In an attempt to keep sports competition "clean" and to help protect athletes from harmful drugs, the International Olympic Committee IOC and the United States Olympic Committee have rules stating that the use of anabolic steroids is illegal. Drug testing is performed in Olympic and in many international competitions.
Those people found using anabolic steroids are disqualified. This use of anabolic steroids indicates that for some athletes the need to win or to maximize performance supersedes any worries about future health.
Abstract Self-medication with anabolic steroids by athletes, particularly in the sports of weight lifting and track and field, has become increasingly popular. Substances Anabolic Agents. Douglas - Victorians would have thought, well, OK, it's perfectly legitimate for a professional sportsman to take these drugs because this is their job. So it's just a tool that allows them to do their job. So when did this go from something that people thought was reasonable, to cheating?
Well there are two theories Douglas has. One is that Victorian society had considerable double standards. Douglas - Some of the language around it has shifted. So it's this idea that these drugs are beginning to become something which is. Douglas - The wider culture tends to start to think that drugs are problematic when groups of people who are already viewed as being somehow problematic start taking those drugs.
You can start out when someone like, let's say, respectable professional white men, as long as they are taking these drugs, it's acceptable and it's fine. The moral value of those drugs begin to shift when minoritised populations like women or ethnic minority populations start to take those drugs themselves. If you were a professional, it was kind of a given you might want do this. Douglas - Conversely, though, it was not completely but more frowned upon for amateur sportsmen to be taking these drugs, because if you were an amateur, you were supposed to compete as a gentleman.
You were also supposed to compete in a manner which implied that you were not necessarily taking victory too seriously. Douglas - In the early 20th century the Olympic movement starts, it takes as its governing ethos this Victorian idea of amateurism. So what starts to develop then is a sense that it wouldn't be appropriate for Olympic athletes to take these drugs because that would run contrary to this ideal of amateurism. So over time, you get this idea, which has now come to dominate contemporary sport, that the professional use of performance enhancing drugs is illicit, whereas it's, in some ways, much less overtly disapproved of in any kind of amateur context.
Rather than pure stimulants like cocaine, these days the most popular performance enhancing drugs are hormones. Richard - The first records of doping using hormones also came in the 19th century as well. And he described radical changes in his health with significant improvements in both physical and mental energy. Now, almost certainly he is describing a very potent placebo effect. But nevertheless, this inspired others to consider using hormones as a performance enhancement. Eventually taking hormones went from a strange French men playing around with testicles to becoming much more common.
These drugs do boost performance. They are powerful anabolic agents, and we can see that in normal health as well as in athletics. Richard - An anabolic agent is one which builds muscle. So, for example, if we think about both growth hormone and we also think about anabolic steroids, things like testosterone and derivatives of testosterone, they build muscle. And so, very crudely, that improves the strength of those particular athletes taking those drugs. Richard - Anabolic steroids directly increase the production of muscle tissue and also improve the strength of that particular muscle.
Richard - In the case of growth hormone, we also know that it tends to be to reduce fat mass and that in doing so, it actually changes the power to weight ratio for a particular athlete. We know that it has quite profound effects on glucose and lipid metabolism and that effectively, both of those are important fuels for the athletes and can therefore improve the access of fuel to that to that exercising muscle.
So the hormone increases muscle, reduces fat and increases delivery of fuels, like oxygen, to the muscle. An attractive prospect for someone trying to run faster or lift heavier weights. But, as you might expect, messing about with your hormone levels can have some unwanted or even harmful side effects. Richard - Let's just start off with the anabolic steroids. And I guess the side effects here depend on whether these are taken by women or taken by men.
So we know, for example, from studies that came out of East Germany that many of the East German female athletes were systematically doped under the old East German regime. And the biggest consequence that these women had is one of virilisation. Virilisation is where women develop the secondary current sexual characteristics of men. So they would see deepening of their voice, they would see beard growth, they would see hair growth across their chests, as well as the body composition changes that they were that they were seeking for.
