Objective: Little is known about anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS) misuse in the Caribbean region in spite of increased popularity among athletes and adolescents. The present study examines the usage of AAS among competitive athletes in Puerto Rico.
Methods: Doping test results of competitive athletes obtained by random sampling out of competition during the 2000–2009 period were analysed. Doping tests were executed by the Centre for Sports, Health and Exercise Sciences (Albergue Olímpico, Salinas, Puerto Rico). A total of 550 athletes were monitored during 2000–2009. Information was collected with regard to competitive sport, gender and AAS compounds whenever a positive test result was encountered.
Results: From the total sample of monitored cases during the past decade, 5.4% showed adverse analytical findings. Anabolic androgenic steroids misuse was detected among male (62%) and female (38%) athletes. Weightlifting showed the greatest percentage of positive AAS doping test results (70% of total cases) and stanozolol was the most commonly misused exogenous androgen (60% of abused AAS whether alone or as part of a cocktail). Testosterone was the most common endogenous misused steroid (10% of misused compounds).
Conclusion: In Puerto Rico, AAS misuse was detected across competitive sports for both genders. Although AAS misuse among Puerto Rican athletes shares some features that are consistent with the international sports community, it is imperative to address AAS misuse in the Caribbean region.