Anabolic steroids in athelics: crossover double-blind trial on weightlifters

Br Med J. 1975 May 31;2(5969):471-3. doi: 10.1136/bmj.2.5969.471.


Thirteen experienced male weightlifters taking high-protein diets and regular exercise took part in a double-blind crossover trial of methandienone 10 or 25 mg/day to seeif the drug improved athletic performance. Their improvemments were significantly greater on methandienone than on placebo; their body weights rose (though this seemed to be associated with water retention); and systolic blood pressure rose significantly. Methandienone caused many side effects, and three men had to withdraw because of them. All side effects disappeared after the drug was stopped. Anabolic steroids are effective only when given combination with exercise and high-protein diet. We deprecate their use in athletics but can suggest no way of stopping it.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Acne Vulgaris / chemically induced
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Alanine Transaminase / blood
  • Anabolic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects
  • Body Weight / drug effects
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Dietary Proteins
  • Headache / chemically induced
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / chemically induced
  • Male
  • Methandrostenolone / administration & dosage
  • Methandrostenolone / adverse effects
  • Methandrostenolone / pharmacology
  • Physical Exertion / drug effects*
  • Placebos
  • Sexual Behavior / drug effects
  • Sports Medicine*


  • Anabolic Agents
  • Dietary Proteins
  • Placebos
  • Cholesterol
  • Methandrostenolone
  • Alanine Transaminase