Anabolic androgenic steroids in police cases in Sweden 1999-2009

Forensic Sci Int. 2012 Jun 10;219(1-3):199-204. doi: 10.1016/j.forsciint.2012.01.004. Epub 2012 Jan 23.


Anabolic Androgenic Steroids (AAS) are considered drugs of abuse and are controlled substances in Sweden since 1999. Traditionally AAS have been used by elite athletes to enhance performance, but in recent years it has become an increasing problem outside elite sport among athletes, bodybuilders and criminals. Use of AAS is associated with psychiatric side effects such as aggression, depression and violent behavior. Supraphysiological doses and long term use can cause serious physical harm such as cardiovascular toxicity and even premature death. We investigated and evaluated the drug analytical findings in forensic cases from suspected perpetrators in cases from the police where a screening for AAS was requested to get information about the prevalence of AAS use and the occurrence of poly-drug abuse. The study was based on samples submitted from the police authorities to the Department of Forensic Toxicology in Sweden during the period 1999-2009. Urines were analyzed by methods based on GC-MS and LC-MS-MS. We also analyzed the prevalence of AAS use at the prison and probation services. A total number of 12,141 urine samples (6362 police cases and 5779 inmates) were analyzed and 33.5% of the cases from the police and 11.5% of the inmates were tested positive for AAS. The users of AAS were mainly in 99.2% men with a mean age of 26.2±6.2 years whereas the women were 29.5±6.5 years old. The most frequently used AAS was nandrolone followed by testosterone and methandienone. Other illicit and licit drugs were detected in 60% of the cases from the police, strongly indicating a frequent poly-drug abuse among users of AAS.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anabolic Agents / urine*
  • Chromatography, Liquid
  • Female
  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Narcotics / urine
  • Police*
  • Prisoners
  • Substance Abuse Detection
  • Substance-Related Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Sweden / epidemiology
  • Tandem Mass Spectrometry
  • Young Adult


  • Anabolic Agents
  • Narcotics