Watch more Learn about the Olympics videos:
Look at the upper body. Steroid users tend to be top-heavy, with Popeye-like muscles concentrated on the shoulders, neck, chest, and biceps. And if this physique seemingly appeared overnight, long days in the gym are probably not the reason—or at least not the only one.
The sports where athletes are more likely to abuse steroids are baseball, football, wrestling, swimming, cycling, track and field, weightlifting, and bodybuilding.
Steroids speed muscle recovery between workouts, so not everyone uses them to bulk up to ridiculous size. Check out the chest. If your favorite male cyclist looks like he needs a training bra, he may be on the juice, which can cause men to grow boobs. The opposite happens to women who take steroids—their cup size dwindles.
Look at a female athlete’s upper lip; those who take ‘roids often start sprouting a little mustache. They also can start going bald.
Watch how the athlete responds to stress. Steroids make some people so hot-tempered that it is a suspected factor in some homicides. Hey, they don’t call it ‘’roid rage’ for nothing.
Look for grooming problems usually associated with adolescence—acne, oily skin, and greasy hair.
Acne across the back—yes, the dreaded ‘bacne’—is another sign of steroid use.
Listen to how bulked-up female athletes speak. Steroid abusers develop very deep voices.
Smell their breath. We know what you’re thinking—ewww. And you probably won’t be able to get close enough to your favorite athlete to sniff their breath anyway. But if they’re on steroids, you might notice a foul odor.
Did You Know?
Slang terms for steroids include Arnolds, gym candy, juice, pumpers, and stackers.