Steroid Madness - has the dark side of anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS) been over-stated?

Steroid Madness - has the dark side of anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS) been over-stated? / Kyle J.D Mulrooney, Katinka van de Ven, Jim McVeigh, Rick Collins. - (Performance Enhancement & Health 6 (2019) 3-4 (June); p. 98-102).

  • DOI: 10.1016/j.peh.2019.03.001


Recently the journal Performance Enhancement & Health put out a call to produce a special issue on the dark side of human enhancement, including the use of legal and illegal substances, leading usto ponder whether the “dark side” of anabolic-androgenic steroids (from here on, “steroids”) has been overstated. In this commentary, we will briefly engage with this question by unpacking what we describe here as the “narrative of harm”, which tends to dominate discourses on steroid use in wider society. We then consider analternative perspective on steroid use which focuses on the users’ experience and understanding, with particular attention to the role of pleasure. Finally, we conclude by exploring some of the negative policy consequences arising from the dominance of the “narrative of harm” and advance a regulatory approach grounded in rational and research informed discussions around both the pleasures andpains of steroid use.

A more developed version of this argument can be found in the forthcoming collection Human Enhancement Drugs, published by Routledge in 2019 (Mulrooney, van de Ven, McVeigh, & Collins, 2019).

Original document


19 May 2019
Collins, Rick
McVeigh, Jim
Mulrooney, Kyle J.D.
Ven, Katinka van de
United Kingdom
United States of America
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Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU)
University of New England (UNE) (Australia)
University of New South Wales (UNSW Sydney)
Doping classes
S1. Anabolic Agents
Medical terms
Body image
Health effects
Gym/fitness environment
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Scientific article
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Date generated
23 January 2020
Date of last modification
16 May 2022
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