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Brent Holtkamp Eng. 250 PK D’Andrea 16 November 2013 The Viral Steroid In sports, fairness has always been a primary focus among officials and players. Many athletes result to anabolic steroids as a way to get bigger and better than their opponents. In most sports, the use of anabolic steroids is banned or prohibited due to the health risks that come from use. However, there has been much research that supports that the use of steroids isn’t as harmful or dangerous as many believe. I would like to present an honest opinion without jumping to any rash conclusions about steroids, which may present information that may differ from one’s generally known belief about steroids. Fairness in sports and safety to one’s health are two major concerns that come from the abuse of anabolic steroids which lead many to rash biases about the use of the drug. Many uninformed people are skeptical about anabolic steroids and often hold biased opinions about the use of the drug outside of medical practice. Clinically, anabolic steroids have been used to treat a variety of extreme health conditions. These steroids have been used to treat severe burns, osteoporosis, and HIV. Many side effects can be listed from observation, but little research has been done because of the difficulty to study these effects in a “placebo-controlled, double-blind fashion” (Kishner). Testicular atrophy is a side-effect of an overdose of anabolic steroids. This side-effect inhibits further study due to the altering of the double-blind structure. Several other aspects of an individual would also have to be monitored in order to possibly record an accurate study. How an athlete trains, eats, and how he or she uses anabolic steroids would all need to be manipulated

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in order to get a credible study (Kishner). In any scientific experiment outside variables is always a major concern. If many outside variables are present they could diminish the validity of the study. Negative opinions are often formed when people casually discuss anabolic steroids. People justify their opinions based on the health risks associated with consuming steroids. These risks in men include: prominent breasts, baldness, shrunken testicles, infertility, and impotency. Women may experience: a deeper voice, an enlarged clitoris, increased body hair, and baldness (Mayo Clinic staff). Although these side effects have been clinically proven to be a result of using anabolic steroids they are inappropriately diagnosed. The patients studied all had overdosed on the drug. Analyzing any type of effects from an overdose of any type of drug is irresponsible and illegitimate. However, “many athletes take anabolic steroids at doses that are much higher than those prescribed for medical reasons” (Mayo Clinic staff). Most of the effects that have been examined are taken from people that are overdosing on this drug. All studies that have been taken based on observation of those who have overdosed on the drug should be disregarded. Now, these illegitimate studies should make people believe that these effects are inappropriately diagnosed due to a lack of study on moderate usage of this drug. However, people often jump to conclusions and falsely accept these “scientific” studies as true. Thus, irresponsible biases have been formed because of these irresponsible studies. This has led many people to develop negative opinions about the use of anabolic steroids in sports. Professional sports are very competitive and often pay high salaries which pressure athletes to do whatever possible to remain ahead of the competition. Many athletes try to improve their game by working to become bigger and stronger. Then they resort to anabolic steroids as a way to outgrow, and hopefully out-perform, the competition. “Almost since their

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inception, testosterone and anabolic-androgenic analogues have been used and abused by individuals seeking to augment their anabolic and androgenic potential” (Kishner). This particular type of steroid enhances muscle building and increases one’s bodily creation of testosterone. Anabolic steroids strengthen athletes which aids them in physical and contact sports. “The primary reason why performance enhancing drugs are outlawed in professional sports is that they give users an unfair advantage over the rest of the field” (Smith). Interestingly, the sideeffects of the drug were not the primary reason for wanting it to be outlawed. This effort to balance out various leagues and level the playing field has not gone unnoticed. Athletes are tested for use of the drugs in most professional American sports leagues. However, many athletes have found ways around these tests. “Drug testers contracted by the league routinely alert team officials a day or more before their arrival at ballparks for what is supposed to be random, unannounced testing of players” (Schmidt). If spontaneous tests are not made athletes can time the use of whichever form of anabolic steroids they are using so it does not show up in the test. If one were to completely get rid of the unfairness created by the use of anabolic steroids, performance enhancers should be legalized. Only then, will professional sports become fair. If the primary reason why anabolic steroids are banned in sports is to maximize fairness, why take an objective approach to fairness? Many athletes want to push themselves to see how much success they can achieve. Performance enhancing drugs have been banned for a very long time now, yet athletes still find ways to use the drug and get away with it. Sure, one could pat him or herself on the back for catching someone using steroids, but what about all the others still out there who are getting away with it? The only way to create absolute fairness would be to allow free use of anabolic steroids. The MLB uses the health risks of using anabolic steroids as

