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The Use of Anabolic Androgenic Steroids as a Public Health Issue

aManchester Metropolitan University, UK
bUniversity of Bath, UK

Doping in Sport and Fitness

ISBN: 978-1-80117-158-8, eISBN: 978-1-80117-157-1

Publication date: 12 December 2022


In recent years there have been increasing calls for the use of anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS) and associated drugs to be recognized as a public health issue. In the domain of the competitive athlete and professional bodybuilder, recent decades have seen the diffusion of AAS from the hardcore gyms of the 1980s and 1990s to the mainstream exercise and fitness environments of the twenty-first century. Alongside the apparent increases in the use of these drugs, there is a growing evidence base in relation to harms – physical, psychological and (to some extent) social. But is this form of drug use a public health issue? What criteria should we use to make this judgement? What is the available evidence and has our understanding of the issue improved? By drawing on the authors' research in the United Kingdom and the wider international literature this chapter will explore these issues and attempt to answer the fundamental question – is the use of anabolic steroids a public health issue?



McVeigh, J., Bates, G. and Yarwood, G.A. (2022), "The Use of Anabolic Androgenic Steroids as a Public Health Issue", Henning, A. and Andreasson, J. (Ed.) Doping in Sport and Fitness (Research in the Sociology of Sport, Vol. 16), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 71-91.



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