WORKING GROUP 11: Justin Airoso, Reham Al Ahmad, Jerome Azarewicz, Christopher Balogh, Michael Barbieri, Hasan Bashir, & Andrew Berdahl
Steroids are by far one of the most misconstrued drugs today. Recent publicity surrounding steroids has been predominately negative, especially in respects to cheating. Steroids today are most often a reference to anabolic steroids, also known as ‘roids’. A steroid is a type of organic compound that contains a specific arrangement of four cycloalkane rings that are joined to each other. Examples of steroids include the dietary fat cholesterol, the sex hormones estradiol and testosterone, and the anti-inflammatory drug dexamethasone. Anabolic steroids mimic the effect of the natural androgen, testosterone. Testosterone naturally increases male characteristics which initially arise at puberty, including but not limited to facial hair, body hair, muscle growth, deepening of the voice and aggression. Anabolic steroids were initially prescribed by doctors for medicinal use. Anabolic-Androgen Steroids (AAS), especially in the form of testosterone, were given to males with abnormal hormone levels or to induce puberty. These drugs helped males born with hormonal deficiencies live semi-normal levels punctured by shots of anabolic-androgen steroids. Steroids are prescribed to help with bone growth and development and the loss of appetite. But as with all good things, moderation must be strictly enforced. Unfortunately this is not the case due to one major benefit of anabolic steroids, protein synthesis; more specifically speaking, muscle growth.
The natural occurring cholesterol hormone testosterone increases muscle mass exponentially with the amount of work put in. Simply put, five hours at the gym with extra testosterone will yield bigger and better results against five hours at the gym without extra testosterone. Our childhood heroes; Baseball, Football and Wrestling players, all have taken note. Now anabolic steroids have run amuck throughout all professional sports. Players are under the pressure and impression that they need and have to perform feats of superhuman strength in order to excel in their respective discipline. Anabolic steroids allow players to run harder, faster and longer than is humanely possible. When the issue of medals and achievements are brought into question, a whole new controversy is brought into the light. Can those who have used anabolic-androgen steroids ethically be compared to those who have not? An older generation of players built the game based on skill, hard work and determination. Can their achievements be forsaken in lieu for the titles of drugged up athletes? If so, where do we draw the line; will mechanical enhancements also be viewed as legal? The use of steroids by professional players adds yet another mark on the plenty diminished reputation of sports.
Today’s use of steroids is not limited to Major League Baseball (MLB), National Football League (NFL) and World Wide Entertainment (WWE) but also encompasses Federation de Football Association (FIFA), Ultimate Fight Competition (UFC) and Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). Major League Baseball is one of the most publicly scrutinized sports for steroids, both by today’s media and regulatory commissions. This was all initiated by the 1988 Anti-Drug act with banned anabolic-androgen steroids from use. At the time, baseball, America’s favorite pastime and national image, was losing mass appeal, almost to the point of extinction. Stadiums were more or less empty for most games, television viewership was down and sales were plummeting. All in all, the end was near for Major League Baseball. But then names like Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa brought the fans flooding back. Stadiums were at maximum capacity, baseball dominated its respective time slot on television and sales were through the roof. But for each step baseball made towards dominance, anabolic-androgen steroids matched it. By the time, steroid use was rampant but thoroughly and systematically ignored. No one wanted to jeopardize the return of Major League Baseball. Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa were leading a revolution, a revolution fueled by anabolic-androgen steroids and money. One could even compare this to the recent housing bubble; signs of underhandedness were evident but largely ignored because trillions of dollars, international supremacy and political reputations were at stake. Records concerning Babe Ruth and other greats were being brought into jeopardy; a new frontier was on the horizon, all on the shoulders of anabolic-androgen steroids.
With less notoriety, the National Football League also has issues with anabolic-androgen steroids. In American football, the issue is not as much shattering records but surviving. The human body is not designed to be 300 pounds, seven feet and agile as a cat. The sheer magnitude of abuse and pain football players put their bodies through is unfathomable. This mentality is shared by the football players themselves. Thus they believe they have no choice but to obtain and use anabolic-androgen steroids. Some may argue that this mentality was fostered by the National Football League commission for they, in essence, gave a free pass to the players by not having any regulations concerning steroids. Players have confessed to taking steroids just to be bigger than the human body is designed to be. Now with World Wide Entertainment, considered more of a show than a sport, anabolic-androgen steroid use is still prevalent. The goal is wrestling is to be the biggest, ‘baddest’ and ‘brawniest’ man in the ring. This is more for the fans than the ‘sport’. The World Wide Entertainment business has had anabolic-androgen steroid use since 1991, where it started to become problematic in terms of publicity and image, the only two issues directly related to cash flow. Once again, the lack of regulatory commissions let steroid use continue unhindered.
