Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Final Essay

Adam Feeley
Professor Lutz
Multi Model Essay

Drug Testing
           The improvements with modern technology and the study with medicine have greatly improved. Today’s society you can be pressured into many situations in sports that you feel like you need an edge to improve your game to be able to compete, or have a chance of achieving a scholarship to a college. With the professional sports being the ideal icon to many teenagers the players can have a great impact on how the teenagers act with their friends or family. If they can have an impact on how they act and even look with the clothes they wear, the teenagers will even want to have their type of body meaning big, cut and thinking it’s a healthy body. By having this type of body, for most sports you will be more successful than having a body that is not as big or in shape as them. Professional athletes have given the image that is the only type of body that will make it to the next level whether that being college or professional. By seeing the professional athletes look that way they feel like you have to be that big and that type of built to have a chance of playing at that level. What they don’t know is that most of them are supervised by a doctor and have been tested before getting on the steroids, which most teens won’t be seeing a doctor (Buckley).Teens are going to try anything to achieve that type of body or style of performance. Having pressure to succeed a scholarship in sports at a young age from parents or coaches can lead to unhealthy choices such as steroids or other drugs.  Lately, with Major League Baseball there have been more cases with players using steroids or drugs to be able to play through pain or have an unfair level of performance, which is leading down to our youth. Steroids have been proven to build muscle and boost their athletic performance (Peterson). Many people don’t realize that there are bad side effects from taking steroids whether it happens when you are on them or when you get older. High school athletes, which includes freshman year until your senior year of high school should be drug tested during and a month prior to the season. By drug testing high school athletes it will stop the growth of steroids and illegal drugs that occur in high schools in today’s society and provide a better health for this generation.

Photo displays the negative effects of taking
            First, understanding how steroids work. Anabolic steroids are synthetic versions of the male sex hormone testosterone. Steroids work by filling the cell receptors that tell the cells to make new proteins. While it’s normal for the body to create new proteins, the steroids just tell the cells to create the proteins at a faster rate (Goldberg). They enter through the blood stream and enter through the liver and are distributed throughout the body, manly to the muscles right after a workout. When you work out you create small tears in your muscles that need to be built up by protein which steroids make happen at a faster rate and create a larger muscle (Yesalis). Not only do steroids work to build muscle and to build bulk for bodybuilders and athletes, it also works for sprinters and pitchers because it helps athletes who need a faster turnaround from soreness. It is found more in baseball players which you may be asking yourself why baseball players? When it’s one sport you don’t need to be big or the strongest to be successful. Baseball players use steroids because it enhances their hand eye coronation which makes their reaction time faster, which is a key part to being good at baseball. With this being said, it also makes there fast twitch muscles stronger and they react at a faster rate, which can lead to farther hit balls, faster thrown and even a faster runner in the field. So, as a whole it makes them a better player and not their natural human talent. For pitchers, it enhances their rotator cuff muscles as well as their fast twitch muscles which can lead them to be able to whip the ball around faster. It’s one reason why we have seen pitches reach up to 106 miles per hour during this past season. The improvement of medicine has changed the way players play the game which is a shame because it is cheating and tarnishing the great game of baseball.

                       One writer Julian Savulescu said in a debate about the use of steroids in sports “to say that we should reduce drugs in sport or eliminate them because they increase performance, is simply like saying that we should eliminate alcohol from parties because it increases sociability.” I understand where he is coming from but talking about a serious life threatening drug that not only cheats the game by increasing your ability to perform, it puts that athlete at a greater risk. He talks about this as if it means nothing or is not as big deal. To not eliminate a drug that increases your performance is ridiculous when other people are willing to put their body through hell the hard way to reach their lifetime goal, it shouldn’t be interrupted by people who are taking the easy way out. There are many life threatening effects that come with using steroids such as “aggressiveness, acne, injury to the connective tissues, damaged liver and negatively altered cholesterol levels” (American Medical Association). Some people know these effects that can occur to their bodies but most people are not aware because the media does not do a good job by advertising against steroids. Here is one commercial that was displayed on ESPN in the past years but has not been aired in a long time which I think is wrong because it never gets old to display awareness to kids who are watching the sport networking channel. They should run this commercial during the Little League World Series when most young kids are watching to put awareness into young teenager’s minds. By seeing this it makes you think about using steroids because of how they destroy the body and how they do such a good job demonstrating the effects that it can have on a person’s body. This video directly shows what really happens to your body and muscles when you take steroids. By continuing to show this video on T.V. it would pursue kids and even parents not to let their kids take steroids just to gain an unfair advantage. I believe this is a strong argument and finally displays awareness to people who watch.

This video was shown on ESPN by drugfree.org. Giving people awarness about the effects of using Steroids.

