Background: Anabolic steroids (AS) are synthetic testosterone derivatives that last longer than physiological androgens in the body. Anabolic-androgenic steroid (AAS) abuse is spreading among athletes. The aim of this study is to assess the knowledge, attitudes, and practices of gym participants in Saudi Arabia. Methods: A cross-sectional survey was carried out among gym users from February 2017 to May 2017. The questionnaire included information on demographics related to the use of AAS and lifestyle habits. Any willing male gym participant could be included. Results: A total of 4860 male gym participants with a mean age of 28.6 + 6.2 years were included. A majority were single, with a bachelors degree or higher. Moreover, 9.8% of the participants used AAS, of which 76.7% reported improved fitness. Friends were the main source of AAS-related information, but only 38.0% of AAS users sought medical consults. The oral route was most common, and testosterone enanthate was the AAS most used. Conclusion: Also, 9.8% of gym participants used AAS and were more likely to be involved in risky habits, such as smoking and growth hormone abuse. They were less aware of potential complications of AAS, with gym trainers being the predominant source of AAS substances.
Key words: Anabolic Androgenic Steroids, AAS, Gym participants, testosterone, growth, hormone