Performance Enhancing Drugs in Sports – Your Questions Answered!bedewy
With the recent release of the Mitchell Report, performance enhancing drugs in sports are the headline of the season.
While most people think they understand this topic on a basic level (put needle in butt, become magically stronger, Tarzan hit ball far), we’re going to look at the issue in further detail.
First, any drug, performance-enhancing or not, can be dangerous and even deadly, given that 2 of the players named in the Mitchell Report, Steve Bechler and Ken Caminiti, are, in fact, dead.
History of Steroids and Performance-Enhancing Drugs
Steroids were used heavily in the Olympics, particularly by the Germans and Russians, as far back as the 1950’s.
A doctor by the name of John Ziegler is thought to have been the first to synthesize a performance enhancing drug in the U.S. in 1959.
These new “wonder drugs” quickly spread throughout the country among bodybuilders, eventually making their way into professional sports like the NFL.
How Do They Work?
Every drug is different, but one thing is clear: You still have to put in the hard work and training effort to get results.
As Gary Gaffney, M.D., associate professor at the University of Iowa’s College of Medicine, says, “[Performance enhancing drugs are] going to pay off most for the person with a tremendous amount of talent-you can give me all the steroids and HGH in the world, and I’ll never dunk a basketball.”
Many steroids shorten recovery time, allowing an athlete to train harder and longer than he could without them.
What is HGH?
Human growth hormone is usually used to help older people and/or accident victims regain lost muscle and necessary abilities to function and live their life.
Athletes, who are already usually in great physical shape, use HGH to spur even faster and greater muscle growth. But as with any drug, there are several side effects of human growth hormone:
- Increased growth of existing tumors
- Rise in blood pressure
- Retained fluid
- Body aches, specifically joint-related pains
- Potentially habit-forming
As you can see, steroids, HGH, and all performance enhancing drugs can be dangerous in the wrong hands, and players may be trading years of their life for bigger biceps today.
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