The International Federation of Football Association (FIFA), to the surprise of some, also has anabolic-androgen steroid abuse. One of the reasons this may be surprising is that large bodies and massive muscle growth can actually be detrimental to a soccer player’s ability and skill. A soccer player needs to be agile and fast. But with the desire to be the very best, steroids are introduced into the equation. Soccer players abuse anabolic-androgen steroids to help with leg muscles in relation to the power of their kick and ability to run. Partly due to the lack of proliferative abuse, there are once again not many regulations until late concerning anabolic-androgen use.
The Ultimate Fighting League and Mixed Martial Arts are not immune to this wildfire of abuse. When humans are shoved into cages and subjected to bone crushing punishment, it is only before some time that anabolic-androgen steroids become proliferative. Humans are turned into animals and forced to fight in haphazard conditions. While the UFC and MMA are still relatively young sports, they have gained in popularity. These are sports where your size does in fact matter. But at the same time, strategy and skill play a very large part. These are some of the only sports where one contender may abuse anabolic-androgen steroids, be the bigger fighter, but still lose to a smaller but more intelligent and skillful contender. Anabolic-androgen steroids have been already addressed by the commissions and regulations are in place; this is because the mistakes from other sports were learned early on. But anabolic-androgen steroids are a double edged sword. While they may enhance physical bulk and performance, they also cause numerous health issues. Too much testosterone may cause liver damage and uncontrollable aggression. With the World Wide Entertainment wrestling industry, one of the main signs signaling a reform in anabolic-androgen steroid use was Chris Benoit. Chris Benoit killed his wife and son before killing himself in a flurry of anger and depression. Too much testosterone caused a dangerous hormonal imbalance that led Chris Benoit to lash out. A similar case with Lyle Alzado, a baseball player, started the ball rolling in respect to reform. Lyle Alzado was found dead with abuse of anabolic-androgen steroids as a cause. When this came to light, sweeping reforms were made concerning the use, testing, and punishment in respect to anabolic-androgen steroids. The NFL, MLB, WWE, FIFA, and UFC/MMA all have concerns with anabolic-androgen steroids, all with varying degrees of abuse and prevalence.
Steroids are not a new topic in the professional sports industry. For many years athletes have been looking to gain a competitive edge over the other players in order to be successful and remain competitive. As of recent, baseball has taken a large hit in the steroids department, with names like Mark McGuire and Jose Canseco coming forward and admitting their involvement in the matter. The NFL, on the other hand, has avoided the criticism that the MLB has been taking and many are wondering if the NFL has gotten a sort of “free pass.”
The NFL has been very lenient with the publicity and punishment of steroid use in the NFL. In the late 1980s steroids starting becoming an issue. Due to this increase of issues, the NFL started testing players for performance enhancing drugs in 1987, but decided against punishing players. However, in 1989, the NFL added steroids to the list of unacceptable drugs and starting suspending players who tested positive. Even though the NFL waited to take action until the 1980s, the use of steroids started back in the 1960s.
One of the first incidents of a steroid related fatality was involving Lyle Alzado of the Denver Broncos. As a defensive lineman, Alzado was frequently matched-up against gargantuan offensive lineman as an obstacle to get to the quarterback. Being at this position, he found it necessary for him to be on top of his game every play, so he used natural growth hormones to enhance his playing ability and tragically developed a brain tumor. At the young age of 43 Alzado directly placed the blame of his brain tumor on his use of steroids. In an interview for Sports Illustrated, he said, “I started taking anabolic steroids in 1969 and never stopped. It was addicting, mentally addicting. Now I'm sick, and I'm scared. Ninety percent of the athletes I know are on the stuff. We're not born to be 300 lbs. or jump 30ft. But all the time I was taking steroids, I knew they were making me play better. I became very violent on the field and off it. I did things only crazy people do. Once a guy sideswiped my car and I beat the hell out of him. Now look at me. My hair's gone, I wobble when I walk and have to hold on to someone for support, and I have trouble remembering things. My last wish? That no one else ever dies this way.”
