Importing banned steroids into the UK should be made illegal, says UKAD

UKAD reports 35 per cent increase in drugs imported from abroad in past year

(Image credit: chris catchpole)

UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) has called for a ban on importation of some forms of performance-enhancing drugs, as it looks to cut down on the use of banned steroids by amateur athletes.

Giving evidence to the Image and Performance Enhancing Drugs (IPEDs) Working Group of the Advisory Council for the Misuse of Drugs on Tuesday, UKAD will call for the importation of anabolic androgenic steroids to be made illegal after seeing a surge in banned drugs being imported from overseas.

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"There are significant harms associated with the use of IPEDs, including heart disease and liver damage, as well as those related to mental health, including aggression and depression," said UKAD director of operations Pat Myhill.

"We believe the importation and possession (outside of medical use) of these drugs should be made illegal, not only to protect clean sport but a young generation from the serious side effects they can cause."

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In evidence given to the IPEDs Working Group at the Kia Oval, UKAD will recommend implementing a ban on the importation of anabolic androgenic steroids regardless of whether they are for personal use or not, and for a ban on growth hormone releasing factors.

According to UKAD, use of IPEDs is on the up among amateur athletes, with a majority of reports now relating to amateur athletes. The drugs are also increasingly being imported from abroad, with an increase of 35 per cent in the last year in the levels of steroids imported from overseas.

Three cyclists are currently on UKAD's list of banned riders, one of whom, Andy Hastings, having tested positive for anabolic androgenic steroids.

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Henry Robertshaw began his time at Cycling Weekly working with the tech team, writing reviews, buying guides and appearing in videos advising on how to dress for the seasons. He later moved over to the news team, where his work focused on the professional peloton as well as legislation and provision for cycling. He's since moved his career in a new direction, with a role at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.