Richard - So we know that taking anabolic steroids is bad for the liver. It can lead to jaundice, it can lead to damage to the liver tissue. And it also increases the risk of liver cancer. So if that's not enough, we also know that anabolic steroids are bad for the heart.
It can lead to changes in cholesterol profile and increase the risk of heart attacks. And in fact, probably one of the commonest causes of heart attacks in young men is young men who've been abusing anabolic steroids. And then finally, as anybody who has got a teenage boy will be aware that anabolic steroids can also affect the psyche of the individual.
So they can increase the likelihood of aggression or irritability. But sadly, they can also increase the risk of depression and mania. So these are not drugs that you want to be messing around with. They do really have quite significant side effects.
Richard - Growth hormone also had side effects. It can lead to fluid retention and high blood pressure. It can lead to diabetes. Again, it can affects the heart. It can cause joint problems and nerve problems, as well as changing the physical appearance of those individuals. So, again, not something to be messing around with.
So these things carry significant risks. And so, the list of banned substances grows. So to make sure that everyone sticks to the rules, sporting bodies need ways of testing for these things. Richard had the difficult task of trying to detect growth hormones. Richard - There are significant challenges in detecting growth hormone because growth hormone is a completely normal hormone, it should be there, it should be present in the blood.
One of the other big challenges about testing growth hormone is that its levels fluctuate dramatically. So at its peak, often plus times greater than when it's down in its trough. So we know that growth hormone goes up and down, we know that one of these stimulants for growth hormone secretion is stress and another being exercise.
So if exercise - something you would imagine athletes do quite a bit, increases natural production of growth hormone, how do you catch the supplemented levels, leaving the natural fluctuations alone? Richard - So the test is effective, but one of the main problems with it is that it has a short window of opportunity, probably only up to about 24 hours after the last injection of growth hormone, because what happens is that when growth hormone has been administered, the pituitary stops producing its own growth hormone, but that recovers very, very quickly.
So a different type of test was needed. Richard was brought on board by scientist Peter Sonkson at University College London, to help finesse an alternative approach. Richard - The approach that we took was slightly different.
It was one some measure proteins that change as a result of growth, growth hormone action. So the two proteins that we measured are IGF-1, which is a hormone that's produced predominantly within the liver in response to growth hormone action and also a second protein called type III procollagen. And this is a protein that comes from soft tissue, again, in response to growth hormone. And what we see is that these proteins go up in response to growth hormone administration and they stay up for a longer period of time, which gives us a longer window of opportunity to detect athletes taking growth hormone.
So after the growth hormone levels have dropped - these proteins remain, allowing you to identify the dopers. Richard - So the test was first launched at the London Olympic Games in And although there were no athletes that were caught at the London Olympics, six weeks after its introduction two Russian powerlifters were disqualified having had an adverse laboratory test for growth hormone using our test.
They then subsequently admitted to having taken growth hormone. But unfortunately, this is not game set match. As soon as a test is developed another drug, or another way of hiding it pops up. Richard - T he athletes generally are going to be one step ahead of the anti-doping testers. So it's quite likely that athletes are already starting to develop other ways of manipulating the growth hormone axis.
This is sophisticated stuff. These are well-funded and well-resourced labs,. So this is not an easy thing to catch, or prevent. Amanda - Every athlete starts in sport clean. No athlete things. I'm going to join sport today because I want to inject steroids. So the premise for all of our work and in particular in education is that. Start in sport clean. Amanda - So I was a sprint hurdler back in the day and I played netball on the side - much to my dad's annoyance, he said I should focus on one sport!
I was a relatively ok athlete, junior athlete, ranked number three or four in the country. And I always remember being sat in a pen waiting to see if I was going to be drug tested.
