Page 81 - Athletic Health Handbook
P. 81
TEAM PHYSICIAN’S CORNER

ANABOLIC STEROIDS AND
THE ATHLETE

MATTHEW J. MATAVA, MD THE USE OF DRUGS TO ENHANCE PHYSICAL
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery PERFORMANCE has been observed for thousands of years. The
Washington University School of Medicine
St. Louis, Missouri ancient Greeks ate hallucinogenic mushrooms to enhance performance,
and Roman gladiators used stimulants to overcome fatigue.

The use of anabolic steroids (AS) in sports appears to have started in
the former Soviet Union in the 1950s. In 1968, the International Olympic
Committee (IOC) decided on a definition of doping and developed a list
of banned substances. The use of AS was included on the prohibited list
for the first time during the 1976 Olympics in Montreal. However, it was
not until the 1980s that the medical profession finally accepted their effi-
cacy as performance enhancing. Today, AS are banned by all major sports
sanctioning bodies in the U.S. According to the “Anabolic Steroids Control
Act of 1990,” AS are now considered Schedule III controlled substances
that have abuse potential with possible physical dependence. It is a felony
for athletes to distribute, or possess with the intent to distribute, AS
without a valid prescription.

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