Akermanis, a triple premiership player with Brisbane, says players looking to secure a regular spot in the side and extend their careers can become risk-takers.
"There are things, particularly with fringe players, that I always look at," the retired Akermanis told radio SEN.
"Because for fringe players it's worth their while in their minds, to take the risk, to go the drugs, get what they can and try and get an extra three, four, five years on their career if they could.
"That's a lot of money to them and they will take that risk," he said.
Five years ago, Akermanis was ridiculed when he said he was stunned by the extraordinary performance of an unnamed rival player and questioned whether he had been taking performance-enhancing drugs.
"What I was seeing was something that wasn't quite right ... I just wasn't able to prove it and that was the only problem," he said.
"From about 2005 onwards it seemed to be just getting bigger and bigger. The rumours were getting bigger ... the people involved were getting bigger."
And he said there were physical signs that could indicate when players may have been using illegal substances.
"There's lots of things that give them away," Akermanis said.
"Their skin, for one - you can always tell, if they've got beautiful, beautiful skin, always seems supple.
"Their size ... but as you got bigger it actually became harder to run.
"All of a sudden these blokes have gotten three, four, five kilos bigger and are running better than they should," he said.
Akermanis also accused the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) of being "the biggest waste of money the AFL's ever done".
"They've never caught anyone," he said. "What is the point of having a testing company that can't actually catch anyone."