Athletes Over the Edge
Anyone who follows major league baseball knows that anabolic steroid use is a constant problem. The number of players who have been caught using, admitted to, or suspended for steroid abuse is undeniable large. What everyone does not know is why these elite athletes decide to abuse anabolic steroids. They do not understand that even for talented athletes the pressure to take steroids and improve their game is great.
“The never-ending expectations of audience and the desire to enjoy an invincible winning streak have allured many sportsmen to take steroids” (“Athletes Using Steroids”). The pressure put on athletes by their fans and managers cause them to seek any means to enhance their abilities. It is not different then the pressures that young students face everyday that cause them to stoop to cheating. Sometimes the pressure from their parents causes them to study, and when studying is not enough they resort to cheating to get the approval of their parents. This is similar to what is happening to athletes. Athletes practice and practice but sometimes they still can’t seem to achieve success at such a high level so they resort to steroid abuse. Even those athletes who do reach the top may be forced to use steroids in order to stay in the spotlight. Some athletes believe that they need the increased muscle mass and endurance.
People who oppose anabolic steroid use may say that the pressure on athletes is no excuse to use steroids. They argue that if they need to get better they should just practice and work hard. What these critics do not understand is that sometimes just practicing isn’t enough. An athlete at the level of professional baseball practices and works hard non-stop and sometimes reaches a point where all the work isn’t bringing any result. Sometimes they need a nudge to get them improving again. This nudge comes in the form of anabolic steroid use. These athletes may see an improvement after using the steroids and begin to be hooked on the success. This may cause some athletes to become addicted and take steroids constantly. Anyone who has worked constantly at something but could not succeed can understand where these athletes are coming from.
If the pressure of advancing to the spotlight is not the cause of anabolic steroid abuse then it may just be simply that they work in making them a better athlete and in turn cause them to earn more money. Using steroids cause athletes to gain mass, strength, and speed very quickly. With these increased attributes athletes may make it to the top of their sport. Some athletes do not play for their love of the game. Some play for money and prestige(“Steroid Abuse in Sports”). The athletes that are the most successful generate the greatest incomes. This causes athletes to take anabolic steroids and strive to become one of the best in their sport. For instance, Barry Bonds made an estimated $188,245,322 during his MLB career(“How Much”). Do you really think Barry Bonds would have made the millions he did if he never took steroids. He would have still been an extremely talented baseball player and maybe even one of the best. But, he would have never the home run record without the help of steroids, therefore he would have not made nearly as much money as he did. This means that the desire to excel is one of the main reasons for steroid abuse (“Steroid Abuse in Sports”). Imagine someone having the opportunity to put their talents over the top and become one of the greatest athletes in the world. If that could be achieved by taking anabolic steroids there is not many athletes who have worked hard their whole life to achieve this goal and be the best that will say no. People doing whatever it takes to make money and be successful is not something new.