The Controlled Substances Act was amended in 1990 and thereafter also amended the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act for applying penalties that were applicable to the distribution of anabolic steroids to the distribution of human growth hormones. This amendment paved the way for the Anabolic Steroid Control Act of 1990 that was sponsored by Rep Hughes, William J. [NJ-2] and was introduced on 26th April 1990 and was co-sponsored by Rep Mazzoli, Romano L. [KY-3], Rep McCollum, Bill [FL-5], and Rep Smith, Lawrence [FL-16].
The Act was aimed at establishing penalties for advisers or physical trainers who persuade or encourage individuals to make use or possess anabolic steroids. This Act defined “anabolic steroid” as a drug or hormonal substance that is promoting muscle growth in a manner pharmacologically similar to testosterone, including specified substances and added steroids as a schedule III substance under such Act.
The Anabolic Steroid Control Act of 1990 was referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce on 26th April 1990 and was thereafter referred to the Subcommittee on Health and the Environment on 14th May 1990.
According to the Act, coaches and others who persuade or induce use of steroids shall be fined under title 18 of the United States code, or may be imprisoned for a period not more than two years, or both. The Act further stated that the maximum imprisonment shall be five years if the individual persuaded or induced has not attained the age of eighteen years. For the purpose of this Act, the term ‘physical trainer or adviser’ refers to any amateur or professional coach, trainer, instructor, manager, or other such person who offers any physical or athletic instruction, assistance, training, or other such service to any individual.
Section 102 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 802) was amended to define anabolic steroid as any drug or hormonal substance that is used for promoting growth of muscles in a manner that is pharmacologically similar to testosterone, and includes–
(Y) Trenbolone; and
(Z) Any salt, ester, or isomer of a drug or substance described or listed in this paragraph, if that salt, ester, or isomer promotes muscle growth.’
Subsection (e) of section 303 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. 333) was amended for penalty on distribution of human growth hormone (HGH) by inserting human growth hormone in place of anabolic steroid at every place and by adding that `human growth hormone’ means somatrem, somatropin, or an analogue of either of them’ at the end. Section 404 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 844) was amended and ` (a)’ before `It shall be unlawful’ in the first undesignated paragraph was inserted.
Before enactment of this Act, criminal penalties were specifically set forth for traffickers in anabolic steroids for non-medical reasons under 1988 legislation amending the Food and Drug Act. The Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988, Pub. L. No. 100-690, Sec 2401, 102 Stat. 4181 (1988) was repealed in November, 1990, effective February 1991, by the Anabolic Steroids Control Act. Between 1988 and 1990, Congressional hearings were held for evaluating whether the Controlled Substances Act should get an amendment to include steroids along with more serious drugs like cocaine and heroin. A big majority of witnesses including medical professionals and representatives of regulatory agencies (including the FDA, the DEA and the National Institute on Drug Abuse) recommended against the proposed amendment to the law. The American Medical Association went on to say that abuse of anabolic steroids does not result in physical or psychological dependence required for scheduling under the Controlled Substances Act and recommended education, not criminalization, for combating steroid abuse. The Congress nevertheless scheduled steroids as Schedule III controlled substances under Title 21 of the United States Code.
On November 29, 1990, the Anabolic Steroids Control Act of 1990 became law when President George Herbert Walker Bush, the forty-first United States President, signed the Omnibus Crime Control Bill that was slated to be applied in every Federal court across the country. The law categorized anabolic steroids in the same legal class (Schedule III) as methamphetamines, opium, morphine, and amphetamines. The simple possession of steroids was made a federal offense punishable by up to one year in prison and/or a minimum fine of $1,000 and a person with a past conviction for specific offenses and indulging in simple steroid possession was to get imprisonment of at least 15 days and up to two years, and a minimum fine of $2,500. People with a history of two or more such convictions face imprisonment of not less than 90 days but not more than three years, and a minimum fine of $5,000 for simple possession of anabolic steroids. Sale or possession of steroids with intent to sell was made punishable by up to five years in prison (with at least two additional years of supervised release) and/or a fine of $250,000. A person who committed such a violation and was previously convicted for a drug offense could face up to ten years imprisonment (with at least four additional years of special parole) and/or increased fines.
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) initiated hundreds of anabolic steroid investigations between February 1991 and February 1995 and any one arrested for even simple possession of steroids faced the prospects of a criminal prosecution. The Anabolic Steroid Control Act of 1990 was to be enforced and violations prosecuted in every state and the primary federal law enforcement agencies dealing with anabolic steroids include the U.S. Postal Inspectors, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), and U.S. Customs. Approximately twenty-two states (Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Texas) had tightened control over anabolic steroids during 1989 and 1990, according to a 1991 survey of anabolic steroid state legislation.