Do you have a question about criminal law offences?


Anabolic Steroid Offences

Anabolic steroids are usually used by weightlifters and bodybuilders to help them accumulate muscle mass. They are also used by athletes who want to increase their athletic performance, although nearly every professional sport has banned their use.

Anabolic steroids are a regulated drug. They cannot be used or possessed without a prescription. Prescriptions in the Australian Capital Territory are regulated by the Medicines, Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Regulation 2008. Anabolic steroids can only be sold or administered by persons who are licensed to do so. Violating those regulations is an offence.

Schedule I to the Crimes Act 1900 in the ACT lists 68 anabolic steroids. Entry 69 refers to any anabolic steroid not mentioned elsewhere in the schedule. It is therefore safe to say that all anabolic steroids are covered by the Crimes Act. If an anabolic steroid is not among the 68 that are specifically listed, however, the prosecution will likely need to obtain expert evidence that the substance meets the definition of an anabolic steroid. The accused then has the opportunity to present evidence suggesting that the substance was something other than an anabolic steroid.

Prescription and supply

Doctors, pharmacists filling prescriptions, and others who are authorized by law may prescribe or supply anabolic steroids, but only if they are registered under the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989. A new or “designer” anabolic steroid that has not been registered cannot be supplied under any circumstances. Doing so violates section 171 of the Crimes Act. The offence is punishable by a maximum sentence of 5 years and/or a fine.

Possession or administration

Section 172 of the Crimes Act makes it an offence to possess an anabolic steroid unless it was obtained from someone who was authorized to supply it. In most cases, that means you cannot possess an anabolic steroid unless it was prescribed to you.

Section 173 of the Crimes Act makes it an offence to administer an anabolic steroid to yourself or to someone else unless you are authorized to do so. Some anabolic steroids are swallowed in pill form but many are injected. You cannot inject another person, or yourself, with an anabolic steroid unless you have legal authority to do so. Doctors are generally the persons who have the authority to administer anabolic steroid injections.

The penalty for illegally possessing or administering an anabolic steroid is a maximum sentence of 6 months and/or a fine.

Ask a Question - It Is Free