Are Steroids Legal in Australia?

Anabolic steroid use in Australia is prevalent. It is used primarily for muscle growth and strength gain. Steroids are illegal in Australia and, since 2014, have been reclassified as a narcotic. Accordingly, possession, supply or importation carry heavier penalties and could result in a full-time custodial sentence.

If you have been charged with possession of steroids, you should contact a top Sydney drug lawyer.

Penalty for Possession of Steroids Australia

There are various penalties that apply in Australia for possession of steroids. In NSW, the penalty for possession is imprisonment of 2 years or a fine of $2 200.00. This is under section s10, DRUG MISUSE AND TRAFFICKING ACT 1985;

s10 Possession of prohibited drugs

(1) A person who has a prohibited drug in his or her possession is guilty of an offence.

Penalty for Supply of Steroids

Supply of steroids is considered a supply of a prohibited drug. The penalties for supply of steroids depend on the quantity. Below is a table to summarise the penalties;



Maximum Penalty

Less than 50 grams

Not more than 50 grams

15 years imprisonment or 2000 penalty units or both

Trafficable quantity

Not more than 500 grams

15 years imprisonment or 2000 penalty units or both

Indictable quantity

Not more than 750 grams

15 years imprisonment or 2000 penalty units or both

Less than Commercial quantity

Not more than 5 kilograms

15 years imprisonment or 2000 penalty units or both

More than the commercial quantity

More than 5 kilograms

20 years imprisonment or 3500 penalty units or both

Offence of supplying prohibited drugs on an ongoing basis


20 years imprisonment or 3 500 penalty units or both

In addition, the offence of importing steroids into Australia is a commonwealth offence and is covered by section 233BAA, CUSTOMS ACT 1901

It states at subsection 4;

    (4)  A person commits an offence against this subsection if:

                     (a)  the person intentionally imported goods; and

                     (b)  the goods were tier 1 goods, and the person was reckless as to that fact; and

                     (c)  their importation:

                              (i)  was prohibited under this Act absolutely; or

                             (ii)  was prohibited under this Act unless the approval of a particular

The maximum penalty for this offence is imprisonment for 5 years or 1,000 penalty units or both.

Are there any Defences available for Steroid Offences?

There are defences available for steroid offences. For example, for the charge of possession, having a prescription is a defence providing the prescription was issued before the charges were laid against you.

Further defences available are;

  • Duress; and
  • Necessity.

It is essential to obtain advice from an experienced criminal defence lawyer in considering your option if charged with steroid offences. You may have a valid defence, or you can negotiate the charges laid against you.


  • Mohammad Khan | Criminal Defence Lawyer

    Mohammad Khan is the Principal Solicitor of Lyons Law Group. After graduating with a Bachelor of Aviation from the University of New South Wales, Mohammad took a keen interest in the law. He began training in criminal law under the tutelage of Australia’s leading criminal lawyer Adam Houda and studied law at the University of Sydney.