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Steroids And Athletes What kind of role model is Mark McGwire Many people are familiar with his seventy homeruns in one season but do they know that he has been using androstenedione a type of steroid that boosts testosterone levels While it is perfectly legal in the United States and in the major leagues it sends the wrong health message to athletes of every age If young adults take androstenedione or any other steroid they may regret it for the rest of their lives Artificially high levels of testosterone have been shown to permanently damage the heart trigger liver failure and stunt a teenagers growth Gorman 21-22 All are too great of a price for any sport What it all comes down to is that we need to educate both ourselves and all intercollegiate athletes about the risks involved with steroid use Anabolic-androgenic steroids are chemical derivatives of the male sex hormones Anabolic refers to the constructive or building-up process of the bodys metabolism Androgen refers to male-life or masculinizing characteristics There are also two other types of steroids estrogenic or corticosteroids Estrogenic steroids produce female or feminizing characteristics and corticosteroids originate in the cortex of the adrenal glands and have a shrinking effect The latter is used to treat tissue stress reduce inflammation and to ease pain Ringhofer 174 Users take steroids in cycles lasting six to twelve weeks or more Stacking or the use of more than one type of steroid helps to maximize strength gains minimize side effects and avoid detection To build size strength and speed athletes often use 10 to 100 times the medical dosage Yesalis xxv Anabolic-androgens can be taken either by mouth by injection or more recently by skin creams or patches Cowart 25 The two main reasons that athletes use steroids are to improve athletic performance and to improve their appearance In 1985 Anderson and
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