Pangea VII – coordinated operation strikes at organized crime with seizure of 20 million illicit medicines

A total of 115 countries have taken part in a global operation targeting the criminal networks behind the sale of fake medicines via illicit online pharmacies, resulting in 156 arrests worldwide and the seizure of USD 81 million worth of potentially dangerous medicines.

Operation Pangea VIII was the largest ever Internet-based operation focusing on the illicit sale of medicines and medical devices via the Internet, with the participation of 236 agencies from police, customs and health regulatory authorities. Private partners from the Internet and payment industries also supported the operation, which saw a record number of 20.7 million illicit and counterfeit medicines seized – more than twice the amount confiscated during the 2013 operation.

The action resulted in the launch of 429 investigations, the suspension of 550 online adverts for illicit pharmaceuticals and 2,414 websites taken offline.

The UK Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) Head of Enforcement, Alastair Jeffrey, said: “The MHRA are committed to tackling the illegal trade in medical products and have been working with counterparts across the globe to close down websites and social media sites illegally advertising and selling these products. Criminals involved in the supply of medical products have no interest in your health; it is simply your money they want. Buying medicines from unregulated Internet sites can be risky – you are gambling with your health.”

In addition to interventions on the ground, which included the discovery of an illicit warehouse full of counterfeit and expired medicines in Indonesia, the operation also targeted the main areas exploited by organized crime in the illegal online medicine trade: rogue domain name registrars, electronic payment systems and delivery services.

Operation Pangea VIII was coordinated by INTERPOL, together with the World Customs Organization (WCO), the Permanent Forum of International Pharmaceutical Crime (PFIPC), the Heads of Medicines Agencies Working Group of Enforcement Officers (WGEO), Europol and the Pharmaceutical Security Institute (PSI), and supported by the Center for Safe Internet Pharmacies (CSIP) and private sector companies including LegitScript, Google, MasterCard, Visa, and PayPal.

As well as raids at addresses linked to the illicit pharmaceutical websites, some 150,000 packages were inspected by customs and regulatory authorities, of which 50,000 were seized during the international week of action (9 – 16 June).

International collaboration between Canada, France, the UK, the US, INTERPOL and the private sector resulted in the closure of two Internet domain names selling the potentially lethal and illicit diet drug 2.4-dinitrophenol (DNP) after one woman died in the UK and a French man was left seriously ill after taking the substance purchased from these sites.

At the request of French authorities, INTERPOL issued an Orange Notice warning about the dangers of DNP, and through Operation Pangea VIII, INTERPOL and the health authorities of Canada and the US convinced the Internet registrar to suspend the two domains known to be selling DNP.

Among the fake and illicit medicines seized during the operation were blood pressure medication, erectile dysfunction pills, cancer medication and nutritional supplements. In the case from Indonesia, authorities uncovered an operation where criminals were altering the expiry date or the amount of the active ingredient on packages of counterfeit, expired and unregistered medicines at the warehouse and returning them to a pharmacy for sale.

“Our efforts to protect the health of patients by preventing the online sale of potentially dangerous illegal medical products will not cease,” said George M. Karavetsos, director of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Office of Criminal Investigations.

“Operation Pangea VIII provides yet another avenue for the FDA to engage with our international law enforcement partners on these critical issues. We are not only pleased to be a part of this strong international enforcement effort, but resolved to do everything we can to ensure that the global problem of illegal internet drug and device sales is deterred as a result,” he added.

A new focus of the operation this year was on counterfeit medical products. For example, investigations in the US have raised awareness of the growing health risk posed by the use of illicit or mislabeled silicone injections in cosmetic procedures. If used incorrectly, or containing substances other than medical-grade silicone, the injections can cause serious medical complications.

INTERPOL’s Executive Director of Police Services Tim Morris said: “More and more people are using the Internet to purchase everyday items, and criminals are taking advantage of this trend to deceive customers into buying fake and even dangerous medicines and medical products online, with no concern to the health risks this poses.”

“Through strong collaboration between law enforcement, health agencies and Internet and payment companies, INTERPOL’s Operation Pangea VIII has made significant progress in protecting innocent consumers by shutting down illegitimate online pharmacies and seizing illegal and counterfeit pharmaceutical products,” added Mr Morris.