Many ex-NFL players have been very helpful by providing insight about the abuse of steroids among their former teammates. Some ex-players admitted that over 70% of their team was using some sort of human growth hormone during their career of a professional athlete. It is estimated that in 1989 between 6 and 50 percent of players took illegal steroids. The main reason why the margin is so vast is due to the fact that only 6 percent of the players actually tested positive, while rumors around the league from players and coaches stated that about half of the players were involved in using illegal substances. The problem with drug testing athletes comes from the decision makers. The people in charge are unable to agree on solid benchmarks on such details as: who gets tested, why they get tested, when they get tested, how often they get tested, what should be the consequences for first time offenders verses multiple time offenders, and even if should the players be notified before the test (and if so how long before the test). Due to the fact that NFL players are currently told when they are going to be tested, there is a large deflation in the number of players testing positive and the actual number of players taking steroids.
In 2003, the NFL instituted a policy for failing a drug test. This new policy landed a player a 4 game suspension for a first offense, followed by a 6 game suspension for failing twice, and a year suspension for failing their third test. Even though the NFL has changed the severity for using steroids, it doesn’t seem to be stopping players. In 2008, an investigation discovered that 52 former Pro Bowl players had tested positive for steroids and other illegal substances, and 85 names dating back to 1993. The system that the NFL has into place to test for steroids is far from perfect. One crucial piece of evidence in the case for a better system was the 2004 Carolina Panthers super bowl team. Three players from this team had been provided with a prescription for steroids that they continually refilled, but none of them ever tested positive. With the NFLPA trying to work out a new contract, there are things that need to be considered based on the abuse of steroids. First, they need to test for the 58 types of anabolic steroids, the 5 types of hormones, 14 types of steroids and HGH along with the 26 masking agents and 11 stimulants. Along with testing for all of these, the NFL needs to change the punishments handed out for failing any tests. Another problem is the delay between testing positive and suspending the actual player. If the player says he did not take the illegal substance, he is able to delay the suspension by fighting the case.
Steroids have proven to be a major problem in professional sports and the NFL should be a main target for criticism due to the size of the modern athlete. Athletes are “not born to be 300 lbs. or jump 30ft,” as Alzado put it, and simply combining this freakish size with amazing athleticism adds another health concern when you take into account that football is a full contact sport, every play at every position. While steroids are a large problem, the NFL has only scratched the surface of what they can do to make the game clean again. With the NFLPA working on a new bargaining agreement, steroids should be a main topic of discussion. If the NFL can find a more effective way to test and punish players it will help not only the game, but the overall health of the NFL players, both physically and mentally. http://aol.sportingnews.com/nfl/story/2010-05-11/nfl-players-union-should-overhaul-steroids-policy
Baseball has grown in popularity and excitement side by side with America, hence the nickname America’s past time. From the last 1800’s to modern day baseball, only one rule has ever been changed on the game field… but many have been put into place to prevent performance enhancing supplements. Steroids were the main issue back in the early 1990’s, and took a whole new level at the turn of the millennium. Steroids first become an issue when other sports, mainly Olympic sports were having athletes doping and enhancing their abilities beyond normal capacity. In 1988 the first act to try and prevent steroids was passed, the Anti drug abuse act of 1988. That act stated that; “This law amended the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and created criminal penalties for persons who "distribute or possess anabolic steroids with the intent to distribute for any use in humans other than the treatment of disease...”
Many people speculated if steroids would ever be a prominent drug in baseball, as many believed that it wouldn’t affect a player’s ability to hit a ball, or baseball players were just above cheating. Well, they couldn’t have been more wrong. Baseball was a little hesitant of the act passed in 1988, so in 1990 they passed their next act, the 1990 anabolic steroids control act which was put in place to try and strengthen the policy against using these illegal anabolic drugs. During the late 1990’s, baseball was severely falling behind all of the major sports, until the summer of 1998. That is why Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa had their famous home run chase. That summer put baseball back on the map, as both players were striving to break the great Babe Ruth’s homerun record, something that had been set before 1930. It had been over 70 years since someone came even close to challenging the Babes record, but this summer two players were taking aim. That summer revitalized baseball and brought it back to one of the premier sports in America, where it rightfully belonged. This is when baseball was entering a dark age. Many now believe that baseball commissioner Bud Selig turned a blind eye to the whole steroid era, saying that he didn’t want to ruin the reemergence of the sport. Baseball was back to selling out games left and right, and the revenue that the steroid era had brought in was too much for them to refuse.
