LawTalk Blog

Anabolic steroids – the pointy end of criminal law

anabolic steroids

There is a lot of talk in the news about the allegation that the Essendon Football Club have taken performance enhancing drugs and how they may have breached different sporting codes but some of you might be wondering about the legality of taking anabolic steroids when you are not a professional athlete.

It is an offence to have in your possession any prescription drug without lawful authority or reasonable excuse.  Anabolic steroids are a drug that needs to be prescribed by a doctor and are not readily available over the counter. 

You are permitted to have possession of a prescription drug that you do not hold the prescription for if you:

  1. are acting on behalf of the person whom the drug was lawfully prescribed to; or
  2. are the owner of an animal whom the drug has been lawfully prescribed to; or
  3. are a person who is authorised by law to sell or supply prescription drugs; or
  4. are licensed to do so by the Minister; or
  5. have lawful authority or a reasonable excuse for doing so.

If you do not fall into any of these categories, and you are caught with prescription drug in your possession without a valid prescription, then the maximum penalty you face is a $10,000 fine or 2 years imprisonment. 

If a person sells or supplies another person an anabolic steroid it is also an offence unless you fall into any of the following categories:

  1. you are licensed to do so by the Minister;
  2. you are a pharmacist acting in the ordinary course of the pharmacist's profession;
  3. you are a registered health practitioner acting in the ordinary course of the practitioner's profession; and

a)  the practitioner is a dentist, medical practitioner or nurse practitioner; or

b)  endorsed under section 94 of theHealth Practitioner Regulation National Law; or

c)  if the practitioner is authorised to sell the drug by the regulations.

  1. you are a veterinary surgeon acting in the ordinary course of the veterinary surgeon's profession.

Again the maximum penalty you face is a $10,000 fine or 2 years imprisonment.

Therefore one gym buddy giving anabolic steroids to another gym buddy is illegal.  One football player giving another football player anabolic steroids is also illegal.  If you genuinely require steroids for your health then go to a doctor and get a prescription.  If you're just looking for a competitive edge, our strong advice is don't risk it.  People are often prosecuted in relation to these offences.  There is simply too much at stake.



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