Why do athletes take steroids?


Quick Answer

Athletes take steroids to increase muscle mass and strength, according to Mayo Clinic, which almost certainly results in greater sporting performance. Consuming steroids gives an athlete an unfair advantage over other athletes who remain clean.

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Full Answer

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the consumption of steroids is relatively low at around six percent of all athletes. However, some evidence shows that steroid use is more widespread than typically reported. Steroids serve two major purposes: to increase muscle size and decrease body fat. Athletes are allowed to achieve both of these goals through physical training and diet, but any use of drugs is prohibited. Besides an increase in athletic ability, steroid use also reduces muscle damage and helps athletes to recover more quickly from exhausting workouts.

Almost every professional athlete undergoes regular drug testing designed to check for use of steroids. Olympic athletes found guilty of taking steroids are typically required to return any medals won and have their results expunged from the record books. Athletes are always trying to stay one step ahead of testers by using new techniques to consume steroids, but the chances of being caught are too great for most athletes to consider the use of steroids.

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