Baseball Steroids Essay Conclusion

Limitations

The main limitation with my topic isn't that there currently aren't any studies on the long-term effects of anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS), but mainly in how the studies are conducted. Two studies on the long-term adverse effects of anabolics were done on oral compounds, which are known to have very different effects than the injectable compounds. Oral compounds are much faster acting, can potentially be hepatotoxic, and must be taken several times per day. Injectable compounds are injected directly into the muscle and have a much longer active life in your body. As a result of this, the muscle gains aren't as dramatic as oral compounds. This would be fine, but the study didn't state that. It just presented its findings as fact. Another limitation that I found is that studies on AAS don't indicate that different compounds effect people in different ways. For example, Winstrol, which is commonly used by bodybuilders for fat loss or “cutting” purposes, will have a profoundly different effect on someone than the use of Trenbolone, which is often used for “bulking” purposes.

Over ninety percent of the research that I've found on the adverse and long-term effects of performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) have been done on mice or other animals. The studies that were done on humans were being done on people with severe burns or underweight subjects with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). These were interesting to read but offered little relevance to athletes cheating in sports. AAS affect athletes differently than people who are barely clinging to life.

One study on chromosome damage as a result of anabolic steroid use found that individuals who are weight training and taking AAS have a higher rate of cytotoxicity and chromosome damage compared to the two other groups that were tested. The study was done over a two-month period and compared the results of fifteen males weight training, fifteen males weight training and taking AAS, and twenty sedentary males. The problem that I have with this study is that in the discussion portion of the study, the researchers tried to take their short-term results and infer that there would be an almost linear progression of worsening effects if the study lasted one more second longer.

Currently, there aren't any studies done in which the participant is given a controlled dose of testosterone with all other variables controlled. This is mostly due to ethical reasons and that nobody will consent to doing long-term testing. The fact that the use of PEDs in sports is so taboo makes it difficult to find peer reviewed information on it, but the fact that it is so controversial makes it much more interesting to research. This could be considered a limitation or possibly a strength.

Conclusion

Contribution: Athletes who use steroids aren't bad people. They're just trying to do their jobs better.

“The only real solution for eliminating PEDs in sport is for the fans to stand up and say ‘we don’t want to see any more doping in sports.’ This hasn’t happened and probably won’t. What this is about, pure and simple, is entertainment. We like seeing 'bigger than life' people doing 'bigger than life' things. The fans have arguably created the market for these drugs” (Yesalis et al 1998). Fans like seeing world records broken every year and the revenue generated by sports teams reflects this.

PEDs aren't ruining sports or American culture as many people would like to believe. In reality, because PEDs in sports has become commonplace over the years, revenues have increased in the trillions of dollars (Adams et al 2004). The one thing that all the trillion plus dollar major sports have realized is that fans want to see larger than life people doing larger than life things. Fans want to see 40-yard dash times shattered each year at football combines. They want their linemen all to bench press over 500 pounds (Adams et al 2004).

In the future, I think that people will be more accepting toward PEDs because things are heading in that direction already. “Hormone replacement therapy” is just a fancy term for taking PEDs. There is reason to believe that there will be a new form of performance enhancement. Within the next several years, there will be a new trend among athletes called “gene doping.” There has already been conclusive testing in mice as well as in cows, and it’s only a matter of time before athletes get their hands on this technology (Riewald et al 2005).

