ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: This study investigates the use of anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS) among a national representative sample of high school students in Iceland. We test several hypotheses drawn from three perspectives. The first perspective focuses on the use of AAS as an individual phenomenon motivated by the desire to succeed in sport. The second perspective views the use of AAS as shaped by norms and values embedded in social relationships of formally organized sport. The third perspective suggests that factors outside sport, which have been shown to correlate with the use of other substances, predict the use of AAS. METHOD: We use logistic regression and predicted probabilities to analyze data from a national representative survey of 11031 Icelandic high school students. RESULTS: Our results indicated that the use of AAS is not significantly related to participation in formally organized sports. However, it positively relates to fitness and physical training in informal contexts. We found a relatively strong relationship between the use of AAS and the use of illicit substances and a moderate relationship between AAS use and alcohol and tobacco consumption. We also found a significant negative relationship between AAS use and school integration and school achievement, and a significant positive relationship between AAS use and school anomie. The relation between AAS use and family-related variables was weaker. Finally, we found that the relationship between sport participation, physical exercise, and AAS use varies across levels of anomie and integration. CONCLUSION: Our findings suggest that the use of AAS and especially illegal substances should be considered more as a social and a health problem rather than a sport specific issue. We found that high school students participating in fitness and informal training outside of formally organized sport clubs are the main risk group and should be the target of prevention efforts. However, this should not be done at the expense of general risk factors that affect AAS and other substances used by the general population. Finally, we suggest that prevention efforts should target both groups and individuals.