Performance Enhancing Drugs in Sports Fast FactsThe use sferoids performance enhancing drugs is by no means anything new to athletics or even to society in general. The modern medical and scientific advantages to the use of performance enhancing drugs have anabolic steroids sports history changed the methods and manner by which athletes utilize substances to enhance performance, making it all more efficient and effective — an exact science. But anabolic steroids sports history use of these substances are nothing new to us, and this anabolic steroids sports history easily be seen by looking back into ancient history as far back as several thousand years ago. The very first use of anabolic steroids winstrol clen test e cycle sports and athletics can be dated back almost two thousand years in ancient Greece. Other instances of anabolic steroid use have occurred throughout history, notably in ancient Rome as well, but none was more prevalent than in the ancient Greek Olympic Games.
Steroids In Sports - Steroid Abuse
The use of performance enhancing drugs is by no means anything new to athletics or even to society in general. The modern medical and scientific advantages to the use of performance enhancing drugs have merely changed the methods and manner by which athletes utilize substances to enhance performance, making it all more efficient and effective — an exact science. But the use of these substances are nothing new to us, and this can easily be seen by looking back into ancient history as far back as several thousand years ago.
The very first use of anabolic steroids in sports and athletics can be dated back almost two thousand years in ancient Greece. Other instances of anabolic steroid use have occurred throughout history, notably in ancient Rome as well, but none was more prevalent than in the ancient Greek Olympic Games. Well documented historical records state that it was prior to and during the ancient Greek Olympic Games that these ancient athletes would consume massive quantities of sheep and bull testicles .
The end result was a vast increase in performance, specifically in the areas of strength, speed, and muscular size. The athletes who engaged in the consumption of sheep and bull testes did not understand the true mechanics of what was occurring due to their dietary habits, of course, but they did understand that there happened to be a direct correlation between the consumption of sheep and bull testes and the increase in athletic ability and performance.
The real truth was that it was the anabolic steroid hormones within the testes, Testosterone, which had been consumed in mass quantities — enough to provide a noticeable positive change — that had been responsible for the assistance in their performance increases! Performance enhancing drug use outside of the arena of anabolic steroids has also been a frequent and very common endeavor of athletes for a very long time as well.
As a matter of fact, the use of other substances and compounds that are not anabolic steroids has been more frequent and more common than anabolic steroid use itself, although this is only limited to the time period prior to the modern development of anabolic steroids. Various herbs and foods believed to enhance athletic performance has been a commonplace practice for as long as sport has existed in human history. The true nature of many of these herbs and foods was that the active ingredients within that played a role in performance enhancement was that of stimulants, hormones, vitamins, and various other different compounds and substances contained within.
Of course, once again, this was unknown to these athletes at the time. It was not until modern medicine and modern scientific investigational methods in the late 19 th century that humans understood what exactly it was contained within these items that had such profound effects.
We can see how this would have had a significant impact, as meats red meat in particular contains high amounts of the different B vitamins, and also contains high levels of Creatine, which has been proven to increased athletic performance in some areas to a certain extent. Ancient Greek athletes were also known to eat figs under the belief that they would assist in the growth of muscle and improve stamina, which had been based upon the ancient Greek religious and mythological figure Hercules who was said to have made figs a staple in his diet.
Of course, many of these practices and beliefs would today be labeled as pseudoscientific hogwash based upon flawed reasoning and logic, as the ancient Greeks had no scientific basis for any of the claims that these protocols worked. Some of them indeed did work, perhaps for reasons different from what they had believed at the time, and others just plain did not work.
But this brings us to one major theme and point here that must be made: The fact that the use of performance enhancing substances due to the win-at-any-cost attitude was commonplace, and very widely accepted — it was in fact a trait among individuals that was highly sought after! It was actually expected of ancient athletes as well as warriors and soldiers to adopt this notion and attitude of winning at any cost and to utilize performance enhancing substances of any sort to do so.
These same values were held very high by the society of the time. In comparison to our society today, this can be seen as being quite the drastic difference in the values held by society then and the values held by society now — but one thing is for certain: On the contrary, the notion among ancient Greek and Roman society was one where the exact opposite was encouraged, promoted, and valued highly — and of course, the attitudes of the athletes of the time was the exact same.
Today we see a society for the most part that shuns, discourages, and crushes these values, but our modern athletes do not share this same sentiment and have more in common with the attitudes of ancient Greek and Roman athletes as we will soon discover. Where the ancient Olympics are concerned, the rewards and prizes for being the winner were much more scarce than they are today in our modern sports and Olympic Games.