Next we had the issue in players believing that they weren’t doing anything wrong while they were taking steroids. Here are a few quotes from some baseball players regarding steroids and how it didn’t affect the game of baseball. “Steroids can seem necessary to compete at the highest levels, and the quick rewards can outweigh the long term consequences to the user's health. “ Howard Berman. Another quote referencing steroids was the perception is that baseball's players' union is protecting players to use steroids and other illegal performance-enhancing drugs.” Jim Bumming. Now any famous baseball players, but people who believed that if people wanted to do that to themselves then they should be allowed to did not make these quotes, not when everyone started getting caught. It first started out with the balco trials in 2002. Balco was a company that had doctors that were providing major league athletes with anabolic steroids, some major names as Jason Giambi and Gary Sheffield. This just opened the floodgate. While all of these trials were going on, a player named Barry Bonds was smashing the records set by Mark McGwire. He had broken the homerun record of 73, and was well on the pace to break the all time homerun record of 755 set by the great Hank Aaron. This started a huge uproar, as people were furious that such an oblivious cheater was going to be given credit for some of the most revered records in all of sports.
When Barry Bonds traveled to different stadiums around the country, he heard hateful chants against him; received countless death threats and even one stadium belted the field with thousands of syringes. Baseball would eventually use Bonds as a scapegoat, and after he broke the record many people wished that he had never played baseball. Here is a famous quote about Barry Bonds, a quote that sums everything up. "I don't have any doubt that Barry Bonds is one of the five or six greatest baseball players who ever lived, I'm not yet convinced that he's the greatest. Honus Wagner was the Alex Rodriguez of the National League, except he was better, longer. Babe Ruth was one of the game's best pitchers for a few years, and the best hitter for more than a decade. Ted Williams, if not for World War II, would have dominated his league over a 10-year stretch like nobody before or since. Mantle and Mays ... well, you know about them. I'm excited about Barry Bonds. We're all excited about Barry Bonds, because in a sense he's ours. Our fathers had Mays and Mantle, and their fathers had Williams and DiMaggio, and their fathers had the Babe and the Iron Horse. We have Bonds, and it's natural to think that ours is the greatest. And maybe he is. But let's give us a few more years to get our bearings. And let's give Barry Bonds a few more years to put the fear of God into the pitchers. Because it looks like he's not nearly done yet.” - Rob Neyer on ESPN.com (November 19, 2003)” That was the belief before people started accusing him of taking steroids, and here is a quote after is was common knowledge that he used anabolic steroids. That is what people don’t understand, why would a player that was as great as Bonds take steroids? Was he really the greedy? It does not make sense, but he did and now might be banned from baseball for life. Bonds is currently awaiting the results from a trial against him claiming that he committed felony perjury against a grand jury, and is up against 5 felony charges.
Steroids are prevalent in many sports, and that does not leave out professional wrestling. “Synthetic anabolic steroids have been linked to numerous health issues, including liver injury, stroke, kidney failure, and heart attack, according to the Food and Drug Administration. Steroids can also cause men to suffer infertility, shrunken testes or breast enlargement, and women to become more masculine” (4). This “sport” which today is considered “entertainment” has featured some of the largest athletes in the world, from Andre the Giant and Hulk Hogan, to Triple H and John Cena. World Wrestling Entertainment, or the WWE, is the most popular wrestling company today. Vince McMahon has been facing the issue of steroids constantly during his 28 years as head of the company (1). His wife, Linda McMahon, “was intimately involved with WWE from its founding in 1980,” and stated that “steroids had already become an issue by 1991” (4).