He highlighted a case in the UK where authorities discovered an illegal online pharmacy selling unlicensed medicines obtained from another country. Police and the MHRA raided a premises connected to the website – which was arranged to look like a legal pharmacy – and seized 60,000 units of potentially dangerous medicines worth an estimated USD 2.4 million.

The participation of Google, one of the world’s largest Internet companies, underscored the importance of collaboration between law enforcement and the private sector in combating online pharmaceutical crime

“Google has long recognized the importance of working with law enforcement and others to collectively frustrate the business operations of rogue online pharmacies. Our involvement in Operation Pangea is yet another way to make it even harder for rogue actors to harm Internet users,” said Adam Barea, Legal Director at Google.

A dedicated operations centre at INTERPOL’s General Secretariat headquarters in Lyon served as the central hub for information exchange among the participating countries and agencies. From this base, the WCO coordinated activities between participating customs administrations and the Pangea team via its secure messaging system, and a mobile Europol office in Vienna, Austria also conducted cross-checks.

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New British Dragon rHGH Lab Results

By Heavyiron elite Admin and MOD on over 20 steroids boards and blogs!

10 iu British Dragon rHGH was injected IM in the left deltoid. The blood draw was 3 hours and 4 minutes post injection.

British Dragon Growth hormone, serum result was 20.6 ng/mL

As a comparison 10 iu USA pharmacy Tev-Tropin result was 19.7 ng/mL

Obviously the British Dragon is genuine and properly dosed.

I’m very happy with these results and recommend British Dragon rHGH.

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Lance Armstrong Says Government Should Have Known He Was Doping

Lance Armstrong suggests that the government was more than willing to overlook doping on the U.S. Postal Service professional cycling team out of its own self-interest. It apparently didn’t matter so much that Armstrong and his teammates used anabolic steroids such as testosterone and blood-boosting drugs such as erythropoietin (EPO). USPS was receiving enormous favorable publicity. And that’s all that mattered according to a recent motion filed by the attorneys for the disgraced cyclist.

Armstrong won seven consecutive Tour de France and became one of the most celebrated professional athletes in the United States. But that was before the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) pressured his teammates to rat out Armstrong and provide sworn testimony against Armstrong.

In a ‘reasoned decision” approaching 200 pages, and accompanied by over 1,000 in supporting documentation and affidavits, USADA produced overwhelming evidence that PEDs such as EPO and steroids were rampant on the USPS pro cycling team. In exchange for testifying against Armstrong, his teammates were given reduced bans of six months. Meanwhile, Armstrong was given a lifetime ban from competing in professional cycling (and any other sport that has adopted the anti-doping code published by the World Anti-Doping Agency).

But that was only the beginning of Armstrong’s problems. Floyd Landis, a former teammate of Armstrong who was stripped of his 2006 Tour de France title for using steroids, filed a whistleblower lawsuit on behalf of the federal government alleging that Armstrong defrauded the government when he used PEDs in violation of his USPS contract.

The federal government enjoined Landis’ lawsuit putting the full resources of the government behind the effort to sue Armstrong. Armstrong has an estimated net worth of approximately $150 million dollars earned during the course of his professional career. However, the Landis-government lawsuit is seeking as much as $120 million dollars. Landis could receive 25 percent of any amout recovered.

In court documents filed in relation to the lawsuit, Armstrong argued that the government should have known that he was doping. There had been extensive media coverage throughout his career about allegations of doping. But in spite of the media reports of doping at USPS pro cycling team, the USPS renewed its contract rather than ask question about doping and/or otherwise investigate the allegations.

“Instead, the Postal Service renewed the Sponsorship Agreement and basked in the favorable publicity of its sponsorship. It is now far too late for the government to revisit its choice to reap the benefits of sponsorship rather than investigate allegations of doping.”

Furthermore, Armstrong’s attorneys argue that Landis should not be entitled to receive any damages as part of the lawsuits. After all, Landis was involved in the very same doping behavior that Armstrong participated in.

“The government wanted a winner and all the publicity, exposure, and acclaim that goes along with being a sponsor. It got exactly what it bargained for.”

