Drug crackdown hits hurdle (Steroids and China)

By enquirewithin · Dec 6, 2007 · ·
  1. enquirewithin
    Apart from the usual tedious US whining about China (or some other country) blaming them for US problems (China doesn't make US athletes take steroids ans virtually all US and international athletes athletes take them), there is some interesting information in this article.

    Even if the US did succeed in stopping Chinese factories making steroids some one else would soon take over.


    Drug crackdown hits hurdle

    Maureen Fan and Amy Shipley

    HKStandard Thursday, December 06, 2007 (from the Washington Post)

    In the fall, US authorities announced a massive raid against underground suppliers of steroids, human growth hormone and other performance-enhancing drugs. Investigators had cast their net wide, arresting 124 people in 27 states.

    But to determine the origin of the steroids, investigators had to look to only one place: China.

    Since at least 2005, when a US-led crackdown crippled Mexico's steroid industry, Chinese firms have been supplying the vast majority of the steroids sold over the internet, according to US law enforcement officials.
    Those steroids are used by a wide range of athletes, from amateur bodybuilders to top-tier professionals.

    Now, because of US pressure and with the Olympics Games in Beijing only eight months away, mainland authorities say they are scrutinizing the companies accused of exporting steroids and vowing to better police the trade. But interviews with steroid manufacturers, suppliers and government authorities highlighted the barriers to effectively containing the problem: confusion over regulations reigns, and companies can manipulate the system.

    American investigators have identified at least 37 Chinese companies that are involved in the illicit trade of steroids. Many of the companies could not be reached. Of the firms that were contacted, 10 said they no longer sold steroids or no longer exported them. But four said they could sell the compounds. One company appeared to have shut its operations in one province only to reopen in another.

    Several companies expressed bafflement at the sudden scrutiny by the Chinese government, saying vague laws made unclear exactly what was illegal.

    The steroids issue is particularly sensitive as China prepares to host its first Olympics. Mainland authorities are determined to use the Games as an opportunity to showcase their country as a modern state and are keen to prevent any potential embarrassments.

    China's State Food and Drug Administration last month announced a five-agency investigation and a plan to "standardize" production and distribution of steroids.

    While the country's FDA has provided no further details and would not comment specifically on the mainland companies being targeted, it has said the investigation is the first of its size and scope.
    International law enforcement officials with knowledge of the earlier US investigation are hopeful that the Chinese can curb the trade but also skeptical, and they note that they have not received much communication from Beijing.

    "The biggest question is sustainability. Is this going to last past the Olympics?" said one official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. "We need to see some action. They need to prove themselves. We're seeing inklings of progress, but in other respects we're seeing nothing."
    There are some signs that the mainland investigation is having an effect, at least for now. In interviews, several Chinese steroid companies reported having been questioned by authorities and having received orders to halt exports.

    Meanwhile, at a pharmaceutical industry conference in Shenzhen last month, several companies known to have sold steroids were noticeably absent, attendees said. Other companies complained that the investigation had hurt their business and said that they had turned to selling other products.

    A recent visit to the town of Xianju, in coastal Zhejiang province, where many chemical factories are based, showed how factory workers and law enforcement officials remain confused about exactly what they can produce and export. "Before, the policy was very ambiguous," said a man in the receptionist's office of Zhejiang Xianju Junye Pharmaceutical, who insisted on being identified only by his surname, Li. "But since customs began forbidding the export of steroids, we know we are not allowed."
    One firm targeted by US investigators said Chinese companies continued to export illicit drugs to developing countries in Africa and several in South Asia. Other companies said there was no problem selling steroids domestically or to countries other than the United States.

    International sport officials say the easy availability of steroids from China has long created a problem for the Olympics. That fact was driven home when court documents revealed that Chinese raw materials had been used in the designer steroids provided by the notorious Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative, or BALCO, and used by prominent Olympic athletes, including US track-and-field star Marion Jones, at the 2000 Summer Games in Sydney and the 2003 track and field World Championships in Paris.

