By Mackenzie von Kleist |Staff Writer|
Needles, muscles and money, oh my!
With many high paying professional athletes getting caught using performance enhancing drugs (PED’s) like Manny Ramirez and Barry Bonds, it’s really not a shock that this sports era has been coined the “steroid era.”
But exactly why are so many athletes guilty of using them?
Bodybuilders and athletes often use anabolic steroids to build muscles and improve athletic performance.
But using them this way is not legal or safe. Abuse of anabolic steroids has been linked with many health problems.
However, steroids are still prevalent in the professional sports world, but how is this affecting the young athletes who look up to these players?
When several athletes from different sports here on campus were asked whether they would use performance enhancing drugs to heighten their abilities, a few admitted that they had thought of using them before.
For example, a local baseball player admitted that he would use PED’s, if he was guaranteed not to be caught.
According to NCAA, thier Drug-Testing Program was created to protect the health and safety of student-athletes and to ensure that no one participant might have an artificially induced advantage or be pressured to use chemical substances.
Procedures for this process include random selection and other approved selection methods, observed collection of urine sample, strict chain of custody process that protects sample from contamination.
If an athlete is tested positive for drugs, a loss of eligibility to play or compete will occur; however, an athlete is allowed to appeal the decision.
“I believe [steroids] are very minimal in collegiate sports,” said Assistant Baseball Coach Kyle Davis.
“Each athlete signs a paper stating they can be tested at any time. In addition, both the school and NCAA test each year,” said Davis
With all the enticement that PED’s, like anabolic steroids, give its no wonder why so many athletes get caught using them.
When we see certain athletes that have been in the profession for a long time, have built a fan base, and are being paid millions upon millions of dollars to play a sport they love it is pretty hard not to be tempted to use them and improve a player’s performance.
Manny Ramirez has recently announced his retirement from Major League Baseball (MLB) ending his 19 year career with the rays due to possibly being faced with a 100 game suspension on suspicion of being guilty of using performance enhancing drugs.
Also, Barry Bonds has recently been brought back into the lime light with his conviction of obstruction of justice when he was found lying about knowingly using steroids or human growth hormone, according to New York Daily News
The solution is not simple given the ample benefits that steroids could have on an athlete’s career and if they could use them to be drafted into MLB or obtain a large contract, the incentive is even bigger.
According to the National Library of Medicine, anabolic steroids are man-made substances related to male sex hormones. Medical uses of anabolic steroids include some hormone problems in men, late puberty and muscle loss with some diseases.