In 2007, McMahon was interviewed under oath again about the subject (1). One of the reasons why suspicion circulated may be due to the fact that from 1996-2006 there was “no comprehensive drug testing policy” in the WWE (1). In November of 2005, 38 year old WWE superstar Eddie Guerrero was found dead in his hotel before a WWE taping (1). Guerrero was one of “more than five-dozen wrestlers to die before the age of 50,” prompting questions regarding drug use within the business (1). In 2006, McMahon instituted a “wellness policy,” and within a year 11 percent of WWE wrestlers tested positive for steroids alone (1). This was dramatically higher than the 5-7 percent major league baseball players that tested positive in 2003 (1). McMahon reportedly added “amendments” to the policy, enabling wrestlers who test positive to still take part in company events and promotions (1).
One of the most tragic stories involving steroid use involves the former WWE superstar Chris Benoit. In June 2007, Benoit, 40, was found dead in his home, and it was reported that he had strangled his wife, and suffocated this 7-year-old son (2). Anabolic steroids were discovered in Benoit’s home, and many believed they were linked to the double murder suicide (2). Steroids have been linked with “moments of uncontrollable rage” and “tremendous” depression (2). The WWE said Benoit tested negative for drugs during an evaluation in April of 2007 (2). Benoit’s name was found on receipts used for the purchasing of anabolic steroids and human growth hormone (2). This horrible event brought much more attention to the use of steroids in professional wrestling, and the WWE had no choice but to take action.
Later in 2007, the WWE suspended 10 wrestlers for violating the drug testing policy (3). Wrestlers such as Dave Bautista, Adam “Edge” Copeland, Chris “Masters” Mordetsky, and John “Morrison” Hennigan were all believed to be on that list (3). When looking at these wrestlers physiques, there is no question that steroid accusation would be brought up. Online prescription mills where doctors get lower wages, and prescriptions filled by friendly pharmacies came under investigation (3). One Florida doctor ended up pleading guilty to prescribing performance-enhancing drugs to “at least two WWE wrestlers (3). The steroid use was not only found within male wrestlers. “Dawn Marie Damatta, who performed for World Wrestling Entertainment from 2002 to 2005, admitted to the Connecticut Post that she used steroids during the course of her tenure in the organization” (5). Dawn stated that neither Vince McMahon nor the WWE directed her to take the shortcut, that it was her own way of “keeping up” with the other athletes (5). She stated the use was also due to “no testing policy” at the time (5). She also said “"Wrestlers are taken as children, thrown into this industry and then we're dumped back out as adults. There's no learning in the world. We're on the road, traveling, hustling, getting beat up.” “ Where do I go? What do I put on a resume?” (5). There is no doubt that WWE superstars have a tough schedule and an even tougher job; this could result in many of the wrestlers looking to extra help just to be able to perform at the high level that the WWE is used to producing.
The link between the WWE and steroid use continued to stain the company into 2010. Linda McMahon was running for a U.S. Senate position, and the success of the WWE allowed her to spend “$16 million of her own money on her campaign” (4). The lack of a wellness policy in the WWE prior to the death of Eddie Guerrero in 2005 has led to much criticism about the eventual defeated candidate (4). Linda McMahon did not win the U.S. Senate position, but there is not telling to how much steroid use in the WWE contributed to the defeat. Although steroid use is prevalent in what seems like every professional sport, it may have the most negative effects in the WWE. After all, it is World Wrestling “Entertainment,” and with a scripted show, it can be viewed as a reality television show instead of an actual sport. Self regulation does not seem to be sufficient in this business. Unfortunately the only reason why the wellness policy is being enforced is due to tragic deaths of young wrestlers. With almost super human sized wrestlers such as John Cena, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Mason Ryan, and Ezekiel Jackson; can anyone believe steroids are not used in the WWE today?
Soccer, or Football in American English, is one of the most important sports in the world; it’s regulated by FIFA, which is translated for the International Federation of Association Football. FIFA was found in 21, April 1904, in Paris. FIFA had created one of the most watched and loved competition in the world, world cup. And just like any other sport in the world, Soccer had its own controversy with steroids. However, Soccer has the least experiences with steroids among other sports like American Soccer, baseball and tracking. Some people think that the reason behind the low percentage of steroids in Soccer is that FIFA, Or any Soccer officials, do not do anything about it. Indeed, FIFA has prohibited the use of steroids and made many strict regulations about it. Also, FIFA conducts steroids and other drugs tests annually, and especially during the major leagues. The paper aims to discuss the impact of steroids on the careers of Soccer players and their heaths.
