History of Steroids
In 1954, a physician named John Ziegler attended the World Weightlifting Championships in Vienna, Austria, as the team's doctor. The Soviets dominated the competition that year, easily breaking several world records and winning gold medals in legions of weight classes. According to anecdotal reports, Ziegler invited the Soviet´s team doctor to a bar and the doctor told him that that his lifters had used testosterone injections as part of their training programs. Whether that story is true or not, ultimately, the Americans returned from the World Championships that year and immediately began their efforts to defeat the Soviets using pharmaceutical enhancement.Read More
Just prior to the ban on steroids in the Olympics, the German Democratic Republic (GDR) began a program with the goals of synthesizing new anabolic steroids for their athletes to use in various sports. Their body of research remains the most extensive collection of information on the use of steroids in athletes ever complied (5). Despite the small size of their country, they managed to consistently dominate the top ranks of various sports, competing with both the United States and the Soviet Union for total medals in both the Olympics and various World Championships. In 1972, the IOC began a full scale drug-testing program (8).
By 1982, the International Olympic Council had developed a test for the detection of excess levels of testosterone in athletes, known as the "Testosterone: Epitestosterone test". In this test, levels of testosterone vs/ epitestosterone are measured, and if the testosterone level is 6x that of the epitestosterone level, it can safely be concluded that some form of testosterone has been used by the athlete. This is because testosterone is commonly no more than 6x the natural level of epitestosterone found naturally in the body. Thus, if there were more than that ratio, it was not naturally occurring, in all probability. The IOC was, as usual, one step behind the athletes. The GDR had already done a study on their athletes using a form of testosterone which would leave the body quickly, and thus they would be ready for the IOC test within three days of their last injection (6). They then developed a protocol to allow their athletes to continue steroid use, ceasing it only long enough to pass the drug test. In addition, the German firm Jenapharm, who had been supplying the government with steroids for their athletes, developed an epitestosterone product to administer to athletes to bring the ratio back to normal without discontinuing steroid use (5).
Their doping methods were so advanced, however, that they remained undetected for many years, until late 1989 when information was leaked to the western media about a government sponsored program of systematic anabolic steroid administration and concealment. Eventually, in the early 1990´s, the Germans had finally gotten caught, and the ensuing scandal was one which helped give anabolic steroids the bad reputation they have had ever since. Ironically, it was also in the early 1990´s that anabolic steroids had started to be used by the medical community to improve survival rates of AIDS and Cancer patients, when it was discovered that loss of lean body mass was associated with increased mortality rates respective to those diseases (14).
A "Controlled substance" is one that is more firmly regulated than uncontrolled prescription drugs. As an example, contact lenses can only be legally purchased with a prescription, but they are not &qont;rolled" per se. This stricter control of steroids created a vastly more intense examination of the doctors prescribing them; and of course, more harsh penalties for wrongful dispensing. 1988 also marked the passage of the Anti-Drug Abuse Act, which put steroids in a totally different prescription category, one that stipulated very severe legal penalties for illegal sale or possession with intent to distribute. Now, steroid possession and/or distribution was considered a felony. Next, the United States Congress added steroids to the Controlled Substances Act as an amendment known as the Anabolic Steroid Control Act of 1990. Steroids were now placed in "Schedule III" classification, along with amphetamines, methamphetamines, opium, and morphine, and carrying the same penalties for buying or selling them. This legislation and classification was passed without the support of the merican Medical Association, the FDA, the DEA, and the National Institute on Drug Abuse, all of whom actually protested the federal and state lIn the early part of the new millennium, steroids have again been pushed to the forefront of the news by the introduction of "prohormones" which were first developed and marketed by Patrick Arnold. It is at this point that the history of steroids in baseball begins to become more prominent; this is in all probability because Major League Baseball had no steroid testing program in effect during this time. During his epic quest to break Roger Maris´ home-run record, Mark Maguire was spotted by a reporter to have had a bottle of Androstendione in his locker. Although androstendione is not a steroid, and is simply a prohormone, the word /spanym-buyer, as did demand& and unfortunately, the prevalence of fake or counterfeit steroids.
In the early part of the new millennium, steroids have again been pushed to the forefront of the news by the introduction of prohormones which were first developed and marketed by Patrick Arnold. It is at this point that the history of steroids in baseball begins to become more prominent; this is in all probability because Major League Baseball had no steroid testing program in effect during this time. During his epic quest to break Roger Maris home-run record, Mark Maguire was spotted by a reporter to have had a bottle of Androstendione in his locker. Although androstendione is not a steroid, and is simply a prohormone, the word steroid was again found circulating in the news on a nightly basis.