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the primary excuse as to why the drug is banned in the league. However, the primary reason is that it creates an unfair advantage for users. If made legal one, may argue that there will be a major spike in health risks. Athletes are paid to play a particular sport for a living. Many of these sports like baseball, football, and basketball all present health risks those players all endure. There has been much controversy over the greatness and accomplishments of many players. Many of these controversies have been a big issue in Major League Baseball (MLB). Several all-star athletes like Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, and Sammy Sosa have all used anabolic steroids in their career and had a very small chance of making it into the hall of fame because of it (Smith). Performance enhancing drugs may increase strength and awareness, but they do not affect talent. Many of these athletes have gotten a lot of negative publicity because of their use of these drugs. These athletes probably did perform better than they would have without the use performance enhancing drugs, but it cannot be certain. It is impossible to be certain that these drugs even improved performance. People often create a negative image of anabolic steroids without being properly informed. These biases are often formed around the health effects it has on its users and the concern for fairness in competitive sports. A majority of these health risks have been analyzed from users who have overdosed on the substance which leads to ill-valid conclusions. There is also very little evidence that breaks down the proper use of anabolic steroids outside of medical practice. People are becoming smarter and are figuring out ways around substance abuse policies. The only way to create absolute fairness in competitive sports is to legalize the public use of anabolic steroids. Very few people do their own research on anabolic steroids which have diverted it from being a substance of body building to a substance of varying opinions.

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Works Cited Mayo Clinic Staff. “Performance-enhancing drugs: Know the risks.” Mayo Clinic. 12 Dec. 2012. Web. 12 Nov. 2013. Kishner, Stephen. “Anabolic Steroid Use and Abuse.” Medscape. 8 Mar. 2013. Web. 13 Nov. 2013 Smith, Chris. “Why It’s Time To Legalize Steroids In Professional Sports.” Sportsmoney. Forbes, 24 August 2012. Web. 14 Nov. 2013. Schmidt, S. Michael, “Baseball’s Drug Testing Lacks Element of Surprise.” Baseball. The New York Times, 31 October 2007. Web. 16 December 2013.

Holtkamp 6 #5 Documented Essay Rubric English 250

Excellent CONTEXT Purpose, position, audience
- Strong introduction accurately and substantially previews the issues in the entire paper…Answers “so what?” question - Necessary context provided for thesis + purpose - Clear, interesting thesis demonstrates a unique, specific argument - Obvious effort to move beyond “listed” or basic persuasive thesis - Thesis supported with relevant evidence - Clear, concrete reasons and detailed evidence. - Essay offers a fair, thorough treatment of the topic - Paragraphs are unified and developed. Various perspectives used - Conclusion is thoughtful and substantive - Paragraphs follow a logical structure beyond “listed” points - Strong transitions link ideas at the sentence and paragraph level - Topic sentences strong and relevant, relate to thesis - Effective word choice and sentence variety - Shows evidence of line-editing - Formal writing tone and conventions observed - Tone is moderate, professional, enhances writer’s ethos - Innovative / relevant title - Appropriate font, spacing, and MLA formatting (page and citations) - All Works Cited used within body - Length and conventions meet requirements.



Needs Work

SUBSTANCE Scope, depth, relevance, fairness

ORGANIZATION Focus, structure, relationship, emphasis STYLE Conventions, language, editing

DELIVERY Consistency, accessibility, professionalism

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