Steroids Thailand – A Fairfax Media Investigation

PHUKET: The seedy Thai beach town of Pattaya entices thousands of bodybuilders annually – but it’s not just the sun, sea and sand that draws them. It’s the cheap drugs.

A Fairfax Media investigation found it’s easy to buy performance and image enhancing hormones in Thailand. Prices are up to 10 times less than they fetch in Australia, where police and health experts warn the drugs can cause life-threatening heart and liver damage.

But the ease with which steroids are available is also making them increasingly popular with everyday gym users, who face prosecution if they take the drugs into Australia. A 65-year-old man was recently detained at Sydney Airport on Christmas Day with a range of illegal steroids strapped to his body and hidden in his luggage. He had reportedly planned to post them back home from Pattaya.

According to the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service, the US remains the major source of steroids seized in Australia but it is becoming an increasingly common destination for those seeking to import them. The unchecked global trade in the substances underscores the need for international collaboration to mitigate the adverse impact of illicit steroid distribution on public health and pharmaceutical production.

Many of the drugs are counterfeit and many are adulterated, with poor quality control and inconsistent labelling. Some, such as nandrolone and etizolamide, are known to have serious side effects. They can cause a number of physical and psychological problems including atrophic sterility, breast cancer and the development of masculine features, such as facial hair, in boys and men. Others can trigger an irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure and liver and kidney damage. Steroids Thailand

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