References

  • Anabolic-androgenic steroid use by private health Club/Gym athletes. (1993) NSCA Strength and Conditioning Journal 7(2).
  • Behrendt B (2009) Strategies to curb risk behaviors in adolescent athletes. NSCA Strength and Conditioning Journal 30(3).
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  • Berning JM, Adams KJ, Stamford BA (2004) Anabolic steroid usage in sports: Fact, fiction, and public relations. NSCA Strength and Conditioning Journal 18(4).
  • Center For Disease Control (2011) 2011 Mortality Rates. Web.
  • Grossman M, Kimsey T, Moreen J, Owings M (2005) Steroids and Major League Baseball.
  • Hallsworth L, Wade T, Tiggemann M (2005) Individual Differences in Male Body-Image: An Examination of Self-Objectification in Recreational Body builders. PubMed.
  • Humphreys P, Paxton SJ (2004) Impact of exposure to idealised male images on adolescent boys’ body image. PubMed.
  • Kaiser F (2010) American Prescription Drug Trends. PubMed.
  • Kontor K (1989) NSCA plan for the elimination of anabolic-androgenic steroid abuse by Athletes/Students. NSCA Strength and Conditioning Journal 11(5).
  • Land L Collectables (2012) GI Joe Collectable. Web.
  • Leone J, Fetro J (2007) Perceptions and attitudes towards androgenic-anabolic steroid use among two age categories: A qualitative inquiry. NSCA Strength and Conditioning Journal 21(2).
  • Literature review: Anabolic-androgenic steroid use by athletes (1993) NSCA Strength and Conditioning Journal 15(2).
  • Martins RA, Gomes GA, Aguiar O Jr, Medalha CC, Ribeiro DA (2010) Chromosome Damage and Cytotoxicity in Oral Mucosa Cells after 2 Months of Exposure to Anabolic Steroids (decadurabolin and winstrol) in Weight Lifting. PubMed.
  • Riewald S, Roetert EP (2005) Are we dopes to ignore gene doping? NSCA Strength and Conditioning Journal 27(1).
  • Scally M (2010) Anabolic steroids – A question of muscle: Human subject abuses in anabolic steroid research. Amazon.
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  • Street C, Antonio J (2000) Steroids from Mexico: Educating the strength and conditioning community. NSCA Strength and Conditioning Journal 14(3).
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  • Wagman DF, Curry LA, Cook DL (1995) An investigation into anabolic-androgenic Steroid use by elite U.S. powerlifters. NSCA Strength and Conditioning Journal 9(3).
  • Yesalis Charles E, Cowart Virginia (1998) The steroids game Human Kinetics.

Performance Enhancing Drugs in Baseball Essay


Performance A1A1 The title of a paper should be clear and direct. The reader should have no question as to what the paper will be about or the intentions of the writer. This paper is written in APA style, which requires a running head across the top of the pages, beginning on the title page. The page numbers also begin on the title page, which is something that is not seen in other styles. Enhancing Drugs in Baseball

Outline A2A2 This outline is written in APA style. Outlines do not need to be complex unless the subject of the paper warrants it. Simple, direct outlines can often be the best choice for the majority of papers.


Some outlines provide the titles of the sections and the page numbers, while others provide only the names of the sections themselves. That can be at the discretion of the writer, or at the discretion of the person requesting the paper (such as a professor).
  1. Introduction
  2. Background
  3. Analysis
  4. Conclusion
  5. References

Introduction A3A3 Headings in this paper are in APA style. They follow the sections listed in the outline.

            In the past, breaking a record in a sport like baseball meant people thought the record breaker was a great athlete and had something special above and beyond the majority of his or her competitors. Now, the thought is often that the person may have used a performance enhancing drug, like steroids. The use of these kinds of drugs has been a serious topic in baseball, both at the Major and Minor League levels. It has also been a point of discussion for college and high school athletes, as the concept of taking steroids in order to be more effective as an athlete has been one that has started early for many people. Whether suggested by coaches or other players, many athletes are exposed to the world of drugs that enhance their performance at early ages. Taking these drugs can be risky, but not doing so can mean not being able to remain competitive in some cases. Despite the fact that the drugs are illegal in baseball and other sports, their use is rampant.

            In order to really understand the issue and everything that surrounds it, one needs to look at the background of the problem and review the literature that relates to it. From that point, conclusions can be drawn about performance enhancing drug use in baseball. Those conclusions may be able to be extended to other sports, as well. Since steroids and similar performance enhancing drugs all have similar side effects, they are used by athletes in many different sports. That being the case, there is more than just baseball on the line where problems are concerned. For purposes of this paper, however, the researcher has chosen to limit the focus and scope to baseball specifically. There A4A4 This is the thesis statement, and indicates that the issue has two parts to it, not just one. There are serious health issues that come with steroids, but baseball is also a sport that brings in a lot of money. Damaging its reputation could result in a loss of revenue.

Writing the thesis statement in this way indicates that the researcher intends to discuss both of the main concerns that come with steroid use in baseball, instead of just one of those issues.

are two main problems with steroids in baseball: the illegality and medical dangers of the drugs themselves, and the damage to the reputation of baseball (and/or specific players) when these drugs are found to have been used and the story is picked up by the media.   

