Acne is often present. Acne conglobata is a particularly severe form of acne that can develop during steroid abuse or even after the drug has been discontinued. Infections are a common side effect of steroid abuse because of needle sharing and unsanitary techniques used when injecting the drugs into the skin. These are similar risks to IV drug abusers with increased potential to acquire blood-borne infections such as hepatitis and HIV/AIDS . Skin abscesses may occur at injection sites and may spread to other organs of the body. Endocarditis or an infection of the heart valves is not uncommon.
According to Hunter's 2004 testimony before a federal grand jury, Jones's use of banned drugs began well before Sydney.  Hunter told the investigators that Jones first obtained EPO (Erythropoietin) from Graham, who Hunter said had a Mexican connection for the drug. Later, Hunter said, Graham met Conte, who began providing the coach with BALCO "nutritional supplements", which were actually an experimental class of "designer" steroids said to be undetectable by any drug screening procedures available at the time. Graham then distributed the performance enhancers to Jones and other Sprint Capitol athletes. Still later, Hunter told federal agents, Jones began receiving drugs directly from Conte.
In November 1942, the Italian cyclist Fausto Coppi took "seven packets of amphetamine" to beat the world hour record on the track.  In 1960, the Danish rider Knud Enemark Jensen collapsed during the 100 km team time trial at the Olympic Games in Rome and died later in hospital. The autopsy showed he had taken amphetamine and another drug, Ronicol , which dilates the blood vessels. The chairman of the Dutch cycling federation, Piet van Dijk, said of Rome that "dope – whole cartloads – [were] used in such royal quantities."