A former steroid user reveals the dark truth about performance enhancing drugs

When you think of steroids, you probably think of Lance Armstrong’s barefaced denials and impossible performances on a bike. Older generations might recall the 1988 Olympics and Ben Johnson’s bulging muscles as he surged past Carl Lewis to smash the 100m record. Both men would end up with their sporting reputations in tatters. Yet steroid use is no longer just the preserve of elite athletes or oversized bodybuilders. Steroids are increasingly being used by young men who are looking for a shortcut to a six-pack rather than chasing medals. In gyms across the country, steroids are now used in an effort to improve conditioning or to help young men to emulate the sculpted male bodies that are commonplace on shows like Love Island. That's despite the fact that steroids have been shown to cause heart attacks, liver issues, strokes, infertility, blood clots or kidney damage. So JOE sat down with a former steroid user to discuss the grim reality behind the headlines. Paul* was a 19-year-old college student when he first tried steroids. He was an active sportsperson but that wasn't his main reason for starting.

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