Everyone, it can be argued, takes something now and then to enhance their performance. People are expected to show up for work, headache or not. They may take three or four Ibuprofen to reduce the swelling of the blood vessels inside the head and it subsides for a while. You have just enhanced your performance on the job. After all, we all perform better when there is no headache, or other body ache, for that matter.
These types of enhancements are available to everyone, legal and give no unfair advantage to anyone. If anything, OTC meds just level the playing field.
Anabolic steroids are illegal to use. Some athletes risk it to gain advantage over the opposition. These steroids are used in excess to build muscles and upper body strength. They are in no way natural. A user who outperforms other athletes while using steroids has cheated to win.
Some might ask, "Why not have every athlete use steroids and the field will once again be level?" The use of these steroids are, in a sense, addictive. They are also extremely damaging to the human body. Side effects include the following:
- Acne and cysts
- Breast growth and shrinking of testicles in men
- Voice deepening and growth of body hair in women
- Heart problems, including heart attack
- Liver disease, including cancer
- Aggressive behavior
The damage that steroids do to the body are often permanent. Aggressive behavior has led some athletes to rape, beat girlfriends and wives, and even murder while in a 'roid rage.' These are situations that hurt others besides those who use steroids.
Is it possible to return to a time before anabolic steroids destroyed the trust of the public? With so much corruption, it isn't likely. With that being the case, will the public stop attending and/or contributing to the world of sports? If they are smart, they will. Maybe it is past time to knock athletes down a peg or five. The joy has always been in natural ability and the person who overcame to come out on top.
Will we be forever asking, "Is it natural or is it steroids?" It does matter.