It was decades later that the secret behind this spectacular success became known. The East German Sports Federation had, with the help of the Stasi, used Performance Enhancing Drugs or PEDs to ensure that their athletes gained international recognition by winning the Olympic events. This systematic plan had been initiated in 1974 as a means to guarantee international glory through the achievement of gold medals at the prestigious sporting event. Oral- Turinabol , a testosterone derivative was used extensively to improve muscle mass and cut down recovery time. This allowed the German athletes to train harder and longer than other world athletes.
Cells of the zona fasciculata and zona reticularis lack aldosterone synthase (CYP11B2) that converts corticosterone to aldosterone, and thus these tissues produce only the weak mineralocorticoid corticosterone. However, both these zones do contain the CYP17A1 missing in zona glomerulosa and thus produce the major glucocorticoid, cortisol. Zona fasciculata and zona reticularis cells also contain CYP17A1, whose 17,20-lyase activity is responsible for producing the androgens, dehydroepiandosterone (DHEA) and androstenedione. Thus, fasciculata and reticularis cells can make corticosteroids and the adrenal androgens, but not aldosterone.
For example, anabolic steroids such as Testosterone have a tendency to promote water retention through their ability to be aromatized into Estrogen via the aromatase enzyme. While such an effect might not be a concern for a strength athlete or a powerlifter (such an effect might even be beneficial or desired in such sports), this is not a desired effect for athletes involved in sports that involve speed and swiftness, such as sprinting. Instead, a sprinter, for example, would more likely opt for an anabolic steroid such as Stanozolol ( Winstrol ) or Oxandrolone ( Anavar ), which are two anabolic steroids unable to convert into Estrogen and therefore the issue of water retention, and therefore the issue of added weight that would slow the athlete down is avoided. Many athletes may also elect to ‘stack’ anabolic steroids in a given cycle (stacking refers to the practice of combining more than one anabolic steroid in a cycle). In the case of cycle stacks, an individual might be able to increase the synergy and synergistic effects between the anabolic steroids to create a highly anabolic environment or to create a stack that might assist the user in favoring certain particular athletic or physique goals. These are some of the major reasons as to why the development of different types of steroids has been done.