Anabolic-Androgenic Steroid Use in Sports, Health, and Society

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Date of Original Version



This consensus statement is an update of the 1987 American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) position stand on the use of anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS). Substantial data have been collected since the previous position stand, and AAS use patterns have changed significantly. The ACSM acknowledges that lawful and ethical therapeutic use of AAS is now an accepted mainstream treatment for several clinical disorders; however, there is increased recognition that AAS are commonly used illicitly to enhance performance and appearance in several segments of the population, including competitive athletes. The illicit use of AAS by competitive athletes is contrary to the rules and ethics of many sport governing bodies. Thus, the ACSM deplores the illicit use of AAS for athletic and recreational purposes. This consensus statement provides a brief history of AAS use, an update on the science of how we now understand AAS to be working metabolically/biochemically, potential side effects, the prevalence of use among athletes, and the use of AAS in clinical scenarios.

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Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise