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Legality of Steroids: When Were Steroids Banned?




The excessive use of steroids by athletes to further improve their athletic capabilities has caught the attention of many people worldwide. With this attention, a few controversies arose, leading to some countries refusing to legalize some steroids. We are going to talk about the legality of steroids in this article. Please note that the FDA keeps updating the list of illegal steroids as more products come up. Also, some steroids that were previously banned could have the ban lifted if they comply with the set standards. Here is an overview of the legality of steroids in the US and worldwide.


Unfair Advantage

One of the main arguments against using steroids is that they are unfair to other athletes who do not use them. Besides this, there are also issues regarding its adverse effects on the body and some unfortunate crimes of violence from drug use. Whether you're a footballer or track athlete who uses steroids, this is bound to affect your colleagues or competitors somehow. Athletes are more affected by steroid use and abuse because theirs is all about strength and agility, and steroids greatly impact on these two. As for other sports, such as soccer, steroids and other performance-enhancing substances do little to improve skill. The only problem is that the drugs could affect behavior by making players more aggressive and prone to brawls.

When Was It Banned In The US?


Everything started after the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, where the sprinter and steroid user Ben Johnson achieved his controversial victory. Following this event, the US Congress decided to place anabolic steroids under the list of Controlled Substances. Since then, there has been a campaign to have participants in various sports undergo a drug test before they can compete. It eliminates the fair advantage athletes who use steroids enjoy over others. However, the campaign has seen its okay of challenges due to corruption and the fact that some drugs are difficult to detect. Nevertheless, the use of performance-enhancing substances has reduced considerably over the last couple of years.

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has come up with various penalties for possessing, distributing, or manufacturing banned substances. Simple control of a prohibited steroid product attracts 1-year imprisonment, a fine not less than one thousand dollars, or both. The penalty is even more challenging for perennial offenders. It is important to note that these fines are only apply at a federal level, and every state has its own set of laws governing the same.

Hard Steroids

Within no time, the drug was included among the other drugs under the Controlled Substances Act. The Anabolic Steroid Control Act was fully active during the 1990s. Besides the illegal possession of these anabolic steroids, distribution, as well as production, was also prohibited. People and entities found to breach substance prohibition laws would face years behind bars or be ordered to pay huge fines. However, this has not stopped unscrupulous dealers from carrying out the trade. Most culprits would rebrand after being caught and continue producing, distributing, and taking banned substances. In short, the underground steroid market is cancer that will take more than policing to eradicate.

This prohibition made a few pharmaceutical companies stop producing the said drug on US soil. During 2004, prohormones were also added to the controlled substances list and were in effect on January 20, 2005. Nevertheless, the legality of steroids remains a headache to the authorities because it is difficult to monitor or identify people who use them and don't participate in any sport. For instance, the United States has some of the toughest laws on substance use and is also among the highest number of users.

Vague Laws on The Legality of Steroids

The legality of steroids depends on which country you have or carry it. It is because some countries have not banned the use of this substance, nor those that are very strict about it. Additionally, some countries have vague laws on the production, distribution, possession, and consumption of steroids. Such countries have the highest levels of substance abuse due to a lack of regulation. Athletes and other sportspersons participating in sports with strict doping rules are the ones who bear the brand of such non-regulation.

The legality of Steroids Worldwide

Countries such as the US are countries that have considered steroids as a substance that we need to control. They also pass bills that signify the banning of its use. That includes possession, distribution, and manufacturing of the drug. Other Countries that Have Banned Steroids without proper Prescription.

  • Argentina
  • Portugal
  • Canada
  • Brazil
  • Australia

Must Read: Where Steroids Are LegalIs buying injectable steroids online safe?

Punishments for violations of bills passed against these drugs differ from country to country. The United Kingdom has fined multiple steroid manufacturing and distribution companies over 360 million dollars for violating these laws. Some countries have tougher measures on violation, includinge up to 5 years imprisonment. That is not to mention other damages such as career loss which mostly affect professional athletes. It is more about looking after yourself as an athlete and taking care of your career as well concerning steroid use.


You can be imprisoned for ten years if found illegally distributing the said drug. Eighteen months imprisonment is the penalty for distributing illegal steroids in Canada.


If you are using steroids, it may be vital to become aware of specific laws against its use within your home country. It is even more critical if you often travel from country to country. By now, you know that different countries have different laws on the use of controlled substances. Moreover, there are umbrella bodies, especially those in charge of athletics which contain the steroid substances athletes can or cannot use. The earlier you familiarize yourself with these laws, the better and the safer you will be. That is because you may end up imprisoned for years just for the simple mistake of overlooking the country's rules against the drug. Don't forget to go through our blog for more informative articles that will ensure you have a fruitful sports career.

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