Background

            Baseball players and other athletes are always looking for ways to enhance their performance. They may want to hit stronger, run faster, throw harder, or any combination of those things. This desire to improve and to be better than their competition has been going on for a very long time, and shows no signs of stopping. Because of these athletes' desire to perform well in their chosen sport, they may begin taking steroids or other performance enhancing drugs (Diacin, A5A5 This paper's citations will be in APA format, which requires in-text citations that include the last name(s) of the author(s) of the work, a comma, and the year of publication. Parks, & Allison, 2003). While the drugs do enhance their ability to perform athletically, there are many issues that come from taking them. They can cause heart problems, anger issues, and significant organ damage (Johnson, 1990). They also cause reputation damage to the player and the team when the use of the drugs is discovered (Johnson, 1990). The beginning of any significant steroid controversy was in 1956, when Russian athletes used anabolic steroids at the World Games (Diacin, Parks, & Allison, 2003). Since that time there have been many other cases of steroid use, and baseball is one of the sports where it has seemed to become commonplace very quickly.

Players such as Alex Sanchez, Jorge Piedra, and Carlos Almanzar have all faced suspensions for performance enhancing drug use in recent years (Players, 2006). Each year, players are suspended. Some insist that they are innocent and will file appeals, others apologize and do not try to say they did not take steroids, and many simply do not comment on the suspension at all. There is a great deal of controversy surrounding steroids for athletes, and it is an important issue facing baseball and other sports (Yesalis, et al, 1993). One of the main ways many have suggested to curb the use of steroids is through drug testing, which would deter many athletes from using substances they know to be unapproved or controlled (McCabe & Ricciardelli, 2001).

There A6A6 When addressing an issue, it is important that both sides are presented. This helps the reader understand the issue more clearly. are critics of these tests, though. They argue that there is a right to privacy that is being violated by the tests, and that they single out athletes in a manner that is unfair, since not everyone is tested (McCabe & Ricciardelli, 2001). Additionally, the argument against testing states that athletes who are not tested at a specific time will begin looking for ways in which they can cheat when they are tested in the future, thus negating the value and validity of the test itself (McCabe & Ricciardelli, 2001). If it is not acceptable to test these athletes for steroid use, it is likely that the use (and abuse) of the drugs will continue. Without testing, however, the problem of reputation becomes moot. With no test to show that an athlete has been taking steroids, there is no media backlash about that particular athlete, team, or sport (Diacin, Parks, & Allison, 2003). That can save face from a public relations standpoint, but it does little to actually keep the game honest and/or protect the athletes from the physical and mental consequences of taking performance enhancing drugs.

The Mitchell Report  is the largest piece of evidence and information when it comes to baseball players and their use of performance enhancing drugs. The Report was the compilation of 21 months of investigation and is 409 pages long (Mitchell, 2007). It was released in December of 2007 and names 89 players who allegedly used steroids or some other type of drug to enhance their performance (Mitchell, 2007). The report also made many recommendations about what should be done in order to make baseball better and safer, as well as to restore and then keep its good reputation. More and stronger testing was recommended, and for a wider variety of drugs (Mitchell, 2007). Additionally, the report concluded that it was not only the fault of the players, but of baseball as a whole for not recognizing and addressing the problem sooner. Trying to go back and find every player who had used performance enhancing drugs would not have any real benefit, stated the Report, but the goal should be to eliminate the use of these drugs moving forward (Mitchell, 2007).   

Analysis A8A8 An analysis can cite sources that have analyzed the topic of the paper, or it can be a section that is more focused on the researcher's understanding of the issue, depending on the requirements of the paper. Here, the researcher analyzes the issue based on what he/she has seen in the background information and through doing research on the subject.

In the information examined for this paper, there were two main points noted: that there are still large numbers of performance enhancing drugs being used in baseball, and that baseball still has somewhat of a public relations problem because of that usage. Many people still attend baseball games and cheer for their favorite teams and players, but there are others who have moved away from supporting the sport because of its inability to control the illegal drug use of many of the players. That is hurting revenue, because it is not just that fewer people are attending the games. When these people stop supporting baseball or a particular player or team, that also cuts down on the amount of money spent on team souvenirs and gear such as jerseys, hats, and other items. While that many not seem like much of a problem, it can really add up to a lot of money over time. The PR problem of steroids in baseball has to be addressed, as do the physical and emotional problems that can come along with using performance enhancing drugs. Both are detrimental to the sport and the players.