Armstrong was asked once against about the doping in cycling during his time as a competitors. He repeated the refrain that he didn’t do anything that wasn’t already commonplace in the sport. Contrary to claims by USADA that the USPS was the “most sophisticated” doping program in the history of sport, Armstrong says he was just doing what everyone else was doing.

“It wasn’t a pretty time (in professional cycling). I didn’t invent it and I didn’t end it,” Armstrong said. “My bad for playing along.”

Source:

McCann, J. (July 25, 2013). US Postal should have KNOWN I was doping says Lance Armstrong as he fights back against multi-million dollar lawsuit. Retrieved from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2377540/Lance-Armstrong-USPS-known-I-doping.html

Denmark a hotbed of steroid use

Bodybuilding Gyms Targeted as Steroid Havens in Denmark

Bodybuilding gyms are being called “havens” for anabolic steroid use in Denmark. Researchers at the University of Southern Denmark have identified up to fifty gyms where steroids are allegedly openly bought, sold and used within the confines of the gym.

The fitness centers have been labeled as “iron caves” where organized criminal groups specializing in the distribution of anabolic steroids, human growth hormone (hGH) and other doping substances allegedly operate with impugnity.

According to the Copenhagen Post, these “iron caves” have big bodybuilders roaming around these gyms carrying syringes full of steroids presumably ready to inject the drugs in between sets. The toilets are full of used syringes and the gyms have very big dumbbells weighing over 200 pounds.

Kasper Lund Kirkegaard, a researcher with Idrættens Analyseinstitut (DIF), confirmed the Copenhagen Post’s account.

“Several sources from the fitness culture have told me that it is not unusual to find syringes in the toilets,” according to Kirkegaard. “…There is typically a distribution, resale and organised recruitment network bringing together new potential clients inside these centres.”

The final nail in the coffin in the demonization of hardcore bodybuilding gyms in Denmark is the gyms’ refusal to allow anti-doping respresentatives on the premises to stake out potential steroid users! These commercial gyms have denied access to Anti-Doping Denmark (ADD). ADD is the national agency in charge of enforcing the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Code. Apparently, WADA rule are not restricted to elite athletes that are under the jurisdiction of the WADA code. The average bodybuilding gymrat, with no aspirations of competing, is expected to follow the WADA anti-doping code in Denmark as well.

“Strict rules are not a characteristic of ‘iron caves’ that allow steroid use and opt out of visits by the anti-doping organisation,” said Kirkegaard. “It is obvious that the police need to target these places.”

At the moment, targeting steroid users is not a priority for the local police according to Copenhagen Police Commissioner Steffen Steffensen.

“Doping is not an organised crime area that we are targeting,” Steffensen said.

Unfortunately, this may soon change. Government officials have been advocating greater police involvement in the crackdown on steroid users and the gyms where they work out.

Justice minister Morten Bødskov confirmed that the Danish government plans to increase the sentencing penalties for steroid use later this year. Instead of facing two years in jail for steroid use, bodybuilders will soon face up to six years in jail for steroids.

Culture minister Marianne Jelved hopes the increased penalties for steroid users will encourage police to start policing gyms more aggressively. She believes this will provide the Copenhagen Police with greater incentives and more powerful tools to address the buying and selling of steroids within commercial gyms.

Government officials in Denmark are happy that their steroid penalties will soon be as draconian as the steroid laws in Norway and Sweden.

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Sciroxx – Long-Arm of Steroid Law Enforcement Takes Interest

Two men involved in the domestic distribution of Sciroxx-brand anabolic steroids have pleaded guilty in the United States District Court in Providence. Edmond Paolucci and Patrick Cunningham admitted responsibility for importing bulk quantities of steroids and ancillary drugs, repackaging them in retail-size units with the Sciroxx label and shipping them to customers in the United States.

Paolucci received 650-milliliter jugs containing injectable testosterone enanthate, boldenone undecylenate and trenbolone acetate and bulk quantities of oral steroid tablets. He also received prescription ancillary drugs such as Pregnyl (hCG), T3, Arimidex (anastrozole), Teva tamoxifen and Serpafar clomiphene from Turkey and Bulgaria. The steroids were shipped to various postal boxes scattered throughout Rhode Island, Massachusets and Connecticut.

