Also known as anabolic steroids, this synthetic derivative of the male hormone testosterone, is more officially known as androgenic-anabolic steroids, or AAS.  Brought to the forefront of sports during the Summer Olympics a few years ago when Ben Johnson's gold medal was taken from him after it was detected that he had used these drugs, these substances promote male characteristics and protein synthesis, a.k.a. muscle building.

As illustrated by the above-mentioned event, these drugs are used to enhance  performance by increasing muscle strength and decreasing the recovery time needed between workouts.  This allows for greater intensity workouts and for more of them to be completed, which, in conjunction, with stronger muscles, can greatly improve performance.

There are, however, a vast array of negative side effects associated with the use of these products.  Some include: liver disease, coronary heart disease, and sterility.  Some less severe effects include acne, hair growth,  etc.  Additionally, these substance are considered illegal by many authorities and are certainly viewed as illegal in all sanctioned events, including the International Olympic Committee.  If detected, their use results in a minimum of disqualification from competition.

It is clear that the risks of using these products are far greater than the benefits received.  Additionally, if you are discovered to have used these drugs, your reputation as a 'real' athlete will forever be tarnished.  It is considered by fellow athletes and fans as cheating.  Ben Johnson will be forever known as the steroids guys, not as a guy with unbelievable talent that very well might have won the race without the use of steroids.  In sum, stay away from them!