The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

Steroid use by professional athletes has impact on students in college sports

Building muscle, increasing your strength and optimizing your performance to become the ideal superstar athlete is just an injection away.

With the help of steroids all of your physical needs and goals can become an instant reality.

“Studies have shown that some people take it, not being athletes, just for the physical attraction,” certified athletic trainer Rory Natividad said. ‘They just want to be considered as being the big guy.”

Steroids were first introduced in the early 1930s as a means of medical research. They were developed to help men produce hormones responsible for the development of masculine characteristics.

“Steroids medically are used as a prescription anti-inflammatory for people with herniated discs or those with swelling problems that a doctor could prescribe,” Natividad said.

There are some beneficial applications of steroids, which include treating certain kinds of anemia, severe burns, and even some types of breast cancer.

But the most people associate them with are those that are used as performance enhancing steroids, which do just that.

“They’re specifically engineered for an increase in some type of performance,” Natividad said. “I don’t think they’re ever prescribed that way, because then they’ll be considered as a malicious drug.”

There are hundreds of side effects out there, which can be long term, even if steroids are used for a short period of time.

Some of the more severe affects of steroids can vary from as harmless as acne to as dangerous as liver cancer.

Long term effects of steroids can have crippling consequences on those individuals who utilize.

Natividad also claims that it can have an effect on your bone density and can even give a person arthritis.

“Medical problems such as cardiac failure and dehydration are some problems that can be seen in those who take steroids,” athletic director Dave Shannon said. “We are most concerned with the deleterious harmful side effects of steroids.”

“That is why none of our coaches recommend supplementation of any sort, especially that of steroid use.”

Due to its harmful side effects, Shannon and the rest of the athletic board have a no-tolerance stand on anyone who uses steroids.

“Not only do we have a no tolerance stand on steroids, but supplements of any type. Each one of our teams is reviewed by the trainers prior to the start of the season,” Shannon said.

“Unfortunately, the economics of the community college are such that we can’t test for its usage. It’s very complex, it’s very expensive. Community colleges don’t demand testing.”

So if the lack of random testing is not a problem in J.C.’s then what really prevents student athletes from consuming these performance-enhancing drugs?

“Some of the reasons might be the lack of ability to get them,” EC’s baseball catcher Derreck Duarte said. “Steroids are expensive and for those who go to a J.C. and play sports know how expensive it can be to play on a team.”

“It’s cheating,” EC’s baseball pitcher Paul Croghan said. “It’s not fair for those who work extra hard to get where they’re at, while others are out there taking steroids and they’re the ones who do get the scholarships.”

Despite the controversy behind steroids, some college athletes still find the urge to take them even knowing of its harmful effects.

“Some people feel that by taking steroids it will make them a better person, when in reality it doesn’t,” EC’s catcher Joey Lezama said.

“Student athletes should have the self-esteem not to cheat, because it is cheating,” Natividad said. “It’s a privilege to play sports, and for an athlete to abuse that just for their ‘three years of glory,’ it’s pretty sad.”

“I don’t care for those that do take steroids,” ECs’ baseball catcher Derrek Duarte said. “It’s their decision and they’re the ones who are going to pay for it in the long run.”

“We probably have much greater problems with substance abuse such as alcohol and other psychoactive drugs than steroids,” Shannon said.

There are alternatives to become the ideal athlete.

“If you train well, eat well and work hard, then you’re utilizing the quote on quote God given talents that one has,” Natividad said.

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