White Paper – Marty Bell

THE TOPIC BACKGROUND: ANABOLIC STEROIDS

Anabolic steroids are a compound that can produce multiple physiological effects. They were first developed in the 1930s to treat hypogonadism. Hypogonadism is a condition in which testes do not produce sufficient testosterone for normal growth, development, and sexual functioning. During the late 1930s scientists began to discover that the anabolic steroids could facilitate the growth of skeletal muscle in laboratory animals. This led to the use of these steroids first by bodybuilders and weightlifters and later by athletes in other sports. The effects of anabolic steroids include increases in protein synthesis, muscle mass, strength, appetite, and bone growth.

More than 100 different anabolic steroids have been developed. In order to use these steroids legally in the United States you must have a prescription. A vast majority of steroids that are illegally used by athletes are smuggled in from other countries or illegally diverted from U.S. pharmacies. This has caused multiple tainted records and lots of speculation in professional sports today.

EFFECTIVENESS OF STEROIDS

Anabolic steroids are not effective if you do not do intense workouts while using them. But, when taken with a strength training program, steroids are effective in increasing body mass and strength. They can be injected or taken in tablet form. The injectable steroids can be put into two categories, oils and waters. Oils are the longer lasting anabolic steroids. Most people take them in cycles of weeks, which means stopping for a period then starting again. Another method is stacking, which is taking a combination of several different types to maximize the effectiveness. They are effective by increasing protein synthesis and nitrogen retention.

Anabolic steroids cause enzymes that result in creatine phosphate synthesis and protein synthesis. Creatine phosphate allows an athlete to work out harder and for longer periods of time by being a short-term energy source in the absence of sufficient oxygen. Increased protein synthesis helps the athlete to build and repair muscle tissue.

Another way anabolic steroids are effective is by retaining nitrogen. It utilizes the nitrogen in the protein an athlete has eaten or drank. This is result helps athletes build body mass. This is because a body must temporarily be in a state in which the body takes in more nitrogen than it loses to gain muscle mass. An intense exercise causes a negative nitrogen balance in your body but, the steroids reverse this effect causing a positive balance and faster gain in muscle mass.

COUNTERINTUITIVITY NOTE

Most people believe that steroids disgrace professional sports. What they do not realize is that many of your favorite athletes have most likely taken or are currently using steroids. So, contrary to popular belief, steroids can be a good thing for sports. This becomes obvious when you look at specific cases. For instance, everyone knows Barry Bonds took steroids if you saw him when he first entered the MLB it would be obvious. He broke records and brought tons of interest to baseball. Until he was accused of using steroids no one had a problem with Barry Bonds and the great things he was doing. By making steroids legal it would take away the publicity that testing positive for steroids bring and just leave the positive effects.

Home run Factor:

Anabolic steroids cause an increase in muscle mass. This increase in muscle mass causes a batter to apply a greater force to the bat, resulting in a faster bat speed. An increase in swing speed of course results in increased batted ball speed. This is all proof that steroids cause a larger home run production. This increased home run production will result in more fans of the sport due to the fact that everyone likes to see home runs. It is no secret that fans like watching the unexpected like an intense home run race and more home runs. Allowing athletes to use steroids would just be giving the fans what the want to watch.

Negative Effects of Steroids:

Although athletes receive many benefits in using steroid there are also side effects when athletes abuse steroids. Abuse of steroids results in increased risk of muscle tears and increased risk of tendon injuries. There is also evidence that steroid use may result in a weaker left ventricle. The left ventricle is the hearts main pumping chamber.

Dirty Needles:

Steroids are currently illegal without a prescription and banned from sports. This causes athletes to inject themselves with steroids. This brings across the problem of sharing needles and dirty needles. When you use a dirty needle you risk getting HIV, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C from these contaminated needles. Making steroids legal will allow doctors to be the ones to inject these athletes and ensure that the needles are clean. This will make taking steroids as safe as it can be. Athletes are aware of the possible negative outcomes of using steroids and yet they are still willing to use them in order to achieve a higher skill level. If athletes choose to take the risk they should be allowed to have a doctor be the one to provide the steroids so they can be monitored and as safe as possible.

TOPICS FOR SMALLER PAPERS:

I could write a smaller paper on why exactly anabolic steroids are illegal. A small paper on the different types of steroids and their effectiveness is another idea. I could also write a small paper on how steroids have been being used by athletes for longer than most people think. One other smaller topic is that using steroids causes people to exercise which in result helps the fight against obesity. Finally, another topic for a smaller paper is that because while taking steroids you are required to eat healthy they help prevent malnutrition related diseases.

CURRENT STATE OF RESEARCH PAPER:

So far the steps I have completed towards finishing my research paper include: researching sources, writing a proposal, this white paper. I have come up with many strategies on how to approach my paper. I have decided to specifically talk about how steroids would be helpful to the sport of baseball. My paper is still certainly a work in progress and needs a lot more thought and work put into it. Although I have done significant research on how steroids can be helpful, I still need to do much more research on the negative effects to get a better understanding. The more research I do and more feedback I receive will bring me closer to completing my paper.

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