Fundamentally, the hormone helped improve the weight and performance of the weak soldiers. The war ended in , but that was not the end of steroids use. It was now the turn of athletes to begin using steroids as a way of boosting their performance. In , the National Institute of Drug Abuse reported that during the Olympics, weightlifters from the Soviet Union did outstandingly well and reached very high levels of performance.
It was later discovered that they had used steroids to enhance their performance. This was the beginning of the popularity of steroid use among Olympic athletes and other professionals in different sports. The National Institute of Drug Abuse points out that it was until that the International Olympic Committee made the use of steroids illegal in Olympics competitions.
Though steroids were considered illegal in the sports world, the sale of the same in the black market continued because people had gotten the idea that they were a viable option for the enhancement of performance. It was until that the first major legal statute regarding steroid use was put in place in the Anti-Drug Abuse Act. This meant that there was a tougher punishment for the sale and possession of steroids.
More about steroids in weightlifting, you can read in this excellent book, and you can buy it on Amazon by clicking this link or image below. Despite the enforcement of laws against the sale and possession of steroids, the distribution and sale of these synthetic hormones have continued to increase. Athletes and non-athletes are part of the reason why steroids are still prevalent today.
Olympic weightlifters are among those who are using steroids at a large scale; hence, making this is a topic deserving an in-depth discussion. We live in a world full of competition. Everybody wants to be the best and at his best. For this reason, Olympic weightlifters take and use steroids to enhance their performance, become more powerful and stronger, as well as building more muscle mass.
Athlete Olympic weightlifters are in constant pressure to perform and be at their best in competitions; hence, forcing them to take steroids to boost their overall output. According to them, the more powerful and stronger they are, the more they can remain competitive and relevant in the weightlifting world. The desire to remain at the peak and apex of the weightlifting realm gives weightlifters the push to go for steroids. Although the use of steroids in athlete Olympic weightlifting is against the legal and ethics of the sport, you will still find a good number of weightlifters using performance-enhancing drugs.
Why is this so? Even when top weightlifters are being stripped off of their Olympic titles because of doping, the trend is still continuing. What does this imply? Essentially, Olympic weightlifters are willing to take the risk of testing positive for steroids for them to maintain their desired shape and form.
Truth be told, lifting Olympic-style weights is not a joke. It requires a lot of strength and power to make progress in this arena of weightlifting. Most importantly, it does not take a sudden flight to build muscles, power, and strength in Olympic weightlifting.
You need to exhibit massive amounts of patience and dedication for you to achieve your desired goals as a weightlifter. This is a big problem for many weightlifters. They want a quick fix in becoming stronger and powerful and in building strong muscles. Since this is not possible, weightlifters turn to the use of steroids.
Non-athlete weightlifters are also prone to the use of steroids. They want to look bigger and bulkier. Body appearance is an important factor for gym lovers who do Olympic weightlifting. In a day and age where body image accounts for a lot, weightlifting has become a major societal trend.
For this reason, weightlifters are adding steroids to their workouts to improve their appearance. Again, masculinity is synonymous to looking strong and powerful. Even for non-athlete weightlifters, they value the idea of looking strong and powerful. When male weightlifters go to the gym, they want to look masculine, and that is why they will do whatever it takes for them to add strength and power to their masculinity.
Steroids happen to be the quickest way of making this possible. Thus, with the increasing amount of pressure on various fronts among weightlifters, steroids consumption has become a common trend. There are various steroids that weightlifters take to improve their performance, build more muscle mass, and tuning their body appearance to acquire a stronger and masculine shape.
Some of the common anabolic steroids are discussed below:. The approved medical use of this synthetic male hormone is the treatment of low red blood cell count. Specifically, people suffering from anemia take Anadrol to boost the production of red blood cells in their bodies.
However, weightlifters take advantage of this drug to add power and strength to their bodies. Using the synthetic male hormone, for this reason, is an abuse, and it has the potential of causing serious complications and side effects to those who take it.
