|Role models are powerful. Teens who have positive role models have been shown to perform better in school as well as have greater self-esteem than those who do not have role models in their lives.
The responsibility of role models can be frightening, however, when you look at what’s out there for famous athletes and how the media is covering their steroid use or potential or alleged steroid use. There are many athletes out there that have achieved great feats but also have been tainted with allegations related to steroid use. The problems really arise when teenagers want to emulate what their role models do and achieve and may choose to turn to steroids to reach these levels.
Here are some examples:
Track star Marion Jones is a prime example. She’s a record-setting highly decorated track athlete including various world championships and Olympic medals. She’s a prime role model for female athletes. She’s been accused of using steroids and performance enhancing drugs – most specifically Human Growth Hormone to enhance her performance. She denies these allegations, but they are still out there. She has not failed a drug test, however.
Another track and field star, Ben Johnson, can be another example of how role models can go bad. He both won the gold medal and set a world record in the 1988 Olympics but was later found to have used anabolic steroids (and eventually admitted to it).
Floyd Landis, the Tour do France racer, also had his championship shaded with allegations of doping during the race. Landis reports that he’s never taken performance-enhancing drugs. These allegations have also projected other cyclists to have used anabolic steroids as well (such as Lance Armstrong). Landis’ case will be reviewed in May of 2007, but he’s denying any use of performance enhancing drugs.
Mark McGuire is best known for breaking the single-season home run record in 1998. He’s also probably often associated with illegal drug use – illegal drugs meaning anabolic steroids – which he has admitted to. Other baseball players have found themselves involved in drug allegations as well: Sammy Sosa, Barry Bonds and Jason Giambi are a few.
Lyle Alzado, an NFL football player is perhaps the biggest name when it comes to the NFL and steroids. He was known to be fun to watch and was fierce on the field. He admitted to starting to take steroids in 1969 and also that they were addicting. He blamed his violent tendencies both on and off the field to his steroid use and eventually died of a brain tumor thought to have been the result of his excessive steroid use over several decades.