Paolucci and Cunningham maintained an underground laboratory where they repackaged the injectable and oral steroids into retail-sized units branded with the Sciroxx (and Xsorox) label. The oral steroid tablets were distributed in pouches while the injectable steroids were distributed in 10-milliliter vials.

Paolucci was responsible for fulfilling domestic internet orders made via websites that he and his Israeli con-conspirators owned and operated. Paolucci collected money from customers and sent the proceeds to Israel via Western Union and Moneygram using his own and fictitious names.

Western Union and Moneygram gave federal investigators detailed records of transactions totaling in excess of $76,000 sent by Paolucci to Israel.

Paolucci pleaded guilty to the following on November 1, 2012:

one count of conspiracy to distribute anabolic steroids (for working with Cunningham and unnamed Israeli co-conspirators);
one count of possession with intent to distribute anabolic steroids (for repackaging and remailing Sciroxx-brand steroids);
one count of distribution of a misbranded drug (for distributing non-controlled, non-FDA approved ancillary drugs imported from overseas e.g.as hCG, Clomid, Nolvadex, Arimidex, etc.); and
two counts of money laundering (for wiring proceeds to Israel via Western Union and Moneygram).

Paolucci and Cunningham were busted almost 18 months ago on November 15, 2011. Paolucci pleaded guilty almost five months ago. Cunningham pleaded guilty three days ago. The bust and subsequent plea agreements were not immediately announced to protect the confidentiality of an ongoing criminal investigation.

The scope of the ongoing investigation was not revealed. However, a press release by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Rhode Island indicated that the federal government worked closely with its international counterparts in Israel during the investigation of the Israeli-based international steroid distribution ring.

United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha and Mark Dragonetti, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Criminal Investigation, acknowledged the assistance of international counterparts at the Israel Ministry of Health, Division of Enforcement and Inspection, and Jerusalem Customs and VAT who provided significant assistance in the investigation of this matter.

The cooperation with Israeli law enforcement officials provides additional evidence that the long-arm of U.S. steroid law enforcement is becoming increasingly aggressive.

The U.S. government has shown it is more than willing to go after the biggest international sources around the world especially if they have domestic operations within the United States.

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Food and Drug Administration Office of Criminal Investigations (FDA-OCI) have attempted to disrupt and extradite the major players in the underground steroid trade with varying degrees of success over the past several years.

In 2008, the U.S. government pressured Thailand to arrest Edwin Crawley and Ashley Livingston of British Dragon on steroid charges; they were subsequently extradited to the United States where they were convicted and incarcerated.
In 2010, the feds set up a covert operation with agents on the ground in Cyprus to assist in the arrest of the purported principals behind Musclebear (Euro Chem Labs). Oleksandr “Lsex” Skochyk and Yvgeniy “Eugene” Suray were extradited to the United States where they were convicted and incarcerated. A domestic remailer for Musclebear claimed that the real owner got away.
In 2011, U.S. law enforcement pressured Austria to use their “Einsatzkommando COBRA” counter-terrorism special ops unit to arrest Mihael Karner, the owner of an alleged 40 million euro steroid empire. Federal prosecutors in Massachusetts were confident of a successful extradition. However, Austria foiled their plan when they extradited him to Slovenia after he paid them one million euros!
In 2012, the DEA worked with the Straży Granicznej officials in Poland in an attempt to shut down the Uncle Z (Z-Pharma Labs, Euro-Pharmacies) steroid operation. Two men were detained and 666,000 steroid tablets, 19,000 steroid vials and 5,500 steroid ampoules were confiscated. But there are strong indications that the owner may have eluded authorities.
In 2013, Brian Wainstein (Axio Labs and GenXXL Gear), was finally arrested in South Africa. The Department of Justice is attempting to extradite Wainstein to face multiples counts of steroid distribution in a U.S. court.

The latest Department of Justice press release has acknowledged that it it talking to the Israeli government and asking questions about Sciroxx. What does this mean? Clearly, Sciroxx is on its radar. Is Sciroxx a target in an ongoing investigation? Or do the DEA and FDA-OCI have bigger international fish to fry?