The Mitchell Report A7A7 This is very important to include, as it is the most well-known document regarding the issue. When creating a paper on any subject, it is important to locate and reference the most significant documents or other sources of information regarding that subject. set the tone for a lot of repentance when it first came out, with big names like Mark McGwire coming forward to publicly apologize. Over time, though, this behavior waned. In 2013, six years after the report came out, many players who are suspended for performance enhancing drug use just keep quiet about it. Others say it is untrue and that they will appeal. Few take responsibility for their own actions and choices the way McGwire did. Whether that indicates a shift in the idea of taking responsibility cannot really be determined, although it may appear that way to outsiders. It is more than just not "fessing up" to taking illegal or banned substances, though. These players are also harming their bodies and minds with the drugs they are ingesting in an effort to be better at the game they play. They must feel it is worth the risk, but they are also setting an example for young people who want to play sports and who look up to them. In that sense, they are harming much more than themselves over the long run, which is worthy of consideration.

Sociologically, strain theory A9A9 Anything new that is introduced in the analysis should be cited. This theory is not common knowledge for many people, so it is very important that the reader understands what it involves and why it is relevant to the analysis. addresses the way these athletes are handling their situation. This theory was created by Emile Durkheim and advanced by many others who came after him. It states that social structures may pressure otherwise law-abiding citizens to commit crimes (Agnew, 1992). Because of these pressures, those who choose to use steroids may overlook the serious nature of what they are doing and the damage that can be caused, along with some of the changes they undergo. These changes may be much more obvious to others, such as teammates, friends, and family members. Steroids can cause sleeplessness, hallucinations, and anxiety, along with the aforementioned rage and organ damage. Not all of these problems will be reversible once the steroid use has stopped. Permanent damage to the players and to the reputation of the game is being done by those who continue to take performance enhancing drugs, but the pressure to do so may outweigh that information in the minds of the players who are making that particular choice.

Not every player who takes performance enhancing drugs is likely doing so because of strain theory. There are other reasons why a person would make that choice. However, the reasons behind the choices made by these players may not be as important as the effects their choices are having. Even without the concerns over their own health and safety, they should be aware of the reputation that the game of baseball is getting. In turn, that can affect not only ticket sales and profit margins, but also the way young people look at the game and the athletes they idolize. Up and coming baseball players in high school and college may already begin to feel the pressure to take illegal substances to enhance their performance, which can have serious long-term consequences for them.

Many players are in good shape through their younger years, but as they get older they will face a significant number of health problems based on their past use of banned substances like steroids. By that time, there is nothing that can be done to reverse the damage. Additionally, some good athletes who would have done well in the sport may decide not to play it because they do not want the pressure to take these drugs. That could cause baseball teams to lose out on excellent talent, which is worth considering. Overall, though, it does not appear that baseball is doing enough to curb steroid use in its players, even after the Mitchell Report and the changes that were made in the wake of it. Each year, there are still players being suspended for illegal drugs that will enhance their performance on the field.

Conclusion

            Baseball is a sport that many Americans love to play and love to watch. It has been the national pastime for a number of years, and is part of what often first comes to mind when people are asked about what they consider to be "American." The steroid use that has plagued the sport in recent years, though, has put a damper on it for a large number of people who used to be fans. It has also affected the people who may have wanted to play the sport at some point in their lives, because they may end up feeling as though they have to choose between a life of illegal substance use and a life without playing the game they love. Between the health risks of taking steroids, the reputation damage that is being done to the sport of baseball, and the harm that could be done by encouraging young people to abuse performance enhancing drugs to get into playing baseball professionally, there are important issues that can and should be addressed to make the sport "cleaner" for everyone involved.

References C1C1 "References" is the term used to describe the bibliography or reference page in an APA-cited paper. Other citation styles use other terminology. All of the sources on this reference page are in APA style.

Agnew, R. (1992). Foundation for a general strain theory. Criminology 30(1), 47-87

Diacin, M. J., Parks, J. B., & Allison, P. C. (2003). Voices of male athletes on drug use, drug testing, and the existing order in intercollegiate athletics. Journal of Sport Behavior,26(1): 1-16

Johnson, M.D. (1990). Anabolic steroid use in adolescent athletes. Pediatric Clinics of North America, 37:1111-1123

McCabe, M. P., & Ricciardelli, L. A. (2001). Parent, peer, and media influences on body image and strategies to both increase and decrease body size among adolescent boys and girls. Adolescence, 36: 225-240.

Mitchell Report: Summary and recommendations. (2007). Retrieved from http://files.mlb.com/summary.pdf

Players suspended under baseball's steroids policy. (2006). ESPN. Retrieved from http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2474192

Yesalis, C.E., Kennedy, N.J., Kopstein, A.N., & Bahrke, M.S. (1993). Anabolic-androgenic steroid use in the United States. Journal of the American Medical Association, 270:1217-1221.

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