The dream of every athlete is to be the best and the most celebrated athlete in their chosen sport. The passion to set new records and break old ones often drives athletes into using performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) which are prohibited in most sports.
Among all the performance-enhancing drugs used by athletes, steroids are the most popular and probably the most easily obtainable performance-enhancing drug.
The use of PEDs is rarely reported in soccer unlike some other sports like cycling, sprinting, swimming, etc. You might even start wondering if doping is allowed in soccer since soccer players are hardly accused of using PEDs.
Considering the frequency of doping scandals in athletics, it is logical to assume that soccer players might also be guilty of using banned substances. The cases of reported illegal substance use in soccer are grossly insignificant.
Soccer players previously involved in such scandals were not severely punished like athletes caught doping in some other sports. How often do soccer players use enhancing drugs? Do soccer players use steroids?
From some online surveys we conducted, we were meant to understand that the above questions are some of the most frequently asked questions by soccer enthusiasts when it comes to the issue of doping in soccer.
This article will expose you to the level of doping previously and currently recorded in soccer and we shall also be looking at the chemical composition of steroids and their known effects on athletes.
Do steroids help in soccer?
Steroids are not only produced synthetically, they are also produced naturally by the human body. The hormone called testosterone is one of the naturally produced steroids in the body and its major function is building muscles and body tissues.
Natural steroids are steroids that act like hormones in the human body, they are produced and secreted by different glands in the body. Aside from building muscles, they also aid in the body’s salt and water balance, metabolism, sexual development, and standard immune functions.
Knowing the scientific facts about steroids can help you understand better what steroids are and what they are not. Athletes go through a lot of pressure sometimes from their coaches, close friends, fans, and even family members.
Being aware of the long-term and short-term effects of steroids will help you decide if they are a suitable remedy for your unimpressive performance in soccer.
Steroids can also be referred to as anabolic steroids. Anabolic steroids can be defined as artificial hormones introduced into the body to prevent the breakdown of muscles and also to boost the rate of production of new muscles in the body.
There is no doubt that some soccer players sometimes take steroids to increase their endurance, improve their sprint speed, kicking capacity, and overall soccer skills. Using anabolic steroids without a doctor’s prescription is a crime in some countries.
The use of PEDs is not allowed in soccer and players could get banned for engaging in such acts. Measures are been put in place to constantly check soccer players for drug use.
During the 2014 World Cup, FIFA mandated a necessary drug test for all participating soccer players. After the test, they were all branded with “biological passports” which signified that they were qualified to participate in the tournament.
The biological passport was designed to record soccer players’ random urine and blood samples before training and at international tournaments. Soccer players are required to always have their biological passports with them until the termination of their soccer careers.
During soccer tournaments, all soccer players are tested for the use of banned substances no matter the status of a soccer player. FIFA needs soccer to be as fair as possible which is why it doesn’t make provisions for artificial enhancement of soccer players.
FIFA has the right to test any soccer player as many times as deemed necessary since some soccer players can easily go back to using steroids and other PEDs after they might have been tested.
A Peruvian striker Paolo Guerrero once tested positive for the use of PEDs when traces of cocaine was discovered in his blood. He was handed a 14 months match ban which damaged his reputation and thwarted his soccer career.
Soccer players who use banned substances are often noticeable by their endurance levels. Oftentimes, they outlast their teammates on the pitch by being very energetic even after other soccer players might have exhausted their energy.
Exhaustion seriously affects a soccer player’s ability to play and can even make it hard for them to reason accurately. Some soccer players only use steroids during training and avoid them when going to tournaments.
Using steroids during training gives soccer players an added advantage over their contemporaries because their muscles will develop faster and they will be able to train harder.
Frequently in national soccer leagues, players get away with the use of steroids because there is usually a shortage of testing facilities and also inadequate funding.
Doping tests are usually very capital-intensive and take a lot of time to accomplish which is why they are only mandated in big leagues and major soccer tournaments.
Even in big soccer leagues and tournaments, players can easily exchange their test samples with that of drug-free individuals knowing that very expensive tests which can identify them using their test samples are often rarely done.
Soccer players use PEDs like steroids for many personal reasons, some of which we would be discussing below.
For muscle generation and tissue growth
Skinny soccer players are the most susceptible to steroids use because they often feel the need to increase the size of their muscles so they can withstand the inevitable challenges bound to occur on the soccer pitch.