Just like other steroids, Oxandrin is used for medical purposes approved by medical practitioners. Concerning the chemical ability of Oxandrin, people who have lost weight as a result of different medical reasons take it to regain a substantial amount of weight.
Moreover, it also helps to get rid of bone pain for those suffering from bone loss. Weightlifters use this drug to increase their strength and power for them to maintain their competitive edge in the sport of Olympic weightlifting. For non-athlete weightlifters, the intake of this steroid is to increase their weight and build stronger muscles.
Weightlifters tend taking up to 10 times more than the normal dosage of this drug to increase their capacity to build muscles faster. Dianabol is yet another steroid that is widely used in weightlifting circles as a strength and power enhancement drug. The drug can enlarge body mass and strength by the fourth cycle that pushes many weightlifters to opt for it as their preferred steroid. But, just like any other steroid, it has negative side effects that are worth mentioning including high blood pressure, an increase in the amount of cholesterol in the body, and an increased likelihood of heart disease.
Those mentioned above synthetic male hormone is used by weightlifters to build muscles and body mass. The hormone is present in different supplements aimed at reducing weight and boosting the ability to build stronger muscles. Some of the side effects include: increased blood pressure, heart attack, shortness of breath, neurological problems, narrowed blood vessels, and uneven heartbeat. Of great importance still, the steroids that weightlifters take can be categorized according to the way they are taken.
Oral forms include such steroids like Fluoxymesterone, Methyltestosterone, Oxandrolone, Stanozolol, Mibolerone, and Mesterolone. Steroids that are normally injected into the blood of its users include Methenolone enanthate, Nandrolone phenpropionate, Testosterone enanthate, Trenbolone acetate, and Boldenone undecylenate. Indeed, steroids use has become common to many people, especially among athletes and weightlifters who wish to boost their performance and increase the mass of their muscles.
Majorly, there are three ways through which people take steroids. They can take them through the mouth, injected into their muscles, or apply on the skin. Weightlifters use any of these methods to ensure that they have their desired dosages of steroids into their system. Compared to doses that doctors prescribe to treat particular medical conditions, those who abuse these substances take increased amounts ranging from 10 to even times more.
Such levels of intake fall into the category of abuse, bearing in mind that the reasons why weightlifters take steroids to fall into the illegal use category. There are various patterns that those who take steroids to build muscles and increase their performance adopt to achieve their goals.
They are discussed in detail below:. Cycling refers to the consumption of multiple doses for a particular period, stopping the intake for a while then resuming the intake. This refers to the pattern whereby people take more than one steroid at a time.
Those who do stacking hold the belief that once they take more than one type of steroids at a time, they will increase their effectiveness, thus expecting better outcomes. Olympic weightlifters who adopt the stacking pattern belief that by taking two or more types of steroids at once will make them increase their muscle mass and change their body shape faster.
This pattern refers to the combination of both cycling and stacking. This pattern of steroid use involves a gradual increase of doses from a slow frequency to a higher one and then decreasing it to level zero. Most abusers of steroids are known to pyramid their pattern of doses in weeks. The weeks are divided into two cycles. In the first cycle, consumption of low to higher doses of steroid drugs takes place.
In the second cycle, they begin to decrease the intake of steroids. This pattern involves substituting or alternating steroids to avoid tolerance. Athletes and weightlifters use these patterns of steroid intake to maximize the effectiveness of their use and also to avoid the effects that come with the consumption of the same.
However, there is no scientific evidence that supports the effectiveness of these patterns in reducing the harmful consequences of using steroids as performance enhancement drugs. Actually, due to the illegal nature of steroid consumption among Olympic weightlifting athletes, those who abuse these drugs devise ways of timing their injections so that they avoid detection by the relevant testing authorities. At the back of their minds, the pattern they adopt in their intake of the synthetic hormones acts as a way of allowing the drug to clear out of their system before they go through a testing exercise.
