In 2004, the FDA cracked down on the manufacture, sale, and distribution of the popular nutritional supplements Andro (androstendione) and Ephedra. Later that year, Congress passed the Anabolic Steroid Control Act. This Act amended the Controlled Substances Act to include designer steroids and steroid precursors, making them illegal to traffic or use. These drugs, such as Andro and THG, are now considered Schedule III drugs, the same as actual anabolic steroids.

I Can Still Buy Andro and Ephedra On-line. Is This Legal?

Ephedra-  Yes. In 2005, a Federal Court overturned the FDA's ban on ephedra. It is legal to buy and sell ephedra so long as each dose contains no more than 10mg of ephedra.

Andro-  No. Due to the Anabolic Steroid Act of 2004, no designer steroid or steroid precursor may be purchased legally without a prescription.  

Penalties for Selling or Possessing Designer Steroids and Steroid Precursors

The Anabolic Steroids Control Act of 2004 defines designer steroids and steroid precursors as a Schedule III drug, and imposes federal penalties for both the illicit possession and sale of steroids. The following are the federal penalties for both possession and sale of steroids: 

  • Simple possession with no prior offenses
    • Up to a year in federal prison; and/or
    • Minimum fine of $1,000.
  • Simple possession with certain prior convictions
    • Minimum 15 days in prison, and up to two years in prison; and/or
    • Minimum fine of $2,000.
  • Possession with intent to sell
    • Up to five years in prison; and/or
    • Minimum fine of $5,000.

While steroids and supplements are not always a top priority for law enforcement officials, recent attention brought by steroid use in professional sports may lead to increased arrests. This is reflected by recent state decisions to test high school athletes for performance-enhancing drugs.

Do I Need a Lawyer?

A criminal defense attorney can advise you of your rights and defenses if you have been charged. Your attorney can also defend you if your case goes to trial. An attorney may also be able to help reduce your sentence, should you choose to accept a plea bargain.