The big number one driving factor among the ancient athletes that is held in common with our modern athletes is: Ancient Greek Olympic athletes received 1, days of pay as a prize reward for winning an event .
It is through the excessively large and highly attractive salaries, contracts, and sponsorships that provide the intense motivation to accommodate the same win-at-any-cost attitude that the ancient athletes also possessed.
This, in turn, is what creates the allure for our modern athletes to seek and use anabolic steroids and performance enhancing substances in order to win and obtain these highly sought after prizes. The performance enhancing substances of the modern age today not only provide significant assistance in enhancing athletic performance, but also hold the ability to heal injury to a significant extent, strengthen against possible future injury, and therefore allow the athletes to recover quicker and get back out in the ring, on the track, on the rink, or out in the field faster following injury.
Anabolic steroids were never the only substances utilized in sports and athletics to enhance performance , and in fact many other substances were used vastly long before anabolic steroids as we know them today in their modern use were used for the first time. The first obvious substances to be used were compounds categorized as stimulants. Many different types of stimulants have been known to increase performance, and more so in the immediate sense meaning that the benefits are seen shortly after administration whereas anabolic steroids require weeks of administration before results are seen.
Caffeine, for example, is known to have performance enhancing qualities through its stimulant effects among other attributes. Other stronger stimulants, such as Cocaine and Amphetamines, have been well understood to enhance performance. Thomas Hicks is one such example of an athlete who won the gold medal in the Olympic marathon of Hicks had consumed a combination of Brandy, Cocaine, and Strychnine in order to assist him in achieving his victory.
It is well known, though, that this cocktail had caused him to at one point collapse and almost die, whereby he had to be revived by a medical team. When all was said and done, however, Hicks ended up being the number one winner of the marathon.
It is also well known that Cocaine was frequently used among baseball players in the late s and early s during baseball games. Athletes had experimented with other stimulants around this period as well, such as the use of Nitroglycerine by Olympic sprinters in an effort to induce blood vessel dilation during events. Dextroamphetamines were also a commonly used stimulant used by marathon runners and sprinters. Note that the use of all of these substances were at a point in history long before the International Olympic Committee IOC brought drug testing policies into effect as well as testing procedures.
During this time, the use of many different substances and stimulants for the purpose of performance enhancement was quite widespread among athletes, and was widely accepted. Society in general thought nothing negative of this behavior, and it was regarded as quite normal activity.
Anabolic steroids in modern sports, and especially in the Olympics, began in the s when the Soviet Union had put to use the data collected in Soviet-occupied Germany following World War 2.
This data was data collected by the Nazis on the use of Testosterone for the purpose of performance enhancement. The Soviet Union had the advantage over all of the other Allied nations in obtaining this data before any other country or organization could. It was in the late s when the Soviet Union intensely studied this information and furthered its application and development, which resulted in the administration of Testosterone to Soviet Olympic athletes. Shortly afterwards, it was during the Olympics in Helsinki where the Soviet athletes had demonstrated significant advantages in the various sporting activities.
But, it would be the Olympic Games where by this time the Soviet Union had almost perfected the use of Testosterone and made leaps and bounds in progress where its application for the purpose of performance enhancement was concerned. The result in the Olympics was the Soviet domination of almost every event, especially those events where strength and speed was concerned.
Following this event, the chief doctor of the US Olympic team, Dr. John Ziegler, and his medical staff had been tasked with investigating as to why the Soviets had everyone else at such a disadvantage.
It was discovered that the Soviet Olympic athletes had been administered Testosterone injections in order to assist in performance enhancement. Following the discovery of Testosterone use among Soviet athletes, Dr. Ziegler and his team developed an anabolic steroid which was a chemically modified variant of Testosterone that could be administered orally and still result in a high percentage of the substance reach the bloodstream.
With the development of Dianabol and its use by the American Olympic team, they were now on equal footing with the Soviet Union. But it was the development of Dianabol that at this time created the anabolic steroid development race, where hundreds, if not thousands, of anabolic steroids were developed over the next few years and all throughout the s, s, and s.
The result was thousands of derivatives of Testosterone, Nandrolone, and Dihydrotestosterone the three primary natural anabolic steroids created by the human body that were created, all with different features, advantages, disadvantages, and attributes. By the s, other participating countries in the Olympic Games had adopted anabolic steroid use in their athletes and some had gone to very large lengths to do so as well. One such example is East Germany, which actually ran state-sponsored and state-run programs for the purpose of engaging all of their athletes in anabolic steroid use for the purpose of performance enhancement — whether or not the athlete was aware of it.
