The illicit anabolic steroid market includes steroids that are not commercially available in the . as well as those which are available. Steroids that are commercially available in the . include fluxoymesterone (Halotestin® ), methyltestosterone, nandrolone (Deca-Durabolin® , Durabolin ® ), oxandrolone (Oxandrin® ), oxymetholone (Anadrol® ), testosterone, and stanozolol (Winstrol® ). Veterinary steroids that are commercially available in the . include boldenone (Equipoise® ), mibolerone, and trenbolone (Revalor® ). Other steroids found on the illicit market that are not approved for use in the . include ethylestrenol, methandriol, methenolone, and methandrostenolone.
There was some controversy surrounding "Up the Down Steroid" and the 2005 film The Ringer , as both feature the same plot: someone pretending to be disabled in order to compete in the Special Olympics.  The Ringer was written and filmed months before this episode was aired, although, The Ringer was not released to the public until after this episode aired. According to the episode's DVD audio commentary, series co-creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone did not think that they ripped off The Ringer , since the idea to them did not seem hard to come up with, and they did not even think it was big enough for a twenty-minute episode let alone a two-hour film.  In the opening scene, the boys are playing the same "Investigative Reports with Bill Kurtis " funtime game as they did in the season four episode " Cartman Joins NAMBLA ". 
Depending on the number and character of their functional groups, steroid molecules may show diverse reactivities. Moreover, the reactivity of a functional group varies according to its location within the molecule (for example, esters are formed readily by 3-OH groups but only with difficulty by the 11β-OH group). An important property of steroids is polarity —., their solubility in oxygen-containing solvents (., water and alcohols ) rather than hydrocarbon solvents (., hexane and benzene ). Hydroxyl, ketonic, or ionizable (capable of dissociating to form electrically charged particles) groups in a steroid molecule increase its polarity to an extent that is strongly influenced by the spatial arrangement of the atoms within the molecule.