The Dawn of Anabolic Steroid Research
To appreciate the trajectory of anabolic steroids, we commence with antiquity’s insights into the testicles’ critical function in male health and characteristics. Advancements were spurred by Berthold’s 1849 experiments, which linked the testes directly to male sexual traits, marking an inaugural chapter in the story of anabolic steroids.

Testosterone: The Archetype of Steroids
The journey to distill a potent essence from bull testes took flight in 1929, reaching a milestone with testosterone’s synthesis in 1935 by Ruzicka, among others. Testosterone’s creation was a watershed, laying the foundational stone for all subsequent steroid varieties that now significantly impact medical therapy.

Steroids Enter the Competitive Arena
The saga of steroids in competitive sports began to unfold when Dr. John Ziegler encountered Soviet doctors at the 1954 World Weightlifting Championships, learning of their testosterone use. This revelation steered American athletes towards pharmaceutical enhancements, heralding a new era of performance-enhancing drug use.

The East German Steroid Machine
In the 1970s, the German Democratic Republic (GDR) embarked on a clandestine program to engineer new anabolic steroids for their athletes, which led to their dominance in international sports competitions. The sophistication of their doping strategy was unprecedented, showcasing a pinnacle of steroid innovation while sowing the seeds for future controversies.

Olympic Struggles with Steroid Detection
As steroid use flourished, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) struggled to keep pace, instituting the Testosterone: Epitestosterone test in 1982 to catch abusers. Despite their efforts, the GDR’s prior research on fast-clearing testosterone forms outflanked the IOC’s testing protocols, illustrating the perpetual cat-and-mouse game between doping athletes and regulators.