Illegal drugs readily available to gym goers
The New Paper
By Joyce Lim, Shaffiq Alkhatib
SINGAPORE - They have fanciful names like dianabol, stanozolol and deca durabolin.
But these substances can be harmful for those taking them without a doctor's prescription, in a vain attempt to improve their bodies.
While stories of free drug use circulate in pro-athlete circles, casual gym rats here are taking to the 'roids too, thanks - or no thanks - to unscrupulous trainers and dealers who sell these substances on the black market.
The New Paper on Sunday (TNPS) has found that it is not difficult obtaining them.
All it takes is the persona of a potential client who wants the drugs to bulk up or slim down faster.
A personal trainer offered, over the phone, to sell us the goods.
He quoted a price of $70 for 100 tablets of clenbuterol - a substance that claims to help burn body fat quickly.
He then assured the reporter that he has a constant supply of the stimulant and was eager to meet up to close the deal.
TNPS also managed to contact a dealer, an executive in a engineering company, who sells these substances to people in his gym-going circle to make a quick profit.
In a Facebook conversation, however, the 30-year-old self-confessed gym rat stressed that he sells them only to people he knows.
But it did not take much to persuade him into peddling some to an undercover reporter, pretending to be keen on bulking up.
The rendezvous took place in a park in the eastern part of Singapore, where the man sold the reporter 100 pale yellow anabol tablets for $70.
A vial of a substance known as stanozolol, which can be injected, also changed hands for $120.
The tiny vial, containing 20ml of fluid, comes in a box. On it, a warning read: "For animal treatment only."
TNPS understands that anabolic steroids here are often brought in by people who get them from Thailand, where they are available off the shelves.
The reporter was told that stanozololis "a very effective steroid" and that it "can really enhance your performance in the gym".
Research shows that stanazolol is an anabolic steroid which helps promote muscle growth.
It cannot be bought without a prescription here.
Sports medicine physician Dr Chiam Tut Fu, from SportsMed Central at Novena Medical Centre, warns categorically against people using the drugs meant for animals.
He says the misuse of anabolic steroids can lead to complications such as liver problems, an increase in incidence of heart disease and higher blood cholesterol levels.
And if users decide to inject themselves with the steroids, the part injected can be at risk of infection.