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The Ethical Aspect of Anabolic Steroids

By Joe Pietaro

Take a good and long gander at what stares back at you in the mirror every morning. If you can look that person square in the eye and come away from that private daily board meeting full of morality then you’re one big step ahead in the game of life.

If you’re using anabolic steroids, then it’s a sure bet that you don’t make eye contact with your reflection. It may be easy to tell others that it doesn’t really matter, but try telling yourself that ethics do not come into question.

Listen, no one is disputing the results attained from performance-enhancing drugs for an adult at least 25 years of age under the supervision of a doctor performing regular blood tests. It would be irresponsible and an all-out lie to say that they don’t work, but it goes deeper than that. More importantly, anyone younger than that should not even be thinking about using steroids. Your natural testosterone levels are high enough during that period of your life and the body is not fully developed so taking these substances can do irreversible damage.

First of all, unless you have received them legally from a doctor’s prescription, you are breaking the law by merely possessing them. That in itself should be the end of the story but unfortunately it is not. This not the legal section of this website, where we will delve deeper into that aspect. So for now let’s speak a little about breaking the rules instead of the law.


Athletes failing drug tests have become common nowadays and that speaks volumes. Multi-million dollar contracts are hanging in the balance as well as the player’s legacy. How ethical is it to jeopardize one’s livelihood, popularity and trust?

Nearly every governing body in sports today has strict rules and banned substance lists to try and curtail the use of these drugs. On top of breaking the law, the steroid user is also throwing the rulebook out of the window. Suspensions, fines and a chorus of boos in every visiting city are accentuated by the strong possibility of being left out of the Hall of Fame for those who would have otherwise been voted in.


Let’s not forget that these people are role models to not only youngsters, but also society as a whole. For them to come across as so-called “cheaters” is a stigma that will be hard to detach from. What kind of message are they sending us?

Children look up to the athletes and are very impressionable. From Little League through high school and college, they are in a competitive atmosphere. If they try to justify using a steroid because “so and so does,” then the problem lies deeper than we could have ever imagined.


An athlete using PEDs has an unfair advantage over his or her opponent, plain and simple. Yes, there are other aspects that must be factored in such as training and nutrition but it is a hard sell to say that the user does not have a better chance of succeeding than the non-user.

Strength, endurance, speed, appearance…all of those factors come into play. Using PEDs will give you an added amount of all of them. It is far from an even playing field in these situations. If the sport is a particularly physical or violent one such as mixed martial arts, boxing or football, then this advantage can result in serious injury to the opponent.


There are a number of similarities as far as ethics and side effects go where steroids are concerned. Not the physical kind of side effects, mind you. We’ll cover them in another section here. There’s enough there that it easily could fill up both departments.

No, what we’re getting at is the domino effect from purchasing these drugs on the black market. With all the arrests and raids that have taken place in recent years in the United States, many have resorted to purchasing steroids from overseas via the Internet. By doing so, you are not only funding the foreign drug trade but also taking a huge risk having them mailed to you.


As a parent or coach, this is certainly not the easiest subject to bring up. Double that when trying to get your point across. Thinking about future health concerns is the furthest thing from a teenager’s mind. Perhaps a different approach such as the ethical one may be more effective. Even someone in their teens has certain morals that rise to the top. Being considered a cheater or shortcut taker while their peers and teammates put in the hard work should make them think twice about using steroids.

Either that or take all the mirrors out of the house.