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The Speedball

Drugs have been used in sports almost as long as sports themselves have been around. The ancient Incas discovered that the ashes from burned leaves of the Coca tree gave the people great stores of energy, and made sleep unnecessary for hours or even days, it was later discovered to be the stimulant cocaine. They would take it before long hunts, battles, and even found it useful in ancient sport competitions.

It wasn't until 1886 that the first drug-related death in sports occurred. A bicyclist took a mixture of cocaine and heroine, called the "speedball," and died from it. Little were the doctors aware the epidemic that would follow in the next century. Anabolic steroids, developed in the 1930's in Europe, are drugs that help to build new body tissue quickly, but with drastic side effects. Anabolic means the ability to promote body growth and repair body tissue. It comes from the Greek word anabolikos meaning "constructive." Steroids are basically made up of hormones. One woman training to make the 1984 US women's basketball team used them, her muscles started to bulge, her voice grew deeper, and she even had the beginnings of a mustache. These are all the usual symptoms of anabolic steroids.

Steroids were not always used for sports, they started out the same way most drugs did, medicinal purposes. Victims of starvation and severe injury profited from its ability to build new tissue quickly. They also helped prevent muscle tissue from withering in patients who had just had surgery. Steroids are used to treat Addison's disease. Anabolic steroids are drugs that come from hormones or from combinations of chemicals that achieve the same result as hormones. Hormones may be given to an individual in their natural state, or in a synthetic one. The synthetic state is sometimes more potent than the natural one. Testosterone and progesterone are hormones used in steroids; another kind comes from the adrenal glands, which secrete various ...

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The Speedball. (1969, December 31). In DirectEssays.com. Retrieved 11:58, August 21, 2014, from http://www.directessays.com/viewpaper/62460.html