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Police Make Mistake: Anabolic Steroids Not Really Found at Oscar Pistorius Home

Hundreds of articles have been written about Oscar Pistorius and “roid rage” after police allegedly discovered prohibited anabolic steroids at his home. This led to much discussion and speculation that “roid rage” may have caused Pistorius to kill his girlfriend. It turns out that the police made an embarrassing mistake. They didn`t really find anabolic steroids after all.

Hilton Botha, a Detective Warrant Officer for the South African Police Service, testified in Pretoria Magistrate`s Court that he found two boxes of testosterone, needles and syringes in Pistorius` bedroom. South African State Prosecutor Gerrie Nel also told the court that police found testosterone.

Detective Botha was forced to withdraw his testimony after admitting he “didn`t read the whole name” on the box of suspected steroids after a cross-examination by Pistorius` defense attorney.

Instead, it appears that police and prosecutors mistakenly identified an innocuous homeopathic preparation as testosterone. The product was “testocomposutim coenzyme” according to the New York Times.

Barry Roux, a lawyer for Mr. Pistorius, cross-examined Detective Botha, seeking to poke holes in his account.

The substance found, Mr. Roux said, was not testosterone at all but a herbal supplement called testocomposutim coenzyme, which is used by many athletes and not banned by anti-doping agencies. Asked if the substance had been tested, Detective Botha said tests had not yet been completed.

“I didn`t read the whole name” on the container, Detective Botha admitted.

A Google search for “testocomposutim coenzyme” did not result in a match for any products by that name. The closest match was a homeopathic remedy called “testis composutim” that appears to be somewhat consistent with Roux`s description of the product .

Pistorius` lead defense lawyer, Barry Roux, asserted when questioning the detective — who has 16 years` experience as a detective and 24 years with the police — that it was not a banned substance and that police were trying to give the discovery a “negative connotation.”

“It is an herbal remedy,” Roux said. “It is not a steroid and it is not a banned substance.”

A pending lab analysis will make the final determination as to the presence or absence of banned anabolic steroids.

Is ‘testis compositum` the mystery substance used by Pistorius? If so, what is it?

Testis compositum is manufactured by Heel. It is a combination of several organ extracts (including animal testicles) and various homoeopathic remedies according to the manufacturer.

Testis compositum contains five different organ extracts: testis suis (animal testicles), embryo suis (embryo), diencephalon suis, cor suis (heart) and glandula suprarenalis suis.

Testis compositum includes multiple single homoeopathic remedies: Aralia quinquefolia, Selenium metallicum (selenium), Lycopodium clavatum (club moss), Conium maculatum (spotted hemlock), Ferrum phosphoricum (iron phosphate), Zincum metallicum (zinc), Phosphorus, Curare (arrow poison), Caladium seguinum, Cantharis (Spanish Fly), Agnus castus (chaste tree), Damiana (Turnera aphrodisiaca), Panax ginseng, Kalium picrinicum (potassium picrate), Strychninum phosphoricum (strychnine phosphate), Magnesium phosphoricum (magnesium), Manganum phosphoricum (managanese phosphate). It also contains the following enzyme “co-factors”: Acidum ascorbicum (Vitamin C) and Cortisonum aceticum (cortisone acetate).

If athletes are still injecting animal testicle extracts, it represents a major step backwards for science. While this may have been popular among athletes over a century ago (e.g. Baseball Hall of Famer Pud Galvin`s injections of Brown-Séquard Elixir in 1889), most athletes have upgraded their choice of performance-enhancing products to reflect advances in science.

At any rate, Testis Compositum will surely make a great addition to the deer antler spray non-doping doping regimen!

UPDATE February 24, 2013: Various news media have confirmed the product was “Testis Compositum.”

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China Shocked It is the Source of Steroid Powder for the Rest of the World

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the Chinese government just learned something about anabolic steroids that has been common knowledge in the bodybuilding community for well over a decade. Where (what country) do most underground steroid labs (UGLs) and steroid “home-brewers” obtain their steroid powders?

For those steroid-using bodybuilders who have been living under a rock for the last decade, WADA Director General David Howman has the answer. He broke the news to Reuters television during the WADA`s 2013 Media Symposium at the Sofitel London Heathrow on February 12, 2013.

