The association of anabolic steroids with sportsmen and sports is not a new phenomenon. This association has continued for many centuries and is still continuing despite tall claims made by government and anti-doping agencies.
In 1889, French physician Charles-Édouard Brown-Séquard extracted testicular fluid from dogs and guinea pigs. This fluid was used by the physician on himself through an injections and he claimed that he feel years younger with renewed energy before a scientific meeting in Paris. In the year 1935, German scientists led by chemist Adolf Butenandt developed anabolic steroids that were used for treating deficiency of testosterone (hypogonadism).
It is also believed by some that the association between sportsmen and steroids is as old as the Ancient Romans and Greeks who ingested testicles of the sheep considering them to be rich sources of testosterone to deliver top on-field performances. These performance enhancing drugs were taken by Gladiators and Wrestlers during the Ancient Greek era to receive name, fame, appreciation, land, cattle, and valuable from the Kings.
It is also believed that the Nazis during 1940-45 tested steroids on Gestapos, prisoners, and Adolf Hitler himself. Soldiers of the German Army made use of testosterone and its analogues to benefit from increased aggression and physical strength. The state of Hitler towards the end of his life (acute paranoid psychoses, overly aggressive and violent behavior, suicidal ideologies, and depression) was associated by some scientists with heavy use of anabolic steroids.
Between the years 1945-47, these performance enhancing drugs were used for reversing the wasting effects of war and imprisonment at concentration camps. However, the use of steroids at professional sport level was almost unknown till the year 1954 when a Soviet team doctor allegedly reveals use of testosterone injections by his team to U.S. weightlifting doctor John Ziegler. This revelation prompted Ziegler to initiate work on producing a compound with the muscle building advantages of testosterone but without its androgenic side effects and he soon came up with methandrostenolone that was released by Ciba Pharmaceuticals under the name Dianabol in the year 1958.
The first case of doping in sports is believed to be that of Chicago weightlifter Jeff Michels and three other Latin American weightlifters at the Pan Am Games in Caracas (1983) when they tested positive for anabolic steroids. The suspension promoted thirteen other members of the U.S. track and field team to withdraw from the Games and 24 medals, including 11 golds, were taken away.
The use of steroids in sports was highlighted the most by the high-profile rivalry between sprinters Carl Lewis and Ben Johnson when Johnson posted a record time of 9.79 seconds in the 100 meters at the Seoul Olympics. However, he tested positive for the anabolic steroid Stanozolol and was stripped of the gold medal. In 1991, twenty former coaches of East Germany team admitted to administering steroids to some of the swimmers.
With growing concern about steroid use in sports and adolescents joining the steroid club, the Congress introduced The Anabolic Steroids Control Act in 1990 that classified anabolic steroids as schedule III controlled substances, for which trafficking is now a felony, not a misdemeanor.
During the 1998 Tour de France, the Festina team was ejected from the competition after team director Bruno Roussel admitted that he oversaw the provision of team Festina with performance enhancing drugs. Richard Virenque, a rider with the team, was suspended for using banned substances after he confessed to such use. Another six of the twenty one teams voluntarily drop out of the Tour and cited unfair police tactics and mistreatment of participants.
An independent agency, World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), was formed in 1999 through the International Olympic Committee.
Ken Caminiti, who announced his retirement from baseball after the 2001 season, admitted in 2002 that he used anabolic steroids when he won the 1996 National League MVP award. Doping in sports was at its heights at this time and was soon brought down with the crackdown of the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative (BALCO) scandal in which its founder, Victor Conte, was accused of providing an undetectable steroid to many athletes, including Olympic track and field champion Marion Jones and Timothy Montgomery, major leaguers Barry Bonds, Gary Sheffield, and Jason Giambi.
The association of baseball players with steroids was revealed in 2005 by Jose Canseco in his tell-all book, Juiced: Wild Times, Rampant 'Roids, Smash Hits, & How Baseball Got Big where he accused home run kings Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa of using steroids and performance enhancing drugs.
The Mitchell Report on steroid use in baseball in 2007 alleged that baseball sluggers Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte made use of steroids.
In the year 2006, Floyd Landis who won the Tour de France was accused of testing positive for high testosterone levels and was stripped of his title. Landis and Tyler Hamilton (who admitted himself of steroid use) accused Lance Armstrong of using EPO, anabolic steroids, and human growth hormone along with blood transfusions and Armstrong (winner of seven Tour de France titles) was stripped of all his titles in August 2012 by the U.S. Anti-doping Agency (USADA) and a lifetime ban was imposed on him after he dropped charges against the agency.