In the same vein, some take masking drugs to hide the steroids already in their body system. Nevertheless, the bottom line is that the intake of these drugs among Olympic weightlifters is illegal, if not prescribed by medical professionals. Thus, upon the realization that they are present in the system of athletes, this can land them into serious problems. There is massive steroid use among athlete weightlifters and non-athlete weightlifters. A study published in the journal of Addiction and Health found out that weightlifters widely use steroids to enhance their performance and increase their strength.
Out of the weightlifting participants in the study, What does this portray? The study further asserts that there is evidence of anabolic steroid use among both athlete and non-athlete weightlifters in the past four decades. The use of strength and performance enhancement drugs in the weightlifting realm has attracted widespread criticism and controversy over the years.
The sport of weightlifting has, for a long time, been experiencing a series of challenges because of the involvement of top weightlifters in the misuse of steroids. The International Olympic Committee continues to be vigilant and extra careful because of the increasing number of cases of Olympic weightlifters using drugs to enhance their performance. Since the use of anabolic steroids gives users an unfair advantage over their competitors, the International Olympic Committee considers them illegal.
Physical appearance, large muscles, increased power and strength, and boosted performance among Olympic weightlifters lures them to continue risking not only their quality of health, but also their reputations as athletes. Some top weightlifters have been found guilty of using steroids and faced punishments as a result. For example, after realizing that there were alarming statistics of top Olympic weightlifting athletes abusing steroids to enhance their performance in the sport, the International Olympic Committee decided to retest the samples of athletes from the and Olympics competitions.
This was informed by the need to use more effective and advanced testing methods to determine whether weightlifters were guilty of using steroids. It was not a surprise that top athletes were found to have used these drugs to boost their competitiveness in the sport.
According to Lee , some of the top weightlifters who were found to have been using these illegal drugs included: Ilya Ilyin from Kazakhstani, Andrei Rybakou from Belarus, Apti Aukhadov from Russia, and Boyanka Kostova from Azerbaijan. If the most decorated Olympic weightlifting athletes are using drugs to build power and strength, then it goes without saying that many weightlifters are doing the same. Even those who go to the gym without training for any competition are trapped in the desire to transform their body appearance, build more muscle, and improve their performance.
The question of which one is better between the use of steroids and natural weightlifting is gaining a lot of significance in the minds of many audiences. By now, we must acknowledge that steroids usage is not an alien phenomenon in the weightlifting sphere, especially in Olympic weightlifting. Therefore, a discussion of taking performance enhancement drugs and not taking is worth your time.
Some use steroids to enhance their ability to lift weights and realize the gains associated with it. Which one is better between the two? The use of steroids makes weightlifters look stronger and more powerful within a short time compared to lifting weights without enhancement drugs.
For weightlifters who are looking for a quick fix, they often land into the hands of steroids. On the other hand, Olympic weightlifters who are willing to train hard without the use of steroids, they are sure to get quality outcomes, only that it will take a longer time. A critical look at this scenario shows you that time is a factor here. While steroids fasten the process of gaining more muscles, power, and strength, natural weightlifting will take more time. Indeed, this is a tricky question for many.
Otherwise, there would be no cases on steroids abuse today. The bottom line is that if you want to remain healthy as you train and work out towards the realization of your goals, you should stick to natural weightlifting. You will not have to worry about the negative effects of using steroids because no synthetic hormones are getting into your body.
The athletes assume this increased strength and training will translate into better athletic performance. Most athletes taking anabolic steroids are taking very large doses with no thought as to the potential adverse side effects. They ignore the possibility of long-term problems relating to hypertension, liver dysfunction, and atherosclerosis for what they see as the immediate performance benefits.
In an attempt to keep sports competition "clean" and to help protect athletes from harmful drugs, the International Olympic Committee IOC and the United States Olympic Committee have rules stating that the use of anabolic steroids is illegal. Drug testing is performed in Olympic and in many international competitions. Those people found using anabolic steroids are disqualified.