                                                                      A-Rod's apology about letting his fans down.
An article off of East Carolina baseball’s website had a statement from their head coach on what he thought about steroids and the effects it is having on baseball. "I think steroids in college baseball are getting out of hand," said East Carolina head coach Randy Mazey, although he said it has not been an issue with his team. "It filters down from the majors. Steroids in college baseball are a problem."(Powell). This quote has a great impact on how coaches around the country view drugs in the game of baseball. It is getting out of hand, but it is coming down from the majors because if that’s what it takes to play at that level and lately those professional athletes are making it seem that way. Many young players and teens are going to follow because they want to play at that level and follow their idols. Major League Baseball has started to crack down on the use of steroids with several big time names being linked to using steroids such as Roger Clemens, Jason Giambi, Jose Canseco, Mark McGuire, and Alex Rodriquez. This is just a small list of professional baseball players who have been caught and the five players I listed were all going to be Hall of Famers. Out of the five one of them is considered the greatest pitcher of all time (Roger Clemens) and the other four were big time sluggers that lead the league in homeruns at different times. As you can tell that using steroids work but every single one of them said after they were caught that it wasn’t worth it which is sad because they had so many fans at times and now where everywhere Alex Rodriquez goes he gets booed. This is a video of his apology and by watching this you can tell how it has hurt him as a person because as a kid you never dream of becoming a legend at a sport you practice your whole life for and then everyone ends up hating you because they realized that you cheated.

http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=2861154n   - Video about Texas establishing steroid testing to athletes and a story of a high school kid losing his life over them.

With all of those facts about the bad side effects of using steroids and watching Major League Baseball take an act on trying to stop the usage at their level it is time for high schools to start testing their student athletes. Texas is the first state to establish a steroid testing program that has been in effect for two years now. The state of Texas is considered the best state for high school football and baseball players, meaning that they have produced more Division 1 college athletes than any other state in the United States. Many people were upset when the governor said that he was going to establish this drug testing policy in all of their schools but I think it was a great idea because now they know that they are producing clean and successful student athletes to the next level. “The nation's largest steroids-testing program caught only two Texas high school athletes taking unauthorized substances out of more than 10,000 students who were tested, according to results. The results renewed criticism of the two-year, $6 million program approved by state lawmakers last year.” (Texas Steroid Testing). Out of 10,000 students who were tested only two tested positive which is a small number but it still shows that kids are getting and using while in high school. I don’t understand why people from the state of Texas would be upset for this program to be in effect when there are clearly students around there state using steroids. I know it cost them six million dollars over a two year span but there are ways to implicate it in. Such as, adding a minimum cost to everyone’s student fee’s that they already pay to attend a public school but as a whole it would cover that six million in two years to keep the program. They also could establish pay to participate which I had to do at my school when I played sports. You have to pay a certain amount for each sport you played and by doing this they would receive the amount they would need without any concern or complaining from parents. To play the sport you would have to pay and in that payment it covers your testing during the season. There are many ways for this program to remain in effect in this state and in others. After this program Texas has done for the past two years other states have noticed and decided to implement it in their own states and high schools. For insistence, Florida, Louisiana and New Jersey are in the process of using them in their high schools but with different factors. In New Jersey, there program consists of “randomly testing and are only for teams or athletes competing in state championships. They cost the state $175 a test. He or she will be suspended from competition for 90 days and be required to take a drug education class.” (Perez).  There testing is different than Texas’ but it still has an impact of the way the game is being played and we know that the game is being played equally. By waiting till the playoffs like New Jersey is doing they are saving a lot of money which is one way around people complaining about it costing too much. One quote from an athletic director at a school in Illinois had this to say about some of his student athletes using steroids “It doesn't surprise me, I had an idea that it was going on, but I didn't know it was this widespread. Until we start drug-testing student-athletes for steroids, that's going to always be lingering out there.” (Halley). This is a person who is the head guy of sports at a particular school and notices it going on but isn’t saying anything to the state or instigating his own testing program? The athletic director at an institution is supposed to have great morals and should want to keep his students safe. But, in this case he is keeping this information to himself and isn’t telling anyone to put in a plan to start testing athletes in his state or just his school. It is sickening to know this when other states have a program in action and it is working for them. A kid’s health should be our first goal as a coach, athletic director and even members on a state board. Sometimes in our society nothing is done until it is too late. We should start to take a stand against steroids in sports and the usage of any drug to help you play better than your natural ability. It isn’t worth it.

Works Cited
Bahrke, M.S., Yesalis, C.E., and Wright, J.E. Psychological and behavioral effects of endogenous    testosterone and anabolic-androgenic steroids: an update. Sports Medicine 22(6): 367-390, 1996. Print.
Goldberg, L., et al. Effects of a multidimensional anabolic steroid prevention intervention: The        Adolescents Training and Learning to Avoid Steroids. (ATLAS) Program. Journal of the American Medical Association. 276(19): 1555-1562, 1996. Print.
Yesalis, C.E. Anabolic Steroids in Sports and Exercise, 2nd edition. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics. Print.

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