Boomers And The Illicit Steroid Market

| October 21, 2015 | Email This Post Email This Post

9188269_m(Mark Boster/Los Angeles Times via Getty) Earlier this month, the Drug Enforcement Administration announced that it had busted 16 underground labs and seized 134,000 steroid tablets and pills, 8,200 liters of injectable steroid liquid (that’s 140 kegs worth), and 1,400 pounds of the raw powder.)

Earlier this month, the Drug Enforcement Administration announced that it had busted 16 underground labs and seized 134,000 steroid tablets and pills, 8,200 liters of injectable steroid liquid (that’s 140 kegs worth), and 1,400 pounds of the raw powder from which steroids are made. In Arizona alone, four labs and 150,000 doses of all types were taken by DEA agents in an undercover operation that spanned 20 states and four foreign countries.

There are, clearly, a lot of steroids out in the world. Investigators suspect there are hundreds more labs churning out performance-enhancing drugs. According to the DEA, most of the material used to make steroids isn’t even in the U.S. – it’s in China. As big as it was, the DEA inquiry offers a view through the smallest of keyholes of this illicit business.

One reasonable inference from the amount of steroids seized might be: there must be a heck of a lot of athletes who are doping. And that’s true.

This month, the British Parliament released a previously unpublished study by the World Anti-Doping Agency that used anonymous surveys to estimate the prevalence of doping at some recent competitions. It estimated that between 29 and 34 percent of the athletes at the 2011 world championships in track and field in Daegu, South Korea used performance-enhancing drugs that season. As many as half of the competitors at the 2011 Pan-Arab Games in Doha, Qatar had recently juiced, the study found. (I was at those Pan-Arab Games, and privy to the barely noted fact that nine gold medals were stripped before the event even ended.)

Click here to view original web page at www.propublica.org

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