Outlining a typology of steroid suppliers located on a popular international fitness and bodybuilding Forum

Luke Turnock

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Luke Turnock, Outlining a typology of steroid suppliers located on a popular international fitness and bodybuilding Forum (08.02.2023), Beltz Juventa, 69469 Weinheim, ISSN: 0341-1966, 2021 #3, S.202

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Beschreibung / Abstract

In recent years, there has been a rise in image and performance enhancing drug (IPED) use. With understanding access and supply of drugs important to harm reduction, this article explores IPED supply on a “surface web† fitness forum, outlining a typology of suppliers located in this space, through a digital ethnography drawing data from over 28,800 unique forum posts. Results explore the diversity of supply observed in this cultural space, examining supply along four axes, between open/closed; general/specialist; established/opportunistic; and finally between steroid “brewers† manufacturing product, and “resellers† of premade product. This typology informs understanding of how the “open† yet culturally embedded market structure of forums influences diverse norms of supply, which challenge traditional conceptions of illicit drug markets. The article also illustrates how culturally-embedded market structures in increasingly popular digital market spaces are influencing supply norms.

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