A steroid is a type of an organic compound that has four cycloalkane rings arranged in a specific order. In fact, the first thing that comes to people’s minds about steroids is the fact that steroids are dangerous drugs. However, there are many kinds of steroids that are beneficial to the body. The structure of steroid is used to simulate appetite and bone growth, and it also is used to cure chronic wasting conditions. For example, steroids are used to cure cancers, Aids, and other major diseases. The negative steroid that has the main focus of this paper is scientifically called “Anabolic steroid.” This kind of steroid increases protein within cells, and that builds up muscles rapidly. Initially, body builders were the first people who used steroids. However, the use had been expanded to all other sports. Soccer is one of the sports that had been affected by the use of this drug. Commonly, soccer players are not tempted to use steroids since the game does not require players to have big muscles. However, some soccer players used steroids to strengthen their legs’ muscles and to provide them with extra energy.
Steroids are banned in soccer because of two main reasons. First, it gives the users an advantage over the other players. Second, steroids can cause a lot of major health problems such as enlargement of the heart, damage the liver, reduce the sperm count, and high blood pressure. Also, female users can grow facial hair and behavioral change. Since the se of steroids became popular in soccer, FIFA created strict rules and regulations about this matter. FIFA imitated several drug tests for each player before big matches in major soccer leagues such the World Cup or the EURO Cup. Steroids are detected by testing the urine. Players with positive drug tests went through sever consequences and some of them lost their professional careers. One of the most known examples of drug users in soccer is Diego Maradona. Maradona was the best player in his generation. People from all over the world loved him. Indeed, he won several world cups with national team, Argentina. He was a legend in soccer. However, Maradona was accused of using drugs especially steroids. His doctors admitted that they mixed steroids with his meals to give him the desired performance. Maradona lost his fans and career.
The first major steroids scandal among MLS (major league soccer) was in 2008, when New York Red Bulls players Jeff Parke and Jon Conway tested positive for banned substance According to MLS official, Erik Stover, they have met with both players and they informed them that they ingested an over-the-counter supplement that unknowingly contained a banned substance (ADT). Their punishment was to be banned from 10 games after they were tested positive. The substance found in the players urine is commonly used in a lot of dietary supplements, but as a professional players should of known that or at least read the ingredients of the stuff they ate before doing so and not just claim that they had no idea. Another case started when a Brazilian physician, Dr. Bernando Santi, suggested that Ronald’s knee injuries pattern could be a sign of using steroids, Bernando Santi stated that “the reason why Ronaldo has suffered so many injuries is because when he signed for PSV Eindhoven in 1994 as a 17-year-old, he was regularly pumped full of anabolic steroids in order to build up the player physically and help him grow”7 but Dr. Bernando Santi is the only doctor who claimed that Ronaldo’s had any experience in using enhancing substance when he was in the European leagues. Ronaldo’s been surprised with allegations and had denied it completely saying that he is clean and he never used these substances to enhance his performance in his life. All in all, steroids have definitely negative impacts on many athletes and especially on their heaths. Soccer is the most played sport in the world, and it has been affected by the use of steroids. Indeed, the effects of steroids on players’ health and careers have to be taken into consideration by Soccer officials and organizers. Although FIFA conducts several tests and made consequences for players that use steroids, I believe that is not enough. FIFA should increase the penalties of using steroids and make them more sever to prevent players from using such drugs in the long run.
Steroid use by now is no big surprise amongst competitive athletes. There have been many cases where athletes have been caught or confessed to using some type of Steroid or other Performing enhancing drug. Big names such as Mark Maguire and Barry Bonds in Baseball or Brian Cushing and Bill Romanowski in Football have all fallen victims to steroid use in the media. But what about sports that aren’t as popular? The up and coming UFC organization has kind of been lurking in the dark with steroid controversies. Yes there’ve always speculations about those guys having to be on some type of drugs to compete in such a barbaric sport, but nothing as big or in the media as much as some of the other competitive sport industries. However looking a little deeper in the world of MMA you can see that there is most certainly a steroid problem lying in the UFC/MMA industry.
