First pushed by the Soviet Union to improve their competitiveness in international competitions (Olympic Games), anabolic steroids are fundamentally sourced from natural derivatives of testosterone. However, the first generation steroids didn’t only increase muscle growth, but also had powerful effects on the masculinisation of the user. From the 70’s onwards, doctors and scientists began to research new derivatives of testosterone which encourage muscle growth with fewer secondary effects.
In the course of the last thirty years, scientists have sought to develop steroids which stimulate preferentially the androgen receptors in the muscle cells. Significant progress was made in this direction, and the steroids designed today have far fewer androgynous side effects than those used by the Soviet Union 30 years ago.
Although there are numerous medical conditions for which anabolic steroids are currently legitimately used as treatment, anabolic steroids are still better known for improving sporting performance. Almost all the major sporting leagues prohibit the use of anabolic steroids, although that doesn’t necessarily prevent their use. The use of anabolic steroids by people for aesthetic reasons is also very popular.