Anabolic-Androgenic Steroids (AAS) are synthetic forms of male sex hormone used by athletes as performance enhancement drugs. The study aimed to assess the characteristics of university student athletes that use AAS and other substances they use. It also assessed their knowledge of the health effects of AAS and their attitude towards use of AAS. Cross-sectional study was conducted among 157 student athletes from December, 2019 to January, 2020 at the Obafemi Awolowo University in Nigeria. Purposive sampling technique was used to select participants, while a self-reported questionnaire was used for data collection. Descriptive and inferential (Chi-square test and Logistic regression) statistical analysis were carried out. Findings showed that many users of AAS were males (85%), undergraduates (92%), involved in court sports (69%), and were from the Faculty of Arts (27%). A significant difference was found between types of sports and the use of AAS (x2 = 11.3, p = 0.05). The logistic regression model showed that females athletes have 56.9% lower odds of using AAS than the male athletes (OR = 0.431; 95% CI = 0.135-1.379) while those in the weightlifting sport will 7 times more likely to use AAS than those in the track and field event sport. Some of the athletes that used AAS also reported they consume Marijuana (35%), alcohol (27%), among other substances. No significant difference existed between the knowledge and attitude of those who used and did not use AAS (p > 0.05). The use of AAS among athletes in the Nigerian University is still a common practice and efforts should be intensified to reduce the incidence.
Key words: Athletes, attitude, knowledge, anabolic androgenic steroids, use
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