December 12, 2014

Senate Approves Bipartisan Bill to Protect Consumers from Steroids

Washington, D.C. – The U.S. Senate has unanimously approved legislation to end a loophole that allows designer anabolic steroids to easily be found online, in gyms, and even in retail stores.  The Designer Anabolic Steroid Control Act, sponsored by U.S. Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT), will help protect consumers from these harmful products by properly classifying them as controlled substances and impose civil penalties for importing, manufacturing, or distributing them under false labels.

The bill was approved by the House of Representatives in September, and will now be sent to the President to be signed into law.

“The world’s top athletes are subject to strict guidelines and rigorous testing to prevent the use of steroids, as they should be.  At the same time, many American citizens may be unknowingly dosing themselves with these harmful substances,” said Senator Whitehouse.  “American consumers deserve to know what is in the products they purchase.  This bill will help prevent the sale of falsely labeled steroids, and I’m glad it will become law.  I thank Senator Hatch for his support and Judiciary Chairman Leahy for enabling this bill to move forward.”

“This is a commonsense bill that will protect consumers by giving DEA the tools and authority to remove dangerous steroids from the market,” said Hatch.  “I’m pleased Senator Whitehouse and I could work together in bipartisan fashion to help make this important law a reality.”

Designer steroids are produced by reverse engineering existing illegal steroids and then slightly modifying their chemical composition, so the resulting product is not on the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) list of controlled substances.  When taken by consumers, designer steroids can cause serious medical harm, including liver injury and increased risk of heart attack and stroke.  They may also lead to aggression, hostility, and addiction.

The Designer Anabolic Steroid Control Act would:

  • Immediately place 25 known designer anabolic steroids on the list of controlled substances;
  • Grant the DEA authority to temporarily schedule new designer steroids on the controlled substances list, so that if bad actors develop new variations, these products can be removed from the market;
  • Create new penalties for importing, manufacturing, or distributing anabolic steroids under false labels; and
  • Authorize the Attorney General to publish a list of products containing an anabolic steroid that are not properly labeled.

The legislation was supported by a coalition of organizations, including:

American Academy of Family Physicians

American Association of Nurse Practitioners

American Pharmacists’ Association

Council for Responsible Nutrition

United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA)


Press Contact

Meaghan McCabe, (202) 224-2921