United States law prohibits the possession of anabolic steroids without a legal medical prescription, imparting severe penalties (including fine and/or imprisonment) for those that choose to violate these laws. Under influence of U.S. government officials, World Anti- Doping Agency (WADA) members, and public criticism following numerous doping scandals, a growing number of countries are following the U.S. by adopting their own laws against the possession of anabolic steroids and other sports doping drugs. In many cases similar severe criminal penalties have been enacted. The following section discusses in more detail various national laws that concern the personal use of anabolic steroids and other related drugs.
Anabolic steroids have been classified as controlled substances in the United States since 1991, with passage of the Anabolic Steroid Control Act of 1990 (Pub. L. No. 101-647, Sec. 1902, 104 Stat. 4851, 1990). This law makes it a criminal offense to sell, distribute, manufacture, or possess anabolic steroids without proper legal authorization. The outlined penalties for possession without a legal prescription include a maximum of 1 year of imprisonment and/or a minimum fine of $1,000. This may be increased to 2 years of imprisonment and/or a $2,500 minimum fine for individuals with a prior drug conviction. Note that this law was amended in 2005 following passage of the Anabolic Steroid Control Act of 2004. The new law added 26 new steroid compounds to the list of controlled substances, and also removed the legal requirement that a compound be proven anabolic in humans before it can be added. This “promotes muscle growth” clause was the key roadblock to removing many of the “legal steroids” of the late 1990s and early 2000s.
State vs. Federal
Criminal laws against the possession of anabolic steroids exist at both the federal and state level in the U.S. Depending on the circumstance, an individual may be charged with a steroid related crime by either the federal government or the state government where the crime took place. Unless the crossing of state lines was involved, most criminal prosecutions for steroidrelated crimes take place at the state level in accordance with state laws. Most often the state laws mirror federal statutes very closely although this is not always the case. There can also be a great deal of variability in how punishments are determined between one state and another. If you are not obtaining medications legally through a physician’s prescription, it is advisable to study the steroid laws closely, particularly those of your individual state. The book “Legal Muscle: Anabolics in America” by lawyer Rick Collins [teamlegalmuscle.com] is an excellent review of the legal situation concerning steroids in the U.S., including a detailed breakdown of all state steroid laws
The main body (drug listings) of the Anabolic Steroid Control Act has been included for your review below.
`(A) The term `anabolic steroid' means any drug or hormonal substance, chemically and pharmacologically related to testosterone (other than estrogens, progestins, corticosteroids, and dehydroepiandrosterone), and includes--
`(I) 3b,17b-dihydroxy-5a-androstane; and
`(ii) androstanedione (5a-androstan-3,17-dione);
`(I) 1-androstenediol (3b,17b-dihydroxy-5a-androst-1-ene);
`(II) 1-androstenediol (3a,17b-dihydroxy-5a-androst-1-ene);
`(III) 4-androstenediol (3b,17b-dihydroxy-androst-4-ene); and
`(IV) 5-androstenediol (3b,17b-dihydroxy-androst-5-ene);
`(I) 1-androstenedione ([5a]-androst-1-en-3,17-dione);
`(II) 4-androstenedione (androst-4-en-3,17-dione); and
`(III) 5-androstenedione (androst-5-en-3,17-dione);
`(v) bolasterone (7a,17a-dimethyl-17b-hydroxyandrost-4-en-3-one);
`(vi) boldenone (17b-hydroxyandrost-1,4,-diene-3-one);
`(vii) calusterone (7b,17a-dimethyl-17b-hydroxyandrost-4-en-3-one);
`(viii) clostebol (4-chloro-17b-hydroxyandrost-4-en-3-one);
`(ix) dehydrochloromethyltestosterone (4-chloro-17b-hydroxy-17a-methyl-androst-1,4-dien-3-one);
`(x) *1-dihydrotestosterone (a.k.a. `1-testosterone') (17b-hydroxy-5a-androst-1-en-3-one);
`(xi) 4-dihydrotestosterone (17b-hydroxy-androstan-3-one);
`(xii) drostanolone (17b-hydroxy-2a-methyl-5a-androstan-3-one);
`(xiii) ethylestrenol (17a-ethyl-17b-hydroxyestr-4-ene);
`(xiv) fluoxymesterone (9-fluoro-17a-methyl-11b,17b-dihydroxyandrost-4-en-3-one);
`(xv) formebolone (2-formyl-17a-methyl-11a,17b-dihydroxyandrost-1,4-dien-3-one);
`(xvi) furazabol (17a-methyl-17b-hydroxyandrostano[2,3-c]-furazan);
`(xviii) 4-hydroxytestosterone (4,17b-dihydroxy-androst-4-en-3-one);
`(xix) 4-hydroxy-19-nortestosterone (4,17b-dihydroxy-estr-4-en-3-one);
