The history of steroids in sports is very old. The athletes and sports persons were using foods and potions to enhance their power, performance, and stamina in ancient times. It is said that Greek wrestlers used to eat huge quantities of meat to build their muscle, and Norse warriors (The Berserkers) used to eat hallucinogenic mushrooms to gear themselves up for battle.
The swimmers in Amsterdam in the 1860s were the first competitive athletes who are believed to be charged with doping i.e. taking drugs and other nonfood substances to improve performance. Later, the practice of doping using strychnine, caffeine, cocaine and heroin spread to other sports.
The history of steroids use by athletes is believed to have begun in the early half of 20th century. Testosterone or anabolic steroids were first synthesized in the 1930’s. Anabolic steroids were introduced into the sporting arena in the 1940’s and 1950’s. The Russian weight lifting team walked off with a pile of medals at the 1952 Olympics created first history of steroids in sports.
Developing “Methandrostenolone” or Dianabol with the help of Ciba pharmaceutical company, Dr.Ziegler commenced an important chapter in the history of steroids. The Dianabol is believed to be the first anabolic steroid in sports history of steroids. The drug helped the US weightlifters dominate in the 1962 World Championships.
Although the physician soon realized the drug had unwanted side effects, it was too late to halt its spread into the sports world. Soon, Dianabol became popular among athletes and sports persons. It became common dietary intake of bodybuilders, weightlifters, football players, javelin throwers, Olympic athletes, and other sports persons.
However, there was great reaction against the use of steroids in sports. FIFA (soccer) and Union Cycliste Internationale (cycling) banned the use of steroids in 1966, and the International Olympic Committee joined them in 1967. The World Anti-Doping Agency was created in 1999. Presently, most of the sports agencies have strict policies against steroids, and steroids use and distribution without prescriptions is banned.
The bans and illegality of steroids opened a rather serious chapter in the history of steroids. This developed a black market of steroids that began to flourish for the illegal production and sale of the drugs for nonmedical purposes. This black market is flourishing offline as well as online.