Famous Athletes Who Used Steroids?
What are those famous people who used steroids? Read on to find out!
What is steroid
First, let’s consider what are steroids. There are two principle types of steroids: corticosteroids and anabolics.
The former group is anti-inflammatory chemicals coming in tabs, liquids, nasal sprays, creams, and injections. Most of them are available on prescription only, though there are the ones you can purchase without restrictions. As drugs they treat fever, asthma, eczema, arthritis, pain caused by an irritated nerve, multiple sclerosis, and other conditions. They work as a man-made hormone cortisol, which is naturally produced by the adrenal glands. Usually if the intake instruction is followed, they cannot cause significant side effects, still an increased appetite and change of a mood can be often observed. Another problem is interruption of a prescribed treatment. Once a person starts taking steroids, he should not stop it without consulting with his doctor.
The latter is artificially produced hormones known as anabolic steroids acting just as androgens (male-type sex hormones like testosterone). Now you can find over 100 kinds of anabolic steroids. They improve endurance, make a man stronger, contribute a lot to building of muscle tissue and increasing body mass in response to training just as if a natural male hormone, testosterone, impacts. Athletes sometimes take them to benefit from this testosterone-like impact. The physicians know little about their long-term effects that is why officially a steroid distribution is regulated by the law. In most cases, the anabolic steroid use is illegal. They usually stay in a human body during some days or even during a year and may lead to acne, hair loss, aggression, insomnia, increased blood pressure, risk of developing various heart conditions, and more. The anabolic steroids can be addictive and cause common withdrawal symptoms including a severe depression.
Anabolic steroid use is banned by professional sports organizations but the athletes keep taking these products to get a competitive advantage. Being caught, they are always disqualified for various period of time.
Steroids in sport
Thus, chemical advantages have been used in various sports since the earliest days. This is a huge temptation to leg up on the competition which even the gifted successful athletes cannot resist. They get possibility to become faster, stronger, more enduring – to enhance performance in any available way even if it is forbidden. The modern international sport is the environment where athletes risk it all trying to conceal the intake of steroid from regulators. If doping is revealed, reputation of an accused athlete is destroyed.
Steroid use in professional sport has been a subject for talks and speculation since 1980’s when the steroid products were marketed as a chemical allowing to build muscle. And only in 2007 the WWE began to get tough on steroid users. But the problem was not solved. Nowadays, the performance-enhancing drugs are taken by athletes in football, wrestling, baseball, cycling… There is a dedicated sanctioning body which officially prohibits these drugs and conducts tests for steroid use during the sport events.
The process of testing is simple. Players get a note with invitation to visit a particular facility to complete a drug test. If a player does not come at the specified date and time for any reason, the result will be announced as positive and that means that an athlete gets a punishment. The test requires to deliver a portion of urine to an official testing facility. After testing is over, the result is announced. If it is positive, the sanctions are imposed – the suspension can last from several games to a season.
We are going to say a couple of words about the biggest performance-enhancing scandals connected with athletes who have used steroids.
Famous athletes who used steroids
- Lance Armstrong. The winner of numerous cycling competitions, dominating for several years. He managed to win the Tour de France 7 times in a row and was adored by fans. In 1996 he announced about his cancer diagnosis, completed a course of treatment and came back to sport making breakthrough. Then, he was accused of doping, but it was not proved. Only in 2013 he admitted his drug use during his interview with Oprah.
- Jose Canseco. He was one of the first baseball players who used steroids. In 1988, he demonstrated stunning results within a season. And later, he wrote a book “Juiced” where he told about the players using performance-enhancing drugs explaining some unbelievable records in the game.
- Rafael Palmeiro. This player is known for working hard building career in Major League Baseball. He achieved an obvious success. Despite of his perseverance, the regulation body expressed incredulity to him. Even after being suspended for testing positive for an anabolic steroid, he said that he had not known about it. Palmeiro became one of baseball players who used steroids in the hall of fame. He described that period in his book dedicated to sport.
- Manny Ramirez. To end the list of MLB players who used steroids we speak about Ramirez – a talented hitter, who took performance-enhancing drugs continuously.
- Arnold Schwarzenegger. This is a legend of bodybuilding and cinematography. His contribution to popularization of the bodybuilding is tremendous. He got the Mr. Olympia nomination several times. In 2005 in his interview he told about using steroids.
- Anderson Silva. An athlete won the Ultimate Fighting Championship 16 times in a row. Having his own fighting style, he was a dangerous opponent. Unfortunately, that unbelievable power was not natural. He was involved in steroids too and was banned from the sport. This case ruined his career.
- Diego Maradona. This is one of the most famous football players who used steroids. He was the best one but in 1994 he evidently lost his power and success. Suddenly, he demonstrated form of old striking imagination during the World Cup. Then, he was tested and got a positive result – he took ephedrine, increasing alertness and improving metabolism.
- Ben Johnson. This is a famous runner. When he got a positive test, he ran a record time of 9.79 seconds. But, the result was achieved with help of stanozolol increasing muscle mass, which, of course, contributed to the performance.
- Hulk Hogan. Even this wrestler was guilty. He announced that he took drugs during 14 years of his successful career insisting that steroids were widely used in all professional sports behind the curtain and, moreover, that in ‘80s a doctor prescribed them and that was the reason he decided there could not be adverse effects.
- The Rock. The famous Dwayne “The Rock” told that he used steroids when he played in his college football team. He said that he had no idea how dangerous they were. But as to his wrestling career, he insists that he has never taken any steroids.
We can see how many athletes, who used steroids, try to get an edge in competition at any cost. The problem continues and raise awareness. athlete