Steroids and other body-building drugs could be a factor in the rising number of unprovoked assaults in Sydney, including one that has left a New Zealand man in hospital.
Alex McEwen, 19, was punched outside a McDonalds restaurant in western Sydney on Saturday and rushed to hospital in a coma. He has since woken and is talking with family and doctors, but is facing long recovery.
Sydney Morning Herald crime reporter Rachel Olding said the overall rate of assaults in Sydney is dropping but their severity is increasing.
She told Radio New Zealand's Summer Report programme the man charged with assaulting Mr McEwen, 21-year-old Corey Beard, is also charged with possessing steroids.
Ms Olding said there has been a boom in the use of steroids and other body-building drugs in New South Wales.