Sylvester Stallone says prescription testosterone “increases your quality of life”.

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The 61-year-old action star – who was convicted in May 2007 for importing human growth hormone product Jintropin into Australia – insists the substance is “not a steroid”, and claims “everyone over 40” should try it.

He told Time magazine: “Human growth hormone helped me to get up to 209lbs for the new Rambo movie, which is 40lbs heavier than I was for the last one 20 years ago.

“Human growth hormone is nothing. Anyone who calls it a steroid is grossly misinformed. Testosterone to me is important for a sense of well-being when you get older. Everyone over 40 years old would be wise to investigate it because it increases your quality of life.

“Mark my words, in 10 years it will be available over the counter.”

Stallone was arrested last year after 48 vials of Jintropin – which is banned under the Australian Customs Act – were found in his personal luggage at Sydney Airport.

In May, he pleaded guilty to two charges of possessing a controlled substance and was ordered to pay a UKP1,267 fine along with an estimated UKP4,000 court costs.

In a typed apology to the court, Stallone wrote: “I made a terrible mistake. I have never supported the use of illegal drugs or engaged in any illegal activities in my entire life. I wish to express my deepest remorse and again apologise for my actions.”