British Army Chiefs Won’t Rule Out Anabolic Steroids for Troops

British Army Chiefs Won’t Rule Out Anabolic Steroids for Troops

Performance-enhancing drugs may be necessary to keep up with Russian and Chinese soldiers.

Lieutenanat General Chris Tickell, the Deputy Chief of the General Staff (DCGS) for the British Army, refused to rule out the use of anabolic steroids and performance-enhancing drugs as a method for improving soldier performance.

Lt. Gen. Tickell made the controversial comments during a question and answer session at a military think-tank created on behalf of the British Army at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst on October 25, 2019.

“Unethical” to send non-enhanced soldiers onto the battlefield against a juiced enemy.

“You cannot rule it out, because it is arguably unethical to send soldiers into battle against an enemy that is using such substances, putting them at a disadvantage. However, at the moment, having reviewed these options it is a No for us on ethical grounds.”

Lt. Gen Tickell made the comments in response to a question about the use of PEDs by other world superpowers like China and Russia.

The Chinese and Russian governments are suspected of operating a state-sponsored doping program to make their soldiers bigger, faster and stronger. Lt. Gen. Tickell believed this would place British soldiers at a competitive disadvantage.

As noted by Lt. Gen. Tickell, the current UK Ministry of Defence policy currently prohibits the use of anabolic steroids and most performance-enhancing drugs. But Tickell’s statement gave the impression that the policy was subject to change.

The Ministry of Defence released a statement reframing Lt. Gen. Tickell’s comments as a discussion of hypothetical ethical consideration that could arise with future human advancements.

“The general was participating in a discussion on the digital age, potential future ethical considerations and human advancements in warfare. Our drugs policy remains as previously stated.”

The Ministry of Defence previously stockpiled other performance-enhancing drugs such as Provigil, as recently as 2004. The use of other PEDs would not be a big surprise. After all, all is fair in love and war.

  • Nicol, M. (October 27, 2019). Army chiefs consider plan to ply soldiers with steroids and brain-boosting pills to make them fight harder, run faster and survive without sleep, senior officer reveals. Retrieved from

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