Misuse of anabolic products in sport: a retrospective study of phone calls at the Écoute Dopage anti-doping hot-line

Therapie. Jan-Feb 2013;68(1):27-9. doi: 10.2515/therapie/2013006. Epub 2013 Mar 14.


Objective: The aim of this retrospective study was to analyze the calls concerning anabolic products (AP), received at Écoute Dopage, a French anti-doping hot-line.

Methods: We reviewed all phone calls handled between 2000 and 2008, among them 214 concerned AP. Information collected include demographic data, reason for the phone call, name of AP, characteristic of consumption, adverse reactions.

Results: Fifteen different AP (mainly testosterone) were reported. Calls concerned information about side-effects (42% of calls), risk for doping (28%), and risk for health (10%), psychological assistance (10%), and legislation (2%). Most calls came from fitness practitioners or bodybuilders (85%). The reason for use was documented in 137 subjects: to increase muscular strength (76%), improve social life ability (15%), improve sporting ability (6%), and losing weight (3%). Eighty subjects (37%) reported at least one side-effect mainly uro-genital (40 cases) or psychic disorders (25 cases), both 15 cases. Among these 80 patients, 17 patients (21.25%) presented signs of AP dependence.

Conclusion: The abuse of AP in sport is a public health problem well known, but data on the dependence on AAS are sparser. Information and education should be emphasise to fight against doping.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anabolic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Anabolic Agents / adverse effects
  • Doping in Sports*
  • Female
  • France
  • Hotlines*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Young Adult


  • Anabolic Agents