    The outgoing chairman of the World Anti-Doping Agency, Richard Pound, has demanded action on the issue from China for more than a year, saying its reputation as a widespread source for steroids could affect the credibility of the Games this summer, particularly if China fielded a team of extraordinary athletes that seemed to come out of nowhere to win medals.

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  1. Alfa
  2. enquirewithin
    Drug abuse rife in US baseball, report finds

    This is where the steroids are going!

    Drug abuse rife in US baseball, report finds
    • [FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]Present and former star players implicated[/FONT]
    • [FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif] Officials say disciplinary action may be taken[/FONT]
    [FONT=Geneva,Arial,sans-serif]Ewen MacAskill and Elana Schor in Washington
    Friday December 14, 2007 The Guardian

    The reputation of baseball, America's emblematic sport, was tarnished yesterday by an independent report that found widespread drug abuse in the game, naming scores of present and former stars.It found that even children who play the sport have been using steroids.

    Some of the biggest names in the sport were linked to the use of performance-enhancing drugs, including Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, Andy Pettitte and Miguel Tejada. The report, which runs to 311 pages, is the biggest-ever investigation into the sport's drug scandals. Its findings will prompt a revaluation of the sport's heroes and a fresh look at long-established records.

    The investigation was carried out by George Mitchell, the former senator who played a key role in the Northern Ireland peace process. He spent 20 months speaking to players as well as dealers.

    At a press conference in New York, Mitchell said the use of steroids - which help build muscles and endurance quickly - was so pervasive that "hundreds of thousands of children" were also using them. "Every American, not just baseball fans, ought to be shocked by that disturbing truth," he said.
    Summing up his report, he said: "For more than a decade, there has been widespread illegal use of anabolic steroids and other performance-enhancing substances by players in major league baseball in violation of federal law and baseball policy. It is a fact that between five and seven percent of baseball players who participated in anonymous survey testing in 2003 tested positive. Those figures almost certainly understated the actual level of use, since players knew they would be tested at some time during the year."
    In the initial stages of his investigation, Mitchell frequently complained about lack of cooperation, but in recent months found sources who provided testimony as part of plea deals.
    After publication of the report, Bud Selig, the Major league baseball commissioner and the sport's most senior official, promised that named players could be disciplined.

    Henry Waxman, the Democratic chairman of the House of Representatives oversight committee, and Tom Davis, the senior Republican on the committee, have called on Mitchell and Selig to testify at a hearing on Tuesday.

    "This is a sad day for major league baseball but a good day for integrity in sports," Waxman and Davis said in a joint statement. "It's an important step towards the goal of eliminating the use of performance enhancing substances."
    Baseball remains one of the most popular and lucrative sports in the US. Although American football records bigger television ratings, there are many more baseball games played each year, with high viewing figures. It is family-oriented, with children participating in Saturday league games all over the country.


    [FONT=Geneva,Arial,sans-serif]New York Yankees pitcher Roger Clemens who was named in the Mitchell report into drug abuse in baseball[/FONT]
  3. andreea360
    I read once in a news paper about the damage that Steroids can do to you. I think that this is madness. A person that will take steroids must not be normal. When you see that damage that can do, don`t think that a normal person will carry on.

  4. Pondlife
    I don't doubt that there are dangers associated with steroid use, but I think you need to advance a better argument than "I read it in a paper ... people who use steroids cannot be normal" if you want to influence the discussion. You are entitled to your own view, but you need to make a better case if you want to convince others.
  5. quomem
    Nicely and concisely put.

    The people who put such points view have been brainwashed by the same (US) authorities who decreed 40 years ago that LSD was evil and the biggest threat to the "american way of life" since communism. Unfortunately the (american) press were all to happy to unquestioningly promulgate the nonsense spouted by the authorities, and the passage of law to restrict the rights, freedom and liberty of the american people was passed in quick time. Unfortunately, with the ability to bully other countries its not too long before other countries adopt the path of least resistance and the substances are illegal worldwide.

    We are seeing the same hysteria re steroids today. Lots of nonsense and dogma from authorities and an all too compliant press seeking sensational headlines.

