International Olympic Committee accredited laboratories play a key role in upholding the principle of fair play and innate ability, as desired by the majority of sports competitors and spectators. Not only does doping damage the image of sport, but it can also be harmful to the individual. The great majority of samples test negative but, when an adverse finding is declared, the analytical data must be of a sufficiently high standard to withstand legal challenges by third parties. The most widely misused performance-enhancing drugs are the anabolic-androgenic steroids, commonly referred to as 'anabolic steroids'. This review attempts to address the complex issues concerning anabolic steroids in sport by considering the clinical, biochemical and analytical perspectives.
Even though anabolic steroids do not cause the same high as other drugs, they can lead to addiction. Studies have shown that animals will self-administer steroids when they have the chance, just as they do with other addictive drugs. People may continue to abuse steroids despite physical problems, high costs to buy the drugs, and negative effects on their relationships. These behaviors reflect steroids' addictive potential. Research has further found that some steroid users turn to other drugs, such as opioids, to reduce sleep problems and irritability caused by steroids.