Mon 11 Mar 2013 | 10:22

Substance abuse - again

Substance abuse - again
Mon 11 Mar 2013 | 10:22

Substance abuse - again


Rapport newspaper reports on its investigation into the use of banned substances for performance enhancement, and points some frightening finds.

The worst of all is that of a police investigation of a case in which a coach at a Gauteng school who is thought to have been providing his players with illegal substances.

The newspaper reports that Ferdi Niemand of the Blue Bulls Schools Association has confirmed that the union had received an official complain and that there is a sworn statement to this effect.

Moreover Khalid Galant, the CEO of the South African Institute for Drug-free Sport (Saids) confirmed that he was informed of the matter last Tuesday. On receiving the information Saids had handed the matter to the police. He said: The information seemed reliable and the case is now in the legal system."

The father of a Craven Week boy who tested positive for the use of the banned substance Dianabol said that the boy's coach had told him that steroids were less dangerous than coffee and cigarettes. His son was banned from rugby for two years.

Another father told how his 15-year-old son injected himself with steroids bought from friends. He developed septicaemia and the treatment for it cost R30 000.

That is an horrific situation and again suggests how important it is for schools to know why they play rugby. If it is not for educational reasons, then they will get it wrong.

The Rapport report speaks of the easy availability of forbidden substances, amongst them two types of horse steroids which are in fact forbidden for animal use in South Africa.

They are called horse steroids as they were first developed for use on racehorses but they are also used by athletes. Apparently they can be obtained via the Internet. Rapport reporters bout a 10ml ampule of the horse steroid Trenbolone for R500. Trenbolone acetate, a hormone steroid, is regarded as the strongest of the horse steroids.

Rapport says that it consulted a vet and a sports doctor and they warned that this horse steroid heightens the risk of a heart attack 'dramatically'.  There are also other  physical dangers.

They also bought 50 10mg tablets of Dianabol for R190, a steroid which it says is popular amongst schoolboys because it stays in the system for only about six weeks and is used in the offseason to build muscles. The tablets were delivered from Gordons Bay.

The newspaper reporters say they bought a 10ml bottle of Dianabol for use by injection from another dealer, Leviathon Gear Factory for R400. It was delivered in an unlabelled bottle and the money was paid into the Absa account of Mev. A Fourie.

Trenbolone and another horse steroid, Equipoise (•Boldenone-Undecylenate) are regularly  on the top of steroid traffickers' price lists. Rapport was able to purchase Trenbolone from the website Evolve Anabolics, which has since been remoived from the Internet. It bought steroids from other websites, none of which tried to establish that the purchaser was over the age of 18.

Banned substances for physical enhancement are, apparently, freely available, sometimes via the Internet, sometimes through Facebook, sometimes from dishomnest pharmacists who do not require a prescription, sometimes through gymnasiums, sometimes from companies providing 'supplements".

It is not cheap. A 17-year-old boy said that he paid R1 000 for his first batch of 200 Dianabol pills. He then paid R900 for his first 10ml of injectable Sutanon. Later in the year he paid R2 400 for 20ml Trenbolone and 20ml Equipoise.

PV: 63
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