to legal requirements, accidental incidences like traffic accidents, getting into injuries that are not called for and unexpected, and engaging oneself in behaviors and conducts that have potential of causing and/or spreading diseases for example sexually transmitted diseases and infections (Wagner 2063).

Impairment of the Development of life skills

With drug use, there has also been the historical burden that comes in as one who engages in drugs has high chances of developing life skills impairment. This has displayed itself with varied problems as well as interferences in the normal life skills development processes for example in resolution of differences and conflicts, handling of stress, getting to the bottom of problems and making decisions or setting goals.

Ruining of physical, Spiritual and emotional development

Like any other normal being, a sports person possesses a sense of liability, independence, accountability and purpose. These could only be achieved and be sustained without engagement in drugs. The use of steroids and many other drugs have been known to derail normal mental development, interrupts the proper of moral and spiritual growth, interferes with the capability to solve ordinary problems and how to cope with tension and above all, drug use interferes with one’s ability to mutually interact with and get along other people (Tschirgi 34).

Drugs affect games

Like any other drug, steroids have had severe effects on sporting activities since they greatly mutilate coordination in the game and interfere with the players’ ability to deliver while in the game. Since sports were typically designed for fun and for exercising through a way of competition, drug implications affect them negatively. Wagner (2061) discovered that this is due to the potential of drugs to minimize the players’ competencies, pace, muscular strength and lung capacity as well as increasing the chances of inflicting injuries. Moreover, drugs impart weak performances among the players.

Drugs Impinge On Team Spirit

Drug use violates the competitive willingness of any given team as it denies them the spirit of togetherness, commitment and concentration while at the same time making the players lose trust and energy. Through these, drugs negatively affect the performance of any given team as well as the players’ spirit and solidarity with regard to their morale (Smith and Perry 224).

Examples of Steroid Abuse in the Past

            Historically, there have been many instances of steroid abuse by prominent sports personalities to increase and enhance their performance. In particular, bodybuilders and athletes use steroid to build their muscle mass even though it is meant for treatment purposes (Smith and Perry 224). In 1988 during the Seoul Olympics, Ben Johnson tested positive for steroid but was later stripped of the Gold medal he had won for breaking a world record. Steroids have affected some male sports personalities by shrinking their testicles, reducing sperm quantity, causing infertility, hairlessness breast development and increasing their risks for attracting prostrate cancer (Tschirgi 33). For women, facial hair has been witnessed to develop, baldness, reversing the menstrual system as well as deepening of their voices.

However, there are other instances when positive outcomes have been realized from the use of steroids for example leanness, increased strength, aggressiveness, enhanced sex drive and higher rates of recovery (Wagner 2060). But still, the negative effects surpass the positive ones. In fact, for the case of athletes, most of the persons who used steroids could not really involve themselves as real athletes.

The Difficulties of Coming Off Of Drugs

Most of these drugs have been proved to be addictive therefore making them difficult to come off of. Mentally, the mind of the drugs abusers got hooked onto the drugs. This resulted into development of a high level of psychological craving for the drugs in talk in almost all the activities done by the drug addict (Smith and Perry 225). Steroids also tend to deviate people’s minds on how to manage oneself without the involvement of the drugs as they make one regard them as playing an essential role in his or her.

Consistent uses of some of the drugs have led to development of strong habitual dependence whereby one would develop a habit that was difficult to leave. This was because when one stopped using them, they would suffer from intense fatigue, paranoia as well as anxiety, situations that can only be handled by competent professionals (Smith and Perry 226). A good example is steroids which is highly stimulant and makes one become psychologically addicted to its buzz effects. It would be quite challenging when it came to withdrawing from using it as it causes depression, anxiety, exhaustion and problems in sleeping. Like for the case of ecstasy, it would make people feel washed out for even more than just a day.

Some of the drugs are hallucinogenic and have had the potential of adversely affecting the abuser’s psychological welfare even though they may not have had any physical complications when it came to withdrawing from using them, because psychologically, one would find it difficult to do without them (Romanowski et al 25). Some also like heroin have been physically and psychologically addictive and have rendered the body to long for more of them regularly in order to function normally due to decreased tolerance to the drugs themselves.

Long Term Ramifications and Health Problems

Abuse of drugs like steroids have been known to negatively affect social being, especially the family units since those who used them most of the time became quite hostile while at the same time they suffered great impairment in the ways they made decisions. Wagner (2063), noted that this led to much suffering within their social and relationship lines. Furthermore, drug abusers fail to lay down good examples for the younger people.

Marijuana has with it a number of cancerous effects and complications in the respiratory and immune systems which are long lasting in the body of the user. There have been cases where the lungs have also been affected by development of breathing difficulties, coughing as well as wheezing while breathing. These have in most cases accompanied by chest colds and translate later into adverse lung infections such as pneumonia.

The chemical components of various drugs for example steroids have given them a potential of damaging cells and body tissues which are useful in disease prevention and this renders the immune system weak and further increase chances of diseases. Tschirgi (33) observed that cocaine have been known to cause irritability and paranoia psychosis. Being addictive, such drugs generate high levels of physical tolerance, and physical and psychological dependence, all of which are compulsive in use and abuse. This further affected the brains as well.

With development of physical dependence, one’s body has been bound to adapt to the presence the drugs.

The Popularity of Steroids within Different Sports

Annually, there have been many athletes and swimmers who are caught with drugs such as steroids so as to boost their performance in sports. In fact, it has become a common trend amongst the cyclists as well as most of them have tested positive for the banned drugs in urine sample tests (Romanowski et al 24). It has also become a recurrence in news following the involvements and accusations of a many sporting figures being complicated in scandals related to steroids.

However, for the athletes who engaged in drug abuse, using steroids and/or hormonal substances is a long term health risk as these substances have ended up developing even more dangers and complications in their health (Tschirgi 32).

The use of steroids have been high especially among the young athletes as they are look forward to attain personal satisfaction which they deem could earn them the glory to brag around. This follows the fact that they are eyeing the achievements of the pursuit of their vision (Wagner 2064). But then, bodybuilders, women in particular, have been found to be persistently in abuse of steroids along with several other performance enhancing drugs. Consequently, most of them suffer from dietary disorders and a number of body image disorders.

Blake Tyrrell gives an instance of steroid use in the case of baseball on one of the baseball players:

It is no secret what’s going on in baseball, at least half the guys are using steroids. They talk about it. They joke about it with each other. The guys who want to protect themselves or their image by lying have that right. Me? I’m at the point in my career where I’ve done just about every bad thing you can do. I try to walk with my head up. I don’t have to hold my tongue..(p. 36)


In conclusion, it is evident that drug abuse in sports is a trend that begun well in the past. Since drug use come with complications, they only need to be engaged when there is necessity and upon prescription by a qualified practitioner. Meanwhile, sports personalities should be made aware of the adversaries that result from abuse of drugs.