insulinAnabolic steroids have been used for a variety of therapeutic and nontherapeutic purposes. Anabolic steroids are derivatives of the male sex hormone, testosterone.

In the mid-1930s two research groups, Ruzicka & Wettstein, and Butenandt & Hanisch isolated androstenedione and converted it to what is now known as testosterone. Following this research the anabolic properties of testosterone have been well documented.

Since these discoveries, various research groups have made modifications to the basic structure of testosterone and produced a range of closely related compounds that are marketed as anabolic steroids. The purpose of the majority of these modifications has been to dissociate the androgenic (masculinizing) properties from the anabolic properties.