What drugs are used in Weightlifting: Facts & Figures

In this article we give a little overview on the different substances weightlifters have tested positive for.

In Weightlifting the Anabolic Steroid Stanozolol is the most commonly used drug. It is followed by Methandienone and Dehydrochloromethyltestosterone (Oral Turinabol).

Stanozolol is second most popular

Stanozolol has through the years been the prohibited substance of choice for weightlifters. In 2011-2012 the laboratories in Moscow and Cologne developed an improved method for detecting the steroid which resulted in a lot more positive results.

India is the country where most of the weightlifters has tested positive for this anabolic steroid. Kazakhstan has the second most weightlifters caught, but only half of the number of weightlifters from India. Bulgaria has the third most weightlifters caught.

What is Stanozolol?

According to Drugs.com, Stanozolol is a man-made steroid, similar to the a naturally occurring steroid testosterone. It first came on the market in 1962.
It is used in the treatment of hereditary angioedema, which causes episodes of swelling of the face, extremities, genitals, bowel wall, and throat. Stanozolol may decrease the frequency and severity of these attacks.

Banned since 1974

The drug was first banned in sport by the International Olympic Committee and the International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF) in 1974. Its notable mark on sport history came in 1988, when Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson tested positive for stanozolol at the Olympic Games and was stripped of his gold medal in the 100 meters.


On their website, USADA, writes that athletes are responsible for what they put in their body. Dietary supplements and other products can be mislabeled to incorrectly represent the ingredients contained therein. In the past, investigations of some nutritional supplements have shown that they contained prohibited substances, including anabolic steroids such as stanozolol.

Methandienone is second most popular

Methandienone is the second most used steroid amongst weightlifters. It is an anabolic steroid. Our stats show the number of banned athletes is pretty stable where there are around 10-20 weightlifters each year who test positive for this steroid.

India also tops this statistics followed by Bulgaria and Thailand.

What is Methandienone

Metandienone, also known as methandienone or methandrostenolone and sold under the brand name Dianabol, according to Wikiepedia/

It is easily detectable and athletes who use this will get a ban, often four years

Improved method for testing

There was also developed an improved method for detecting Oral Turinabol was developed in 2011-2012 and because of this the number of positive results exploded. Before 2011-2012 the number of athletes who tested positive for this drug was below ten, after 2012 the number rose to 31. It is now slowly being less and less used amongst athletes.

Russia is the country with the most weightlifters who has been banned for used this anabolic steroid followed by Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan.

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