'Gain with no pain’: anabolic-androgenic steroids trafficking in the UK

Georgios Antonopoulos, Alexandra Hall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

14 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Anabolic-androgenic steroids are performance and image enhancing drugs (PIED) that can improve endurance and athletic performance, reduce body fat and stimulate muscle growth. The use of steroids has been studied extensively in the medical and psychological literature, as well as in the sociology of sport, health and masculinity. From the late 2000s, the worldwide trade in steroids increased significantly. However, trafficking in steroids remains a largely under-researched criminological phenomenon with a few notable exceptions. Currently in the UK there are only small and fragmented pieces of information available relating to steroids trafficking in autobiographical accounts of professional criminals. Drawing on original empirical data, the purpose of this paper is to provide an account of the social organisation of the steroids trafficking business in the UK. The trade in steroids is decentralised, highly flexible with no hierarchies, and open to anyone willing to either order the merchandise online, or travel to producing countries and obtain steroids in bulk from legitimate manufacturers. The patterns of trafficking of this specific type of substance are patently conditioned by its embeddedness in the gym/bodybuilding scene and this greatly affects relations between actors in the business. In the steroids market one typically encounters a multitude of individuals likely to drift between legality and illegality, online and offline, use and supply.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)-
Number of pages18
JournalEuropean Journal of Criminology
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 29 Feb 2016

Fingerprint

pain
sociology of sports
illegality
endurance
legality
available information
masculinity
performance
travel
supply
drug
market
health
literature

Cite this

@article{54cd39ed239b4d0a88febec78baa807a,
title = "'Gain with no pain’: anabolic-androgenic steroids trafficking in the UK",
abstract = "Anabolic-androgenic steroids are performance and image enhancing drugs (PIED) that can improve endurance and athletic performance, reduce body fat and stimulate muscle growth. The use of steroids has been studied extensively in the medical and psychological literature, as well as in the sociology of sport, health and masculinity. From the late 2000s, the worldwide trade in steroids increased significantly. However, trafficking in steroids remains a largely under-researched criminological phenomenon with a few notable exceptions. Currently in the UK there are only small and fragmented pieces of information available relating to steroids trafficking in autobiographical accounts of professional criminals. Drawing on original empirical data, the purpose of this paper is to provide an account of the social organisation of the steroids trafficking business in the UK. The trade in steroids is decentralised, highly flexible with no hierarchies, and open to anyone willing to either order the merchandise online, or travel to producing countries and obtain steroids in bulk from legitimate manufacturers. The patterns of trafficking of this specific type of substance are patently conditioned by its embeddedness in the gym/bodybuilding scene and this greatly affects relations between actors in the business. In the steroids market one typically encounters a multitude of individuals likely to drift between legality and illegality, online and offline, use and supply.",
author = "Georgios Antonopoulos and Alexandra Hall",
year = "2016",
month = "2",
day = "29",
doi = "10.1177/1477370816633261",
language = "English",
pages = "--",
journal = "European Journal of Criminology",
issn = "1477-3708",
publisher = "SAGE Publications",

}

'Gain with no pain’: anabolic-androgenic steroids trafficking in the UK. / Antonopoulos, Georgios; Hall, Alexandra.

In: European Journal of Criminology, 29.02.2016, p. -.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - 'Gain with no pain’: anabolic-androgenic steroids trafficking in the UK

AU - Antonopoulos, Georgios

AU - Hall, Alexandra

PY - 2016/2/29

Y1 - 2016/2/29

N2 - Anabolic-androgenic steroids are performance and image enhancing drugs (PIED) that can improve endurance and athletic performance, reduce body fat and stimulate muscle growth. The use of steroids has been studied extensively in the medical and psychological literature, as well as in the sociology of sport, health and masculinity. From the late 2000s, the worldwide trade in steroids increased significantly. However, trafficking in steroids remains a largely under-researched criminological phenomenon with a few notable exceptions. Currently in the UK there are only small and fragmented pieces of information available relating to steroids trafficking in autobiographical accounts of professional criminals. Drawing on original empirical data, the purpose of this paper is to provide an account of the social organisation of the steroids trafficking business in the UK. The trade in steroids is decentralised, highly flexible with no hierarchies, and open to anyone willing to either order the merchandise online, or travel to producing countries and obtain steroids in bulk from legitimate manufacturers. The patterns of trafficking of this specific type of substance are patently conditioned by its embeddedness in the gym/bodybuilding scene and this greatly affects relations between actors in the business. In the steroids market one typically encounters a multitude of individuals likely to drift between legality and illegality, online and offline, use and supply.

AB - Anabolic-androgenic steroids are performance and image enhancing drugs (PIED) that can improve endurance and athletic performance, reduce body fat and stimulate muscle growth. The use of steroids has been studied extensively in the medical and psychological literature, as well as in the sociology of sport, health and masculinity. From the late 2000s, the worldwide trade in steroids increased significantly. However, trafficking in steroids remains a largely under-researched criminological phenomenon with a few notable exceptions. Currently in the UK there are only small and fragmented pieces of information available relating to steroids trafficking in autobiographical accounts of professional criminals. Drawing on original empirical data, the purpose of this paper is to provide an account of the social organisation of the steroids trafficking business in the UK. The trade in steroids is decentralised, highly flexible with no hierarchies, and open to anyone willing to either order the merchandise online, or travel to producing countries and obtain steroids in bulk from legitimate manufacturers. The patterns of trafficking of this specific type of substance are patently conditioned by its embeddedness in the gym/bodybuilding scene and this greatly affects relations between actors in the business. In the steroids market one typically encounters a multitude of individuals likely to drift between legality and illegality, online and offline, use and supply.

U2 - 10.1177/1477370816633261

DO - 10.1177/1477370816633261

M3 - Article

SP - -

JO - European Journal of Criminology

JF - European Journal of Criminology

SN - 1477-3708

ER -