Anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS) are a class of hormones that are overused by athletes and fitness enthusiasts due to the well–known characteristics of increasing muscle mass and strength.
Anabolic agents belong to Class S1 of the Prohibited List and are prohibited all the time – that is, both in competitive and out-of-competition periods.
Unfortunately, the use of AAS among athletes is a very frequent case. Moreover, studies show that recently fitness enthusiasts have started using AAS much more often than before.
In 2020-2022, doping samples selected by RUSADA revealed:
- in 2020 - 17 violations with anabolic agents;
- in 2021 - 29 violations with anabolic agents;
- in 2022 - 14 violations with anabolic agents (first place among the detected prohibited substances from January to August 2022 in samples taken in 2022).
Almost all AAS are imported into Russia and sold here illegally, which can make any buyer, and these are most often coaches and athletes, involved in a criminal case (Article 234 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation). Most often, drugs are produced in the complete absence of quality control. Thus, the content of the drugs is unknown, and their effect is unpredictable.
The list of possible side effects from the use of AAS in sports raises the question – why do athletes still use it Of their own free will?
Short-term side effects: liver necrosis, arterial hypertension, acne, attacks of unmotivated aggression, mood swings, depression, postinfectious abscesses (after intramuscular injection), etc.
Long-term side effects: myocardial infarction, sudden death, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, cerebral stroke, cirrhosis of the liver, growth of malignant tumors, diabetes mellitus, increased injury due to mismatch of growth and strength of muscles and ligaments, impaired libido, psychological dependence, etc.
Additional side effects:
- men — inhibition of endogenous testosterone production, numerous disorders in the sexual sphere, early baldness, etc.
- women — masculinization, a decrease in the timbre of the voice, menstrual cycle disorders, infertility, etc.
The standard period of disqualification of athletes for the use and use of AAS is 4 years. But most often, the use of such drugs is associated with the use of other prohibited substances and violations related to possession and storage, which can increase the period of disqualification, up to life.