Closer Look: Steroid Use In Athletes

June 28, 2007 - Posted at 6:20 p.m. CDT

JONESBORO-After the murder-suicide surrounding WWE Wrestler, Chris Benoir, Federal agents raided his physician's office.  This comes just days after anabolic steroids were found in Benoir's home.

K8 News asked local strenght trainers about just how common steroids are.

"You see it typically in younger athletes trying to get an edge," said Trainer Chris Rich of the Trim Gym.

With the recent murder-suicide surrounding WWE Wrestler Chris Benoit, steroid use is once again in the spotlight.

"In some cases steroid use is okay if it is prescribed by a doctor, but in many cases it is not and it is abused," siad Rich.

He is a certified strength trainer for the Trim Gym in Jonesboro.  He says those who take steroids are often under pressure.

"Those people are in the lime light more often than not. They are asked to perform at high levels, but there is really no research indicating that steroids help with high levels of athletic performance," said Rich.

Therefore the N.C.A.A. now frequently tests athletes for steroid use.

"We encourage parents and coaches to encourage athletes to focus on good nutrition, proper hydration, plenty of sleep, taking advantage of good coaching as acceptable ways of enhancing performance," said Frank Uryasz of the National Center for Drug-Free Sports

So if steroids don't help with performance, why are they taken?

"There are short term steroids that help with illness. There are long term steroids that are used as a hormone replacement in older men. It's commonly found in low doses and typically in a gel form," said Rich.

When abused steroids have long lasting side affects.

"Taken in large doses, they tend to affect a male's reproductive organs. They get smaller. They can make male's breasts get bigger," said Rich.

Strength trainers say there are several signs that are easily noticeable when someone is under the influence of steroids.

"Short term strength gains, as far as muscle mass is concerned, body weight, mood changes, acne on the back are usually short term signs of steroid use," said Rich.

For more information on Steroids and how Athletic Agencies are fighting their use log onto the National Center for Drug Free Sports website.

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