Anabolic steroids (AS) are synthetic testosterone derivatives with longer duration of action than physiological
androgens. They are abused in sport because of their potential to enhance muscle strength. Serious medical and psychological
complication may be associated with their non medical use. The aim of the study was to assess the knowledge, attitudes
and use of AS among gym users in Al-Ain district, UAE. A cross sectional survey was carried out among gym users
of 18 randomly selected gyms in Al-Ain city during May, 2006. A self administered questionnaire was distributed to
all gym-users entering and leaving the selected gym by the researchers during the study period and refusals were noted.
The study showed a very high prevalence of misuse AS (22%) among gym users in Al-Ain city. AS use was statistically
significantly higher among UAE nationals, among body builders, weight lifters and among commercial club users compared
to others; and despite awareness of adverse consequences of AS, 7% of non-users were planning future use of AS.
In addition, abusers perceived more benefits from the use of AS than harm. Implementation of programs devoted for increasing
the public awareness is essential and may help avoiding the propagation of the problem.