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History Of Steroids

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##John Westfall

Mr. Murphy

English 10

28 may 2008

History of anabolic steroids

The people in today’s society makes it easy to forget that anabolic androgenic steroids

(AAS) were developed for genuine medical use, and not for physique and performance

Enhancement. Puberty has always provided us with visual evidence of apparent changes

from childhood to the teenage years. Unfortunately the process within the male body

responsible for this transformation was poorly understood. It was not until the 19th century

that medical tests revealed a hormone within the testicles which was the agent for these

changes. Testosterone (named after the testicles) was discovered, isolated, and later

synthesized. By the 1930’s, synthesizing of testosterone marked the invention of AAS, as we

know them today. Since then literally hundreds of different forms have been catalogued,

while far fewer numbers were commercially produced.

Shortly after development, AAS were adapted for a variety of purposes, including the

increase of aggression in Nazi soldiers, elite-level athletics in the1950’s, and the very

specific production for weightlifting athletes. However, by the 1960’s several major sporting

organizations had already banned their use, and initiated extensive drug testing policies. In

the mid 1990’s, the first Anabolic Steroid Control Act was passed under President George

Bush. Ten years later congressional hearings were held to curtail the growing AAS problem

in athletics. By this time, every major reputable sporting organization from the high school

level through the professional ranks had followed suit with anti-AAS regulations and testing


There are two basic forms of AAS, actual testosterone, and a chemically modified version.

By making simple chemical changes to the basic testosterone molecule, an almost endless

variety of steroids have been created. In this way scientists are able to increase certain

properties of the drug and decrease others. From a medical perspective, AAS are both

naturally occurring (created within the body) and synthetic (created within the lab). In the

human body these hormones promote cell growth and division which results in the

development of muscle tissue, cartilage and bone. This is achieved through Anabolism

which is the metabolic process of building larger molecules from smaller ones. Although

AAS were first developed to treat male hypogonadism (a deficiency in the hormone

testosterone), since inception they have been found useful in the treatment of other various

other conditions as well. Beyond simply being anabolic they have many physiological




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