are drugs that are structurally related to the cyclic steroid rings system and have similar effects to testosterone in the body.
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The American College of Sports Medicine acknowledges that AAS, in the presence of adequate diet, can contribute to increases in body weight, often as lean mass increases and that the gains in muscular strength achieved through high-intensity exercise and proper diet can be additionally increased by the use of AAS in some individuals.
These effects include harmful changes in cholesterol levels (increased low-density lipoprotein and decreased high-density lipoprotein), acne, high blood pressure, liver damage (mainly with oral steroids), and dangerous changes in the structure of the left ventricle of the heart.
Conditions pertaining to hormonal imbalances such as gynecomastia and testicular size reduction may also be caused by anabolic steroids.
Ergogenic uses for anabolic steroids in sports, racing, and bodybuilding as performance-enhancing drugs are controversial because of their adverse effects and the potential to gain unfair advantage in competitive physical competitions.
Another 2007 study had similar findings, showing that, while 66% of individuals using anabolic steroids for non-medical purposes were willing to seek medical supervision for their steroid use, 58% lacked trust in their physicians, 92% felt that the medical community's knowledge of non-medical anabolic steroid use was lacking, and 99% felt that the public has an exaggerated view of the side-effects of anabolic steroid use.
Anabolic steroids have been used by men and women in many different kinds of professional sports to attain a competitive edge or to assist in recovery from injury.
These sports include bodybuilding, weightlifting, shot put and other track and field, cycling, baseball, wrestling, mixed martial arts, boxing, football, and cricket.
Such use is prohibited by the rules of the governing bodies of most sports.
Their use is referred to as doping and banned by most major sporting bodies.
For many years, AAS have been by far the most detected doping substances in IOC-accredited laboratories.
In countries where AAS are controlled substances, there is often a black market in which smuggled, clandestinely manufactured or even counterfeit drugs are sold to users.