The prevalence of performance-enhancing drugs in sports has increased in the 43 years since Mirkin, a physician and sports medicine expert, handed out his survey. The desire to win is, naturally, ever present while, at the same time, new research and technologies have expanded the number of options for cheating your way onto the podium. For example, today's performance-enhancing drugs come in many forms other than a pill ("the cream and the clear," a testosterone-based ointment described by accused athletes in court testimony, comes to mind), but the results they produce are still highly sought after. Professional cycling has been repeatedly rocked by revelations and allegations of drug use. Every two years as the Olympic Games begin, we hear about athletes using or at least being tested for performance-enhancing drugs. Major League Baseball is still trying to repair its image from the steroid era. And the list goes on.
Transdermal patches (adhesive patches placed on the skin) may also be used to deliver a steady dose through the skin and into the bloodstream. Testosterone-containing creams and gels that are applied daily to the skin are also available, but absorption is inefficient (roughly 10%, varying between individuals) and these treatments tend to be more expensive. Individuals who are especially physically active and/or bathe often may not be good candidates, since the medication can be washed off and may take up to six hours to be fully absorbed. There is also the risk that an intimate partner or child may come in contact with the application site and inadvertently dose himself or herself; children and women are highly sensitive to testosterone and can suffer unintended masculinization and health effects, even from small doses. Injection is the most common method used by individuals administering AAS for non-medical purposes.