Steroids are known to enhance a soccer player’s recovery time after a match or workout and they are also responsible for increasing muscle strength and mass.
When soccer players properly develop their muscle mass, their stamina and overall strength also increase. Soccer is a very stressful sport which is why soccer players are often very skinny even though they are not malnourished.
The use of steroids enables soccer players to grow thick with newly formed muscles which would have been very difficult to develop naturally.
To win matches
Soccer is a sport where coming second doesn’t matter as much as coming first. Soccer players would often put everything on the line to secure a victory especially when it comes to international competitions.
International competitions like the World Cup come with a lot of bonuses, endorsements, awards, and other huge financial gains for any country that eventually lifts the cup.
With such a rare opportunity which only happens once every four years, soccer players are usually tempted to cheat the process so they can cement their names in history and also earn more money.
Playing well in soccer without scoring the needed number of goals is not enough. Scoring goals is the crux of the sport and scoring goals often requires something more than just skills.
Sometimes, soccer clubs are drawn against a very difficult team whom they must defeat to be able to progress in a tournament. They usually resort to using steroids to have an edge over their tough opponents who might kick them out of the tournament.
Soccer players get hooked on using steroids because they are easily obtainable and not lethal when used according to prescription.
Some soccer players have been caught in the past who confessed that their reason for diving into the use of PED’s was their desperation to win matches.
For sexual vigor
Like other affluent celebrities, soccer players are not exempted from the life of alcohol, parties, and women. They often have a barrage of irresistibly beautiful ladies trailing them both online and offline.
Thus, some will resort to the use of steroids in improving their sexual vigor so they can have as much pleasure as they want without easily getting exhausted.
An overindulgence in steroids for sexual vigor can cause your testicles to shrink, reduce sperm count, and often lead to erectile dysfunction. In female soccer players, steroids use can increase their libido but can also cause infertility when abused.
Steroid abuse causes erectile dysfunction because an over-dependence on anabolic steroids obstructs the natural ability of the human body to produce testosterone.
Do steroids help with speed?
Steroids are mostly taken for muscle and tissue growth and development by wrestlers, weight lifters, and bodybuilders. But do steroids help improve soccer players’ speed? Let’s proceed to find out if it does.
From our findings, steroids taken to improve soccer players’ speed are different from those administered to enhance muscle growth and physical endurance.
Soccer is a sport that requires running and sprinting. So, there is always the urge or pressure on soccer players to increase their average speed. Players with better sprinting will always have an edge over a slower opponent during a take-on.
Aside from medical purposes, randomly using steroids to improve your average speed in soccer can have adverse effects on your body. We all understand that sprinters are often guilty of using PED’s but that shouldn’t motivate you into using them while playing soccer.
The grand purpose of soccer has always been to score goals and win matches and not to run faster than every other player on the pitch.
You don’t necessarily need steroids to be able to run faster on the soccer pitch. Indulging in an effective training program and eating right can always help you improve on your original speed and dexterity as a soccer player.
Some known steroids used by athletes in improving their speed include; Deca Durabolin (Nandrolone Decanoate), Winstrol, Anavar, Trenbolone, Stanozolol, etc.
Side effects of using anabolic steroids
- Acne and other visible skin changes
- Depression and aggression
- Mood swings and irritability
- Nerve damage
- Breast development in men (Gynecomastia)
- Prostate cancer
- Deepened voice in women
- Stunted growth in younger users
- Visible stretch marks on the chest, shoulders, and arms
- High blood pressure
- Diminished liver function
Anabolic steroids when properly used by soccer players according to doctor’s prescription can help in treating blood disorders, intractable arthritis, sexual dysfunctions, connective tissue diseases, and many other severe illnesses.
Owing to their complex nature, they must be administered according to a doctor’s prescription and must be used for health-related circumstances. Using steroids to cheat in soccer is highly unacceptable and can destroy a soccer player’s career.
Due to the numerous adverse effects attached to using steroids, soccer players are strongly advised to desist from ever indulging in the use of PEDs.
Effective training routines combined with daily balanced diets can improve a soccer player’s performance and physic in unimaginable ways without him or her engaging in the use of banned substances.
Hi there, I’m Jay.
The Pitch is Ours is a new beginning for me and a stepping stone to prepare before retiring from the professional soccer team. Soccer is everything in my life! My friends and I have created this blog with all our enthusiasm, passion, and understanding after years of playing pro soccer. Hope you will enjoy it!