[Dangers and risks of black market anabolic steroid abuse in sports --gas chromatography-mass spectrometry analyses]

Sportverletz Sportschaden. 2000 Mar;14(1):1-11. doi: 10.1055/s-2000-7396.
[Article in German]


Anabolic steroids have become increasingly popular among athletes even at subcompetitive or recreational level instead of extensive doping tests, educational campaigns and lethal incidents. Nowadays, the fitness boom has also produced a population of steroid users at high school level and also under non-sports practicing children. After opening the borders to East Europe an explosion of the black-market for anabolic steroids occurred. Beside the well-known side effects of anabolic steroids new problems and risks occurred due to fake drugs from the black market. This review ist subdivided into two parts: We provide a detailed review of the literature an anabolic steroids to the reader the information needed to make an informed decision an the relative risks and benefits of anabolic steroids. Secondly, we evaluated 40 "anabolic steroids" obtained from the black market using mass spectrometry or gas chromatography analysis to evaluate the real pharmacological compounds. As the results of this analysis, we found that 15 (37.5%) these drugs contained different or any pharmacological compounds as labeled. From the external packing, a differentiation between original and the fake drugs was impossible. Therefore, a large information and credibility gap concerning anabolic steroids particular those from the black market exists between the athletes and the medical and scientific communities. We believe that this gap can only be closed if both groups are be better informed about anabolic steroids.

Publication types

  • Editorial
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anabolic Agents / adverse effects*
  • Anabolic Agents / analysis*
  • Anabolic Agents / chemistry
  • Doping in Sports*
  • Drug Contamination
  • Formularies as Topic
  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry
  • Humans
  • Illicit Drugs / adverse effects*
  • Illicit Drugs / analysis*
  • Illicit Drugs / chemistry
  • Substance Abuse Detection / methods


  • Anabolic Agents
  • Illicit Drugs