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Problem of Anabolic Steroids

The International Olympic Committee banned the use of anabolic steroids in 1976, and the American College of Sports Medicine produced a study in 1984 that examined the use of anabolic steroids. The study found that anabolic steroids contributed to increased body weight and could increase muscular strength in some athletes under proper conditions. The American college of Sports Medicine condemned the use of these drugs. Anabolic steroid use is associated with a variety of toxic effects, from adverse effects on the liver to effects on the male reproductive system (Dyment & Goldberg, 1989, 127).

However, professional athletes and young athletes in high school and college are still using anabolic steroids as well. The scope of the problem is considerable. It is estimated that over one million Americans, half of them adolescents, use blackmarket steroids, while countless others are choosing from among more than 100 other substances, legal and illegal, touted as physique boosters and performance enhancers. Over half the teens that use steroids start before age 16, sometimes with the encouragement of their parents. Many of the six to twelve percent of boys who use steroids want to be sports champions, but more than one third are not even on a highschool team. The typical user is middleclass and white. Fiftyseven percent of teen users report that they were influenced by the numerous muscle magazines that today reach a readership of at least seven million, and 42 percent said they were swayed by famous athletes who they were convinced took steroids. The blackmarket network for performance enhancers is tops $400 million per year in the sale of steroids alone, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, and government officials estimate that there are some 10,000 outlets for the drugs (Schrof, 1992, 54-55).

Some sports involve a higher use of steroids than others, usually because bulk is an important element alo...

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