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Sports Then and Now




Doping in Sports – The Role of Anabolic Steroids

Posted on November 16, 2019 by Sujain Thomas

Sponsorship in sports has changed the way athletes, fans, and coaches look at sports, which has now turned fiercely competitive than ever before. With huge money flowing into sports events, the expectations of fans have skyrocketed. Sportsmen and coaches are trying to win all the time because today winners take it all. Recognition, scholarships, and dream contracts await the winners, while there the second places are just gallant losers. Coaches must keep on winning to hold on to their jobs or else lose it. Consequently, athletes and coaches are ready to go to any extent for winning and do not mind taking high risks like using steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs to gain a competitive edge through enhanced performance. 

Winning at any cost

The urge to succeed with an eye on the largesse of rewards and contracts that run into millions of dollars drive sportsmen to up their risks very much because they want to win at any cost. 98% of athletes admit that they are open to using steroids and similar drugs to enhance performance, provided they do not face any penalty. In another interesting disclosure, 50% of athletes were even ready to put their lives at stake in the long run if drugs help in winning without penalty. They are ready to use drugs even if they know that they could die after 5 years.

How steroids help

Anabolic steroids help build lean muscle mass, which enhances the agility and strength as well as quickness among sportsmen and, when used alongside weight training, helps to build shapely bodies packed with tremendous strength. Having a leaner body can add speed to the movements and pack the power to tackle rivals, which is a big advantage for footballers and rugby players. At the same time, a bulky body can be a towering presence in the field that intimidates competitors and makes you more confident of winning. Steroids build bigger and tighter muscles that create well-sculpted shapely bodies that bodybuilders dream of.  Moreover, improved endurance is the source of boundless energy that helps in fat burning, which is essential for maintaining a lean physique. Faster muscle recovery from injuries and stress is another benefit of using anabolic steroids that help to increase the intensity of training.

If you look up at an anabolic steroid drugs website, you will gather a lot of information about steroids and performance-enhancing drugs. To make things easy for you, we have compiled the information in this article that should be useful in understanding the various facets of anabolic steroids.

Manner of use

Some anabolic steroids like Dianabol, Anavar, Anadrol, Winstrol, and Restandol are available as tablets for oral consumption, and some like Deca Durabolin, Depo-Testosterone, Retandrol, Agovirin, Durabolin and Equipoise are for intramuscular injections. These are some of the most common steroids that have extensive use in sports, including bodybuilding and weightlifting. Usually, beginners start with some oral steroids and then gradually move over to the injectables. In competitive sports where drug testing is mandatory, the use of oral steroids is most common. Its traces remain in the body for much lesser time, just for a few days as compared to injectable steroids that leave its marks in the body for 3-4 months, which lowers the chances of being caught. The chances of steroid misuse are very high because the doses taken by sportsmen can be 10 to 100 times higher than the doses recommended for treating medical conditions.

Patterns of steroid consumption

Cycling – Since steroids act on the body for a specific period, users follow some pattern in its use to rev up the effects from time to time, which is known as cycling.  The pattern starts by taking several steroids for a specific time, pausing for some time, and then resuming the cycle once again. The interim stoppage helps the body to recover from the side-effects of the drug.

Stacking – It means combining multiple steroids during cycling to maximize the varied effects derived from different steroids. Stacking increases the chances of steroid abuse because it can be a combination of two or more steroids, a mix of oral and injectable steroids, and might even include compounds or formulations meant for veterinary use. The idea is to have the best of everything which can produce superior results in muscle building and is the most preferred technique of steroid use among bodybuilders.

Pyramiding – This technique of steroid consumption draws inspiration from cycling but follows a slightly different pattern. It consists of starting a cycle that lasts for 6-12 weeks, followed by tapering the dosage and then starting again but only to finish abruptly. The buildup is gradual that begins with the lowest dosage and increases slowly. During tapering, the dosage keeps decreasing until it reaches zero, and sometimes there can be a second cycle when the person continues training but without drugs.  The technique is likely to support the body and prepare it to accept higher doses, and the drug-free phase allows natural hormonal restoration of the body.

Plateauing –Steroid dependence is not a good thing, and to avoid it, users take to the technique of plateauing during which they may stagger and overlap different steroids or even substitute some steroids with another steroid to prevent developing tolerance.

Although there are reasons for following each of these techniques, there is yet no scientific evidence available about the supposed benefits of each method of steroid consumption.

Side effects of anabolic steroids

Just as important, it is to know how effective steroids can be, it is equally essential to be aware of its side-effects to evaluate the health risks.  Steroids can affect the cardiovascular system and lead to high blood pressure, damage arteries, and lead to heart attack and stroke. It can adversely affect the hormonal system and male fertility, while women may have a hoarse voice and experience baldness.  People might turn aggressive under the influence of steroids and suffer from liver abnormalities.

Now that you know what you may have to pay in terms of health, you can decide how far you want to venture with anabolic steroids.


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