After the recent Lance Armstrong doping scandal that has damaged the reputation of cycling, there are many who feel that anabolic steroids, health supplements, and performance enhancing drugs should be banned from amateur and professional sports. However, this is surely not the complete side of the story and the topic of whether to ban or legalize steroids needs to be validated.
One of the first things that need to be realized is that a big majority of sportsmen starts using these drugs not to go big, hit harder, jump longer, or run faster but to appease the growing expectations of coaches, fans, sponsors, and the training staff. There have been many instances wherein sportsmen were almost forced to take drugs or leave the sport. This probably says a lot about the prevailing state of sports in today’s world where being average is nothing and bad days are all-over days. It is where anabolic steroids come into the picture.
By helping sportsmen avoid bad days and give more value to fans and sponsors, these performance enhancing drugs are actually doing a lot of good for sports. However, one needs to realize that it is not the medically guided use of steroids that is a cause of concern, but the over-use or abuse of steroids that is actually the problem. After all, there still will not be a level-playing field even if steroids were completely banned. While many sportsmen train on the latest machines, have the most nutritious diets, and get the best training equipments, dresses, and other resources, many others are left to feed their desire to win and this desire is what force the “deprived” sportsmen to either quit the game, use drugs, or feel second to others that is not ethical and justified. Taking the example of disgrace brought to Lance Armstrong recently, there is no denying that there were many who were using performance enhancing drugs long before him, during his era, even after it, and even now but he was made a scapegoat as he was the biggest and most popular cyclist. Despite no actual positive test against him, the USADA and even the UCI, governing body of cycling, banned him that is nothing but hypocrisy of the highest level.
Anabolic steroids are not dangerous drugs and are routinely prescribed to individuals globally for treating health complications. These are drugs that give a new meaning to sports but they should always be used under qualified guidance and in limits.