“Ninety-nine percent of the raw materials that are used through the internet to make up in your kitchen or your backyard laboratory are emanating from China,” Howman said. “They are going to gangs who then put them together in little plastic capsules and are sold on the street or in the gyms.”

Howman`s revelation wasn`t really news to anyone except for the news media that rely on WADA as their sole source of information about doping and anabolic steroids AND apparently the Chinese government!

Jiang Zhixue, the anti-doping chief of China`s State General Administration of Sport, told the Xinhua News Agency that he was “shocked” that people around the world obtained most of their raw steroid powder from China.

“We are shocked at Mr. Howman`s comment,” said China`s anti-doping chief Jiang Zhixue.

“We are wondering where this 99 percent came from and what is his evidence,” said Jiang. “We have asked for a more detailed explanation from WADA.”…

“There are problems, such as illegal sale of banned drugs through the Internet. So we have decided to launch an investigation into WADA`s allegation,” he said.

While it is understandable that WADA is behind the times in their war on steroids, few really believe China was in the dark regarding the role Chinese steroid powder suppliers have played in the worldwide demand for anabolic steroids.

After all, China was one of nine countries that offered extensive cooperation with the United States during 2007 Operation Raw Deal. Operation Raw Deal was the largest steroid law enforcement action in the history of the United States and it resulted in dismantling of 56 underground labs.

Where did most of these UGLs obtain their raw steroid powder? You guessed it. China.

Operation Raw Deal (United States) was closely coordinated with law enforcement officials in others countries e.g. Canada (Operation Powder Keg), Australia (Operation Kasha), Belgium, China, Denmark, Germany, Sweden and Thailand. Every country was well-aware of the fact that the majority of the steroid powder originated in China.

In the United States, the UGLs fueled by Chinese powder included Powerline Labs, Superior Labs, Medline Pharmaceuticals, Pro Pharm Labs, TexStar Labs, Phalco Labs, Nassau Pharmaceuticals and Pacific Rim Labs. In Canada, they included Teragon Labs and Oropharma Labs.

Sources big and small imported their steroid powder from China. Even 17-year old teenagers who wanted to create an UGL knew China was the go-to country for steroid powder.

China was well aware of their steroid powder issues during the run up to the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics. Even Jiang, while feigning total shock at the Chinese steroid trade, acknowledged the coordinated effort among government departments in China to shut down a factory factories involved in the illegal trade of steroid powders and related materials.

Operation Raw Deal, Operation Powder Keg, Operation Kasha and the 2008 Chinese Olympic crackdown presented a minor disruption to the worldwide androgen black market. It quickly recovered and was barely noticed by most end users. Did any law enforcement really believe otherwise?

In response to WADA`s revelation of the Chinese steroid problem, Jiang suggested the revisiting of another multi-agency crack down on Chinese powder suppliers comparable to the Beijing Olympic crackdown.

This might result in another hiccup for UGLs and the illicit steroid black market. But with the long history of prohibition`s failures as our guide, this chapter in the war on steroids will have little long-term impact. Supply and demand will find a way.

Norwegian Track Coach Suspended for Giving Steroid Advice

A Norwegian track coach was suspended by the Norwegian Athletics Association for providing advice on the effects of anabolic steroids and human growth hormone (hGH). Peter Vukicevic allegedly shared details of doping protocols in a series of emails sent to another high-level track coach between 2001 and 2003.

Vukicevic also suggested that some of the athletes that he trained may have used steroids or performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs). Vukicevic reportedly asked for advice on how to avoid detection by anti-doping controls.

The incriminating emails were published in a top Norwegian newspaper. Vukicevic has not denied sending the emails in question. However, he has claimed that the incriminating steroid information was added by a bitter ex-wife. The ex-wife allegedly manipulated the contents of the emails before passing them on the media.

The emails brought unwanted scrutiny to the accomplishments of one of his star athletes as well. Most notably, Vukicevic coaches his daughter Christina Vukicevic. Christina is a former Norwegian under-23 100-meters hurdle champion. She was selected to represent Norway at the 2012 Summer Olympic in London earlier this year. However, she withdrew at the last minute citing inadequate training preparations.

