It's a topic we've been hearing a lot about. Performance enhancing drugs involving professional players. But it's not just an issue reserved for the pros.
Many high school athletes feel the pressure to juice and bulk up in order to gain an edge on the field -- but it comes with a serious health risk.
Teens right here in the valley are taking steroids in many forms, injections, creams, pills. And in many cases they're buying them online.
In addition to seeing their idols take performance enhancing drugs -- these teens are facing pressure from their own parents and coaches.
Every young athlete dreams of leading their team to victory -- that's exactly what Lee Pettit hoped for when he took steroids the summer before his senior year.
"Just for me, getting ahead, trying to not get injured, be a little bit bigger, withstand the punishment I would take was a lot of what I was thinking through my head," my Lee Pettit.
The 6 foot, 145 pound senior took two cycles of dianabol. A coach suggested key players at Burroughs High School in Burbank California take the drugs. At first Pettit gave his friends an injection, but after seeing their success, he gave in.
"They had a pill form called dianabol as well, and my friend had gotten me a cycle as well just in case I wanted to. With the peer pressure, being around for that week I just went ahead and jumped right in and took the dianabol."
He quickly gained 15 pounds.
"I definitely performed in the weight room better. I would say I increased my throwing probably five yards, not too much, a little more zip on my pass but it was definitely more in the weight room."
Pettit developed acne and anger issues. Dr. Al Borhan says he's lucky -- he's treated 10 teens right here in the valley who got testicular cancer from using performance enhancing drugs.
"No matter how many times I've done it its extremely difficult for me. I have to take a breath outside the door before I go in, because there's a difference between telling someone who hasn't even hit 20," says Dr. Al Borhan, urologist.
Dr. Borhan says that no matter how good the results look on the outside, every athlete will pay for using performance enhancing drugs on the inside.
"Later on, your actual testosterone, you can't produce normal testosterone at the level… so your special male organs are going to shrink."
Other side effects include liver damage, heart disease and early baldness.
"It's not worth it," says Pettit.
"There is a price for everything… at some point it might not be in the glory years of your youth but it will definitely be down the road," says Dr. Borhan.
Dr. Borhan says that all of those teens with testicular cancer survived after treatment. You have to think, he's just one doctor who's treated 10 teens with cancer -- there have to be many cases in our state and the country.
WJBK-TV | Fox 2
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