The Designer Anabolic Steroid Control Act 2014 (the 2014 Act) is sponsored by Joseph Pitts, a Republican and representative for Pennsylvania's 16th congressional district. It is a House of Representatives bill. The 2014 Act was recently passed by the US House of Parliament and will soon be going to the Senate.
In order for a bill to be enacted and to become an official Act, it must be passed by both the House of Parliament and the Senate in identical form and then be signed by the president to become law. It should be noted that only about 23% of bills that made it past the committee stage between the years 2011–2013 were enacted and as such, the 2014 Act only has a 57% chance of being enacted by the President and brought into US law (www.govtrack.us). If the 2014 Act is passed it will have legal force in the US and will become legally binding on all US states.
The purpose of the 2014 Act is to ‘amend the Controlled Substances Act to more effectively regulate anabolic steroids.’ The Controlled Substances Act (the CSA) was passed by the 91st US Congress as Title II of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970 (the 1970 Act); it was signed into law by then President, Richard Nixon. The CSA regulates the manufacture, importation, possession, use and distribution of certain substances.
There are five schedules / classifications under the CSA which outline the various qualifying requirements necessary for a substance to be included in any given schedule. The Drug Enforcement Administration (the DEA) and the Food and Drug Administration (the FDA) determine which substances will / not be included, added or removed from each schedule.
Anabolic steroids are among those substances listed in the CSA. The 2014 Act will expand the list of anabolic steroids to be regulated by the DEA by approximately 20-25 steroid which were previously ignored by the CSA. The 2014 Act also creates a number of new crimes relating to the labelling of steroids – the false labelling of steroids could result in a penalty being imposed of $500,000 (maximum).
An anabolic steroid is commonly known as a synthetic steroid hormone which resembles testosterone in promoting the growth of muscle. For the purposes of the 2014 Act, an anabolic steroid is any drug or substance which ‘has been created or manufactured with the intent of producing a drug or other substance that either – (a) promotes muscle growth; or (b) otherwise causes a pharmacological effect similar to that of testosterone; or (ii) the drug or substance has been, or is intended to be, marketed or otherwise promoted in any manner suggesting that consuming it will promote muscle growth or any other pharmacological effect similar to that of testosterone’ (www.govtrack.us). However, a substance will not be considered to be an anabolic steroid if it is:
A herb or other botanical;
A concentrate, metabolite, or extract of, or a constituent isolated directly from, an herb or
other botanical; or
A combination of 2 or more substances described in item (aa) or (bb);
A dietary ingredient for purposes of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. 301
et seq.); and
Not anabolic or androgenic.
Oestrogens, progestins, corticosteroids, and dehydroepiandrosterone are also exempt from the 2014 Act. Any individuals claiming the benefit of any of the above exemptions to the 2014 Act must evidentially prove that the substance in question is in fact exempt.
The 2014 Act imposes a further provision authorising the Attorney General of the US (the AG) to add a drug or substance to the list of anabolic steroids once he /she is satisfied that it meets the criteria for being an anabolic steroid and that such an addition will aid in the prevention of substance abuse and misuse. The AG will also be given the power to collect data and analyse products to determine whether they contain anabolic steroids and are properly labelled, and to publish a list of products containing an anabolic steroid that are not properly labelled (www.congress.gov).