The news about the steroid-related emails also caused trouble for the recipient (and his clients) as well. Vukicevic sent the emails to Serbian coach Srdjan Djordevic. Djordevic has one very high-profile client in the world of track and field – Marlene Ottey.

Ottey is one of the most accomplished female track athletes in the sport`s history. She has competed at the elite level for over 30 years. During this time she was won numerous Olympic medals while making appearances at a record seven Summer Olympics.

Ottey continues to compete at the age of 52. Most recently, Ottey was the anchor for the Slovenian 4×100 relay team at the 2012 European Athletes Track and Field Championships. She was selected to represent Slovenia at the 2012 London Olympics. However, the Slovenian team was not ranked high enough to meet Olympic qualifications.

The steroid advice received by Ottey`s coach will inevitably lead to suspicions regarding the superhuman performances of the world-class quinquagenarian. At the very least, it gives journalists an excuse to re-examine Ottey`s steroid positive from 1999.

Ottey tested positive for nandrolone metabolites during a 1999 track meet in Switzerland. Both her ‘A` and ‘B` samples showed higher than normal levels of nandrolone. The most common form of nandrolone is nandrolone decanoate; athletes and bodybuilders refer to it as “Deca”. Deca is short for the Organon brand name Deca Durabolin.

Ottey alleged she never knowingly used anabolic steroids. He appealed her suspension and won. The Jamaica Amateur Athletic Association cleared her of all charges. And track`s governing body lifted the two-year suspension.

Anti-Doping Norway is currently investigating Vukicevic to determine whether or not the emails are legitimate. There has been no evidence to suggest that any of Vukicevic`s or Djordevic`s athletes have doped.

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Attention Steroid Dealers: If a Customer Wants to Buy Steroids in a Donut Shop, Of Course It is a Cop!

What happens when a sports nutrition store employee doesn`t think the store has supplements strong enough for certain customers? Now that most of the steroidal substances sold as dietary supplements are becoming more aggressively regulated, what is the supplement store employee to do? In the case of George Touma, the clerk thought he would offer them something a little stronger and a lot less legal than the dietary supplements sold by his employer.

Tuoma worked as a store clerk for the General Nutrition Centers (GNC) store at the Walpole Mall in East Walpole, Massachusetts. An anonymous tipster told police that the supplement store clerk was selling anabolic steroids on the side. This led to a month-long investigation by the Walpole Police Department that culminated in the arrest of Touma on two steroid charges.

George Touma was arrested on October 24, 2012. He was charged with the alleged possession of a Class E substance (anabolic steroids) with intent to distribute and possession of a Class E substance (anabolic steroids).

Walpole Deputy Police Chief John Carmichael told the Walpole Times how the steroid bust went down.

After the GNC clerk was identified, an undercover police officer started visiting the GNC store and established a friendly rapport with Touma. The officer agreed to purchase two vials of steroids from Touma for $150 each.

The undercover officer and Touma agreed to meet at the Dunkin Donuts location at 491 Walpole Street in Norwood. The officer paid Touma and took possession of the steroids. Touma was arrested at Dunkin Donuts immediately following the steroid transaction.

Clearly, selling illegal anabolic steroids is a bad idea. But the real lesson to be learned by steroid dealers everywhere is: If a potential customer wants to meet you at a donut shop to buy steroids, you will be a fool not to smell “cop” written all over it!

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Steroid Laws in Portugal

Pop quiz: Which European country has the most liberal drug laws? (Hint: It’s not the Netherlands.)

Although its capital is notorious among stoners and college kids for marijuana haze–filled “coffee shops,” Holland has never actually legalized cannabis — the Dutch simply don’t enforce their laws against the shops. The correct answer is Portugal, which in 2001 became the first European country to officially abolish all criminal penalties for personal possession of drugs, including marijuana, cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine.

At the recommendation of a national commission charged with addressing Portugal’s drug problem, jail time was replaced with the offer of therapy. The argument was that the fear of prison drives addicts underground and that incarceration is more expensive than treatment — so why not give drug addicts health services instead? Under Portugal’s new regime, people found guilty of possessing small amounts of drugs are sent to a panel consisting of a psychologist, social worker and legal adviser for appropriate treatment (which may be refused without criminal punishment), instead of jail.