In the past decade there have been over 34 fighters caught and tested positive for steroid usage. Most of them had admitted there wrong doing but others tried to defend their reasoning behind their illegal usage. Fighter such as Josh Barnett and Royce Gracie believe that there was absolutely no wrong doing and that they were completely innocent. Hard to believe a man is innocent when you become a repeated offender. Josh Barnett was first caught in November of 2001 and let off with a warning. However he did not adhere to that warning and was caught again the following year testing positive for Boldenone, Nandrolone, and Fluoxymesterone and was later suspended and had relinquished his heavyweight title he had just won. Likewise there are fighters who defend their usage as a simple misunderstanding. Fighter such as Tim Sylvia and Kimo Leopoldo defended their encounter by stating that their drug use was in fault caused by injuries and were simply taking them because of them. Both fighters stated that they had no intentions as using them for an advantage over their opponent and discontinued use well in advance after upcoming competition was announced. However test results proved otherwise. Tim Sylvia was tested positive for Stanozolol and fined $10,000 and suspended for six months. Also Kimo Leopoldo was fined $5,000 and a six month suspension. Other fighters such as Dennis Hallman defend these along with other fighters on the use of these drugs by publicly stating over 50% of fighters use these drugs most for injury purposes. He compares these illegal drug uses to using Advil for a headache. And he finally continues by concluding that steroid use is here and it’s not going anywhere.
In addition most of the fighters that have been caught using steroids lost their fights. Which leads people to question does taking these drugs really give you an unfair advantage over their competition? Some would say in an organization like this where strength and size can easily be defeated over skill and smartness. However tell that to the people who lost against these fighters who have taken these drugs. They believe no matter what their taken and for whatever reason they might have, it’s still an illegal performing enhancing drug. There are still many scandals brewing in the UFC and world of MMA on getting more effective testing for these drugs done on the fighters and harsher punishments like what athletes in the other major sport organizations are going through. However it’s still all fairly new to the business and change will come eventually to this business.
Here is a list of some of the MMA fighters that have been caught in the past ten years for steroid use.
Name: Josh BarnettNickname: The Babyface Assassin
Drugs tested positive for: Boldenone, Nandrolone, and Fluoxymesterone
Punishment: A six-month suspension from the NSAC and the loss of his UFC heavyweight title.
Drugs tested positive for: Drostanolone
Punishment: The eternal shame of single-handedly taking down an entire MMA organization and costing 23 other fighters their paychecks
Name: Tim SylviaNickname: The Maine-iac
Name: Kimo LeopoldoNickname: Kimo
Name: Nate MarquadtNickname: The Great
Name: Vitor BelfortNickname: The Phenom
Name: Pawel NastulaNickname: N/a
Drugs tested positive for: Nandrolone
Punishment: $6,500 fine and a nine-month suspension from the NSAC.
Name: Stephan BonnerNickname: The American Psycho
Name: Kit CopeNickname: n/a
Name: Johnnie MortonNickname: n/a
Name: Royce GracieNickname: n/a
Name: Jorge OrtizNickname: The Naked Man
Name: Phil BaroniNickname: New York Bad Ass
Name: Sean SherkNickname: The Muscle Shark
Name: Carina DammNickname: Beauty But The Beast
Name: Ken ShamrockNickname: The World's Most Dangerous Man
CONCLUSION: By learning from their mistakes, the respective sport leagues were able to reform their views on anabolic-androgen steroid use. Now strict regulatory bodies are in play with most professional leagues. At the same time, more strict fines and punishments have been enforced. This is all to undermine the proliferation of anabolic-androgen steroids. The National Football League has imposed a tiered system for punishment in respect to the first, second or third offense. Major League Baseball has drug testing and stringent fines in place. World Wide Entertainment has also started testing for steroids though punishments are not set in stone. The International Federation of Football Association has very strict regulations in place, with annual testing. Testing is also increased before large masses such as the world cup. With UFC/MMA, titles are at stake when dealing with anabolic-androgen steroids. Those tested positive are heavily fined and in some cases, titles are stripped for cheating/having an unfair advantage. All in all, professional sports have come a long way in respect to tackling anabolic-androgen steroid abuse. Rules, regulations, and regulatory bodies are in place to make sure today’s athletes can continue to be wholesome heroes to the young kids of today’s generation.