Brief History of Steroids in Sports
It is ingrained in human beings to be competitive. Over time, this trait has been seen in virtually all endeavors of life and more so in sports. The history of anabolic steroids began as way back as the 1940s. However, it was in 1935 that a synthetic form of the sex hormone known as testosterone was first created.
The introduction of synthetic testosterone would mark the beginning of the history of steroids in sports at least in the 20th century. By the Olympics in the year 1952, it was clear that steroids were already widely used. The wrestling and weightlifting team from Russia were believed to have doped on synthetic testosterone amongst other steroids.
From the 1950s, there has been a rat race by scientists to develop the most effective steroids that would enhance the performance of competitive athletes and bodybuilders while offering little or no immediate detection. The competitive craze to discover performance enhancing drugs amongst scientists from all of the world led to the development of anabolic steroids in 1958 by a pharmaceutical company in the U.S.
History of Anabolic Steroids in Bodybuilding
With anabolic steroids now freely available, their use in sports just skyrocketed particularly from the 1950s through to the late 1970s. The attraction of anabolic steroids to sports men and women is the strength gain, muscles building capabilities and speedy recovery from muscle strains incurred during intense training.
During this peak period of steroid use in competitive sports, shot put, football and bodybuilding were known to be the sports in which the use of steroids was most prevalent at the time.
While the use of drugs in sports was completely in violation of the rules governing most sports organisations, the lack of sufficient knowledge about performance enhancing drugs in general meant that sports men and women could continue doping with impunity.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) would publish their list of banned drugs and best practices for all athletes back in 1964. However, anabolic steroids were not part of this list and competitive athletes would continue to abuse these drugs for eleven years up until 1975 when steroids would officially make the IOC list of banned drugs.
In the world of bodybuilding, the use of anabolic steroids has been quite rampant. Since the early 1980s and in truth much earlier (at least a couple of decades earlier), the use of performance enhancing substances by bodybuilders had been the worst kept secret in the history of steroids in sports.
By 1990, the possession and use of unprescribed anabolic androgenic steroids in the U.S would become illegal with the passing of the Anabolic Steroids Control Act of 1990.
Dianabol is an oral anabolic steroid that was developed by John Ziegler, a physician in the 1950s would be a steroid of choice for many competitive and non-competitive bodybuilders. D-bol as this steroid would be called in the bodybuilding community, helps in bulking programs.
Since the discovery of this steroid in the 1950s, bodybuilders have used the performance enhancing drug to gain weight, develop lean muscle mass, build strength and stamina levels. The Mr. Olympia bodybuilding competition of 1992 was won by Dorian Yates, a five-foot-nine English man that weighed 270 pounds when he won the competition. Dorian was later known to combine his rigorous workouts with the use of a stack of steroids and also growth hormone.
Dorian would not be the first or the last bodybuilder whose secrets to a herculean body would be exposed in the history of anabolic steroids. As a matter of fact, as long as there are honours and money to be won in competitive sports, the use of performance-enhancing drugs would be prominent.
The history of steroids in sports fails to take into account the use of anabolic steroids by non-competitive athletes and bodybuilders in particular which has been on the rise for over four decades.
Even though the Anabolic Control Act of 1990 is still in effect, the bodybuilding community which comprises both competitive and non-competitive bodybuilders still get their hands and actively use anabolic steroids despite the side effects, warnings and dangers associated with steroid use.