Offences Relating to Anabolic Steroids


In the ACT the prescription, supply, possession and administration of anabolic steroids is highly restricted.

This section covers each of these offences and their maximum penalties, which range from fines of 50 to 500 penalty units, and terms of imprisonment from 6 months to 5 years, depending on the offence.

What is an Anabolic Steroid?

Well known examples of anabolic steroids are Testosterone, Bolasterone, Clostebol and Mesabolone.

However, for the purposes of these offences an anabolic steroid is defined as any of the substances listed in Schedule 1 of the Crimes Act 1900 as well as any of the following:-

  • A salt, active principle or derivative of the substance;
  • A stereoisomer of the substance;
  • A preparation or admixture containing any proportion of the substance;
  • A salt of an active principle or derivative of the substance; and
  • A salt of a stereoisomer of the substance.

Administering Anabolic Steroids

It is an offence under section 173 of the Crimes Act 1900 to administer an anabolic steroid to yourself or someone else. Conviction for this offence can result in a fine of up to 50 penalty units and/or 6 months imprisonment.

However, it is not an offence if:-

  • The anabolic steroid is registered under the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989; or
  • The anabolic steroid was administered for the purposes of a clinical trial under the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989.

What The Police Must Prove

The prosecution must prove each of the following matters beyond reasonable doubt:-

That you administered a substance to:

  • Yourself; or
  • Someone else; and

That the substance you administered was an anabolic steroid.

However, you have not committed an offence if:

  • The anabolic steroid was registered under the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989; or
  • It was administered for the purposes of a clinical trial conducted under the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989.

Which Court Will Hear Your Matter?

This is a summary matter and will be dealt with in the ACT Magistrates Court.

Possessing Anabolic Steroids

It is an offence under section 172 of the Crimes Act 1900 to possess an anabolic steroid. Conviction for this offence can result in a fine of up to 50 penalty units and/or 6 months imprisonment.

However, it is not an offence if:-

  • You are authorised under the Medicines, Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Act 2008 to manufacture, possess or supply the anabolic steroid; or
  • You obtained the anabolic steroid from someone who is authorised under the Medicines, Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Act 2008 to manufacture, possess or supply the anabolic steroid.

What the Police Must Prove

To convict you of possessing an anabolic steroid, the prosecution must prove each of the following matters beyond reasonable doubt:-

  • That you possessed a substance; and
  • That substance was an anabolic steroid.

To ‘possess’ something you do not have to be in physical possession of it. It is sufficient that you have custody or control of it, for example if the anabolic steroid is in your car or in your house.

However, you have not committed an offence if:

  • You were authorised under the Medicines, Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Act 2008 to manufacture, possess or supply the anabolic steroid; or
  • You had obtained the anabolic steroid from someone who is authorised under the Medicines, Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Act 2008 to manufacture, possess or supply the anabolic steroid.

Which Court Will Hear Your Matter?

This is a summary matter and will be dealt with in the ACT Magistrates Court.

Supplying Anabolic Steroids

It is an offence under section 171(2) of the Crimes Act 1900 to supply an anabolic steroid to someone else for human use. Conviction for this offence can result in a fine of up to 500 penalty units and/or 5 years imprisonment.

However, it is not an offence if:-

  • The anabolic steroid is registered under the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989; or
  • The anabolic steroid was supplied for the purposes of a clinical trial under the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989.

What The Police Must Prove

The prosecution must prove each of the following matters beyond reasonable doubt:-

  • That you supplied a substance; and
  • That substance was an anabolic steroid; and
  • It was for someone else; and
  • It was for human use.

Supply includes selling, offering or exposing the anabolic steroid for sale, dispensing it by supplying on prescription, supplying it under a requisition or standing order, or disposing of the anabolic steroid by any method for free.

However, you have not committed an offence if:-

  • The anabolic steroid was registered under the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989; or
  • It was prescribed for the purposes of a clinical trial under the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989.

Which Court Will Hear Your Matter?

This is an indictable matter but may be dealt with in either the ACT Supreme Court or the ACT Magistrates Court, depending what the prosecution and/or you elect.

It is an offence under section 171(1) of the Crimes Act 1900 to prescribe an anabolic steroid for someone else for human use. Conviction for this offence can result in a fine of up to 500 penalty units and/or 5 years imprisonment.

However, it is not an offence if:-

  • The anabolic steroid is registered under the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989; or
  • The anabolic steroid was prescribed for the purposes of a clinical trial under the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989.

What the Prosecution Must Prove

The prosecution must prove each of the following matters beyond reasonable doubt:-

  • That you issued a prescription for a substance; and
  • That substance was an anabolic steroid; and
  • It was for someone else; and
  • It was for human use.

However, you have not committed an offence if:-

  • The anabolic steroid was registered under the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989; or
  • It was prescribed for the purposes of a clinical trial under the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989.

Which Court Will Hear Your Matter?

This is an indictable matter but may be dealt with in either the ACT Supreme Court or the ACT Magistrates Court, depending what the prosecution and/or you elect.

If you require legal advice or representation in any legal matter, please contact Armstrong Legal.

WHERE TO NEXT?

If you suspect that you may be under investigation, or if you have been charged with an offence, it is vital to get competent legal advice as early as possible. Our lawyers are highly specialised in criminal law and will be able to guide you through the process while dealing with the various authorities related to your matter.

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