`(xx) mestanolone (17a-methyl-17b-hydroxy-5a-androstan-3-one);
`(xxi) mesterolone (1a-methyl-17b-hydroxy-[5a]-androstan-3-one);
`(xxii) methandienone (17a-methyl-17b-hydroxyandrost-1,4-dien-3-one);
`(xxiii) methandriol (17a-methyl-3b,17b-dihydroxyandrost-5-ene);
`(xxiv) methenolone (1-methyl-17b-hydroxy-5a-androst-1-en-3-one);
`(xxv) methyltestosterone (17a-methyl-17b-hydroxyandrost-4-en-3-one);
`(xxvi) mibolerone (7a,17a-dimethyl-17b-hydroxyestr-4-en-3-one);
`(xxvii) 17a-methyl-*1-dihydrotestosterone (17b-hydroxy-17a-methyl-5a-androst-1-en-3-
one) (a.k.a. `17-a-methyl-1-testosterone');
`(xxviii) nandrolone (17b-hydroxyestr-4-en-3-one);
`(I) 19-nor-4-androstenediol (3b, 17b-dihydroxyestr-4-ene);
`(II) 19-nor-4-androstenediol (3a, 17b-dihydroxyestr-4-ene);
`(III) 19-nor-5-androstenediol (3b, 17b-dihydroxyestr-5-ene); and
`(IV) 19-nor-5-androstenediol (3a, 17b-dihydroxyestr-5-ene);
`(I) 19-nor-4-androstenedione (estr-4-en-3,17-dione); and
`(II) 19-nor-5-androstenedione (estr-5-en-3,17-dione;
`(xxxi) norbolethone (13b,17a-diethyl-17b-hydroxygon-4-en-3-one);
`(xxxii) norclostebol (4-chloro-17b-hydroxyestr-4-en-3-one);
`(xxxiii) norethandrolone (17a-ethyl-17b-hydroxyestr-4-en-3-one);
`(xxxiv) oxandrolone (17a-methyl-17b-hydroxy-2-oxa-[5a]-androstan-3-one);
`(xxxv) oxymesterone (17a-methyl-4,17b-dihydroxyandrost-4-en-3-one);
`(xxxvi) oxymetholone (17a-methyl-2-hydroxymethylene-17b-hydroxy-[5a]-androstan-3-one);
`(xxxvii) stanozolol (17a-methyl-17b-hydroxy-[5a]-androst-2-eno[3,2-c]-pyrazole);
`(xxxviii) stenbolone (17b-hydroxy-2-methyl-[5a]-androst-1-en-3-one);
`(xxxix) testolactone (13-hydroxy-3-oxo-13,17-secoandrosta-1,4-dien-17-oic acidlactone);
`(xl) testosterone (17b-hydroxyandrost-4-en-3-one);
`(xli) tetrahydrogestrinone (13b,17a-diethyl-17b-hydroxygon-4,9,11-trien-3-one);
`(xlii) trenbolone (17b-hydroxyestr-4,9,11-trien-3-one); and
`(xliii) any salt, ester, or ether of a drug or substance described in this paragraph.';
The possession of anabolic steroids is not a criminal act according to Austrian law. In 2008, Austrian government officials announced intent to place criminal penalties on steroid possession.
It is a criminal act to import, supply, use, or possess anabolic steroids in Australia without a prescription from a medical practitioner, dentist, or veterinarian (Poisons and Drugs Act Amendment of 1994). The outlined penalties for possession without a legal prescription include a maximum of 6 months of imprisonment and/or a fine of $5,000.
Anabolic steroids are included in the Canadian Controlled Drugs and Substances Act as Schedule IV substances. It is illegal to sell, manufacture, or import anabolic steroids into Canada without proper legal authorization. Possession of anabolic steroids for personal use is not a criminal act.
In 2008 it became a criminal act to manufacture, import, export, store, or distribute anabolic steroids in the Czech Republic. The potential penalties include a maximum of 3 years in prison. It is not a crime to possess steroids for personal use.
In Denmark it is a crime to manufacture, import, export, market, dispense, distribute, or possess doping substances including anabolic steroids, human growth hormone, and erythropoietin without proper medical or scientific reason (The Act on Prohibition of Certain Doping Substances No. 232 of 21 April 1999). The potential penalties for possession include a maximum of 2 years in prison.
In 2008 it became a criminal offense to manufacture, transport, acquire, or possess doping substances including anabolic steroids, human growth hormone, and erythropoietin in France. The potential penalties for possession include a maximum of 5 years imprisonment and/or a 75,000 Euro fine.
The possession of anabolic steroids is not a criminal act according to Greek law. In 2008, government officials announced intent to place criminal penalties on steroid possession in Greece.
In Sweden it is a crime to import, manufacture, transport, sell, possess, or use doping substances such as anabolic steroids and growth hormone without proper legal authorization (The Swedish Act prohibiting certain doping substances (1991,1969). The potential penalties include a maximum of 2 years in prison. Possession for personal use is usually regarded as a petty offense and given a maximum penalty of 6 months imprisonment.
The importation, possession, and use of anabolic steroids are not criminal acts according to UK law. There has been a great deal of pressure in recent years from the U.S. and World Anti-Doping Agency to place criminal penalties on the possession of anabolic steroids without a prescription.
Wlliam Llewellyn (2011) - Anabolics