Dec 08 2008
The secretary general of the sport’s national body said that many bodybuilders in the UAE are regularly using illegal steroids. He made this statement during the Emirates Bodybuilding Championships according to The National report. Hussain Ahmed al Saffar, one member of the Emirates Bodybuilding Federation (EBBC), responded positively after he was asked if he believes that any among the 59 contenders at the Ajman competition are taking steroids. According to him, he personally believes that many of these men are taking steroids since they can impossibly achieve such size if they would depend on rice and fish. “I could tell you that every athlete here is clean…but I would not be telling you the truth,” he said.
For this reason, EBBF will conduct seminars and workshops in the coming month to address the problem on steroids. Specifically, the seminars and workshops are aimed to orient bodybuilders about the dangers brought by steroids, which can cause them serious illnesses or even death. The Mr. Olympia title holder for the eight-time, Ronnie Coleman, will be the one to speak during the first lecture to be held in Dubai to significantly raise public awareness.
During the Emirates Bodybuilding Championship, it is noted that several bodybuilders admited using anabolic steroids like Deca and Sustanon. According to these bodybuilders, they have been injecting themselves with growth hormones to increase their muscle mass. “We must take these drugs because everybody else is taking them,” said by 28-year-old Yamen Khalil, who has been in the bodybuilding career for 12 years now. “How else can we keep up?” he added.
It was confirmed in the report though that both Deca and Sustanon are not prohibited to use in the UAE. However, these drugs cannot still be legally sold without any prescription. Surprisingly though, The National discovered that some drugs banned by the International Olympic Committee—Andriol, Deca, and Sustanon were made available without prescription from some Dubai chemists, including from trainers and gyms.
Khalil confirmed what The International has found out by saying, “I know many chemists in Dubai and Sharjah who will sell me these drugs without a prescription.” He also asserted that there is actually nothing wrong from taking Deca. He said that the sole problem he sees is that many of these bodybuilders in the UAE do not often know the kind of drugs that they are taking, the amount of dosage to take, or when to stop from taking them.
“I take drugs like Sustanon, but only for a maximum of three months. Then six months before the competition, I stop,” he said. “This is enough time for everything to be flushed out of my body. I know what I am taking and when to stop. I am a professional.”
One research conducted by Mark Anthony Peters of the State University of New York at Buffalo supports the report published by The National as it uncovers the motivations of bodybuilders for using steroids. Peters’ research reflected that the desire to outrival at competitive bodybuilding, gain more muscle mass, and enhance confidence are the motivations of these bodybuilders in taking these drugs.
MOreover, his research also revealed the divergence of beliefs about steroids among its users. It says that many of its users disregard the harmful side effects of these drugs saying only ignorant criticize the steroid use.
Hence, the president of the Asian Bodybuilding Federation and EBBF, Osama al Shafar, said that the seminars and workshops will be the first step to clear out the sport of illegal use of steroids. Al Shafar also said, “Doping is a big problem all over the world for many sports, not just bodybuilding and in UAE, we are trying to put a stop to it.”