The plan also had one other primary purpose, and that was to cheat the Olympic drug testing programs. Under this program, both male and female athletes were administered anabolic steroids with and without their knowledge.
A vast amount of the anabolic steroid used in this program were also undetectable at the time, very much due in large part to their new development and tightly-kept secret status.
Many of these anabolic steroids were designed by East Germany for the sole purpose of fooling drug testing procedures. Before long, East Germany became a highly dominating player in the Olympic Games for nearly 25 years when the end of the Cold War marked the end of East Germany. However, perhaps the most notable marker of anabolic steroid use in the Olympic Games that made perhaps the biggest impact in history was that of Canadian Olympic sprinter Ben Johnson.
It was in the summer Olympic Games where Canadian Olympic sprinter Ben Johnson tested positive for Winstrol after his victory at the meter dash. Ben Johnson was stripped of his Olympic Gold medal and suspended, and it was the event in history that would be the swan song for the freedom of anabolic steroids. This Olympic steroid scandal sparked congressional hearings on the issue of control over anabolic steroids, and shortly afterwards during that same year anabolic steroids became a controlled drug.
Ben Johnson was perhaps the one athlete in all of history that had suffered the worst punishment and fate of all athletes caught using anabolic steroids — past, present and future athletes included. As previously mentioned, Major League Baseball did not have anabolic steroid testing procedures or even any bans until long after many other major sports leagues and organizations implemented them. It was not until the late s and early s that anabolic steroids became an issue brought to the forefront in the MLB and in the media.
Androstenedione is a prohormone, which is a precursor hormone to anabolic steroids. On their own, prohormones possess little to zero hormonal activity. It is not until prohormones are consumed by the human body, where the liver undergoes conversion of the prohormone through various biochemical reactions and processes to form the end result, which is an active anabolic steroid hormone.
The development of prohormones and the bioactive mechanism through which they work effectively avoided the laws surrounding anabolic steroids. The result was the free sale and purchase of prohormone supplements on the shelves of any supplement store. Mark McGwire during this time had been very close to breaking an untouched home run record. The sighting of Androstenedione by a reporter, however, had triggered a large amount of attention and hysteria concerning anabolic steroids in Major League Baseball.
McGwire did end up breaking the home run record, and almost immediately afterwards retired from the sport. Although McGwire had virtually dodged the anabolic steroid commotion with his quick retirement, the hell that had been left behind on the sport itself would continue to wreak havoc afterwards. Over the next few years, more baseball players would come out to the mass media with anabolic steroid use confessions as well as accusations among their fellow players. This had been perhaps the most influential and impacting move, where hundreds of pieces of media had been published by magazines, newspapers, and television media surrounding the issue.
The gates of hell had opened up on Major League Baseball as a result. Barry Bonds and Jason Giambi followed afterwards in landing in the next big spotlight of media attention and hysteria.
At the time, BALCO was a pharmaceutical company that had developed and manufactured various anabolic steroids in secret that were new and unknown compounds designed to beat drug tests. These anabolic steroids were then distributed to a vast list of athletes, of which Barry Bonds and Jason Giambi were found on.
It was during an investigation in Spetember 3, where a BALCO warehouse was raided and searched, and within were containers filled with anabolic steroids and growth hormones, as well as the list of athletes previously mentioned. On this list were several MLB player names that included: Other athletes from many other different sports were also found on this list and implicated in the BALCO scandal.
In this transcript, Barry Bonds had admitted to the use of THG, topical Testosterone creams, Human Growth Hormone, Injectable Testosterone, insulin, and masking agents for the purpose of beating drug tests.
Despite the commotion and investigations, none of these substances at this point in time had been on any MLB banned substances lists. Finally, what must be discussed and cleared up are the mass misconceptions regarding anabolic steroid use in baseball as to what anabolic steroids can and cannot do, and how they really benefit baseball players.
It was in fact the use of anabolic steroids in baseball in all aspects from the increase in performance in the athletes, to the massive amount of media and public attention that was drawn to the sport that had essentially revived baseball in the early s. Whether directly or indirectly, it was the use of anabolic steroids that influenced fans and people to purchase more tickets to the games in order to watch their favorite baseball players enhanced on anabolic steroids to continually break homerun records and play ever more spectacular games.