    In the case of LSD the real threat to the "american way of life" was that people (mainly, but not entirely young americans) began to think for themselves, question capitalism, evil and unconscionable aggression against others, demand peace and , most importantly poduced such a large anti-vietnam war movement that quickly spread to main stream, middle class (and even middle age americans). What a threat to the US adminstration! Answer: drugs are evil! Ban drugs! Support the war on drugs! Keep your children safe! Just say no! Blah, blah, blah....

    With steroids, fortunately, sport is utterly inseparably interlinked with capitalism and the american way of life. Today, the stakes ( ie: MONEY!) are just too high and nobody in professional sport is going to buy the DEA bullshit.

    As for safety:
    a). well just because something is illegal, don't mean it is either immoral or unsafe.
    b). 3grams of acid can (an did) kill an elephant, but who is gonna be stupid enough to take that kinda dose? Same goes for steroids: Safety through information and education, plus professional input. Exactly the reason the DEA and the lawmakers should be rethinking their whole approach to not only steroids, but all "drugs".

    But, hey, how many people would lose their nice comfortable jobs, authority over others and their (not so little) empires? Couldn't have that, now could we?
  6. ryanhall43
    Charles Manson was taking LSD all the time and look what his group accomplished. He's even quoted as saying "When you take LSD enough times you reach a state of nothing, of no thought." The girls were a group of people thinking for themselves and they wound up following a madman. As for capitalism being bad, what would you suggest, communism where there is no incentive for anyone to do any work because everyone gets paid by the hour, not on what they produce. This is why the USSR fell, because communism doesn't work.

    As for steroids, the real issue at hand is putting something into your body that is unnatural and being completely obsessed with the way you look. People who take steroids cannot help but continue taking cycles as they want "the perfect body." No matter how large they get they continue on cycles simply to look better. People taking steroids suffer both mentally and physically to an addiction. This issue isn't about money, its about public safety and looking after the citizens of this country. If the government allowed people to take steroids freely think about all the side effects that would happen to the population. Case in point Chris Benoit.
  7. Alfa
    Charles Manson? Your arguments are not logical at all. As a narconon blog writer you should be able to do better than that. Whatever the man said or did not say about LSD does not mean anything in respect to LSD users in general.

    Thanks for bringing up communism, because that is exactly what is going on now with steroids. China's communism is working so well in economic respect, that it is heading to become the new super power. They have not heard of nine to five.

    Even though your remarks about steroid users may be true for some... to generalize all steroid users, seems far from open minded to me. Some steroids are natural. That has nothing to do with it. Nature harbours most poisonous and harmful substances.

    Actually the government is creating side effects to the population. Not many people are going to stop steroid use, because it is illegal. On the contrary; many believe that legal drugs can not be good. I know the rhetoric is stupid, but that's the way it is. The government could protect its citizens by regulating the steroid market and making sure that at least some steroids would be available on prescription, with the needed doctors advice. But by prosecuting user and traders, they are only making sure that normal people(i.e. softies) will not trade in steroids anymore and make way for people that have no problem with risk and pressure. So the world gets tougher and harder.
  8. booger

    First of all most steroids are not Unnatural. Testosterone is produced by the male body. Birth control is a steroid.

    Secondly, years ago when they considered banning steroids the DEA said no, it's not worth our time as it's not harmful enough.

    Thirdly. Chris Benoit. More media explotation. He was taking prescription uppers, downers, alcohol and a plethora of other drugs. Brain scans also showed that he had abnormal brain function due to repeated blows. This was not "Roid Rage". It was pre-meditated over the period of 3 days... not done in an instant of Rage.

    Get your facts straight before you post bs CNN or Faux news propaganda.

    Here is another adapting your line of reasoning. "If the government allowed the population to freely consume Cigarettes, Alcohol and fast food... think of all the side effects that would happen to the population."

    We've got a meth crisis and the media and law enforcement is worried about hormones? What a ironic bs joke!
  9. enquirewithin
    This makes no sense. In the USSR and Maoist China people were hardly getting paid at all. Paying workers by the hour is done by many capitalist companies (eg. Wallmart or McDonalds). Saying that capitalism must be good because the UUSR fell is simple minded.
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