 

 

The question is, does the new policy work? At the time, critics in the poor, socially conservative and largely Catholic nation said decriminalizing drug possession would open the country to “drug tourists” and exacerbate Portugal’s drug problem; the country had some of the highest levels of hard-drug use in Europe. But the recently released results of a report commissioned by the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank, suggest otherwise.

The paper, published by Cato in April, found that in the five years after personal possession was decriminalized, illegal drug use among teens in Portugal declined and rates of new HIV infections caused by sharing of dirty needles dropped, while the number of people seeking treatment for drug addiction more than doubled.

“Judging by every metric, decriminalization in Portugal has been a resounding success,” says Glenn Greenwald, an attorney, author and fluent Portuguese speaker, who conducted the research. “It has enabled the Portuguese government to manage and control the drug problem far better than virtually every other Western country does.”

Compared to the European Union and the U.S., Portugal’s drug use numbers are impressive. Following decriminalization, Portugal had the lowest rate of lifetime marijuana use in people over 15 in the E.U.: 10%. The most comparable figure in America is in people over 12: 39.8%. Proportionally, more Americans have used cocaine than Portuguese have used marijuana.

The Cato paper reports that between 2001 and 2006 in Portugal, rates of lifetime use of any illegal drug among seventh through ninth graders fell from 14.1% to 10.6%; drug use in older teens also declined. Lifetime heroin use among 16-to-18-year-olds fell from 2.5% to 1.8% (although there was a slight increase in marijuana use in that age group). New HIV infections in drug users fell by 17% between 1999 and 2003, and deaths related to heroin and similar drugs were cut by more than half. In addition, the number of people on methadone and buprenorphine treatment for drug addiction rose to 14,877 from 6,040, after decriminalization, and money saved on enforcement allowed for increased funding of drug-free treatment as well.

Portugal’s case study is of some interest to lawmakers in the U.S., confronted now with the violent overflow of escalating drug gang wars in Mexico. The U.S. has long championed a hard-line drug policy, supporting only international agreements that enforce drug prohibition and imposing on its citizens some of the world’s harshest penalties for drug possession and sales. Yet America has the highest rates of cocaine and marijuana use in the world, and while most of the E.U. (including Holland) has more liberal drug laws than the U.S., it also has less drug use.

“I think we can learn that we should stop being reflexively opposed when someone else does [decriminalize] and should take seriously the possibility that anti-user enforcement isn’t having much influence on our drug consumption,” says Mark Kleiman, author of the forthcoming When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment and director of the drug policy analysis program at UCLA. Kleiman does not consider Portugal a realistic model for the U.S., however, because of differences in size and culture between the two countries.

But there is a movement afoot in the U.S., in the legislatures of New York State, California and Massachusetts, to reconsider our overly punitive drug laws. Recently, Senators Jim Webb and Arlen Specter proposed that Congress create a national commission, not unlike Portugal’s, to deal with prison reform and overhaul drug-sentencing policy. As Webb noted, the U.S. is home to 5% of the global population but 25% of its prisoners.

At the Cato Institute in early April, Greenwald contended that a major problem with most American drug policy debate is that it’s based on “speculation and fear mongering,” rather than empirical evidence on the effects of more lenient drug policies. In Portugal, the effect was to neutralize what had become the country’s number one public health problem, he says.

“The impact in the life of families and our society is much lower than it was before decriminalization,” says Joao Castel-Branco Goulao, Portugual’s “drug czar” and president of the Institute on Drugs and Drug Addiction, adding that police are now able to re-focus on tracking much higher level dealers and larger quantities of drugs.

Peter Reuter, a professor of criminology and public policy at the University of Maryland, like Kleiman, is skeptical. He conceded in a presentation at the Cato Institute that “it’s fair to say that decriminalization in Portugal has met its central goal. Drug use did not rise.” However, he notes that Portugal is a small country and that the cyclical nature of drug epidemics — which tends to occur no matter what policies are in place — may account for the declines in heroin use and deaths.

The Cato report’s author, Greenwald, hews to the first point: that the data shows that decriminalization does not result in increased drug use. Since that is what concerns the public and policymakers most about decriminalization, he says, “that is the central concession that will transform the debate.”