Police use of steroids is widespread

From anabolic steroids victim to anti-doping fighter : "First it was one tablet, then there were up to ten a day"

For some young people, building muscle just can't go fast enough. Driven by ambition and the will to have a body that is as defined as possible, they sweat in the fitness centers several times a week. The fact that some also help with prohibited substances can also be seen from the so-called "Operation Viribus". During the raid earlier this week, 3.8 million doping substances and counterfeit drugs from recreational sports were confiscated. Jörg Börjesson can only estimate how widespread doping really is in popular sport. He believes that millions of people have already come into contact with anabolic steroids. Börjesson was one of them. His daily use of anabolic steroids caused serious health problems.

Börjesson is now 52 years old, he lives in Dorsten, which borders the northern Ruhr area. There he wants to prevent others from experiencing the same suffering as he does and tells about his story in fitness studios, sports clubs, schools and universities. He has also documented his fate in books and videos. “I want to deter young people in particular from using anabolic steroids or similar substances,” says Börjesson.

As a little boy, Börjesson still enjoyed playing football, but he quickly reached his limits. In terms of stamina, he cannot keep up with his teammates because he suffers from asthma. He still wants to do sports. So he discovered weight training for himself. He spends countless hours in the gym six times a week. His muscles grow rapidly. After a year, success will come to an end naturally. At the age of 19, Börjesson says he was receiving pills from a prominent bodybuilder. What Börjesson allegedly did not know at that time is that they are anabolic steroids.

Anabolic substances are probably the best known and most widespread doping agents in the bodybuilder scene and in popular sports. The side effects range from cardiac arrhythmias to tumors and cancer.

Blinded by the quick success, the young Börjesson falls into a delusional body and anabolic addiction. "First it was one tablet, then it was up to ten a day," he says. Suddenly Börjesson lifts weights of several 100 kilos without any problems and takes part in bodybuilding championships. But Börjesson's pumper career came to an abrupt end after five years when blood rushed from his nose during training. The fact that his chest is growing and resembling that of a woman also gives him pause. He is undergoing medical treatment.

The first operation followed in 2002 - the first of many. “Today I still have massive problems with the stomach lining after taking the pills,” says Börjesson. Even the gym is no longer his second home. Börjesson has been an anti-doping pioneer for 17 years and wants to warn society about the risks. The fitness trend and the temptation to do everything much faster and better with doping drugs is still great in Germany, he says. "The problem is that fitness operators are still not interested in taking action against doping."

Social media compound the problem

Although nutrition and training seminars are increasingly being offered today, doping is not an issue. “Doping controls in fitness studios like in Sweden and Norway are not carried out in Germany.” Unlike in the two Scandinavian countries, which see the doping problem as a social and growing problem for young people and also address it, in Germany one is overwhelmed and does not arrive the fitness center.

In his prevention work, Börjesson recognizes that the topic of doping is particularly present among the younger generation. Often it is young people who allow themselves to be seduced into doping: "They have no sporting ambitions, but want to belong to the clique and gain attention, and help is given in an unnatural way." In their minds, the thought is anchored that you can only get through a hardened body belong to the circle of friends. The social media, where photos and videos are shared, add to the problem. From the point of view of the former dopers, it is still too easy to get hold of the form-enhancing preparations. The funds could be found in the changing rooms of the fitness center and even in the schoolyard.

Börjesson sees the fitness studios have a duty to protect young athletes and to offer dealers no opportunity to further expand their networks in order to get to potential doping customers. "For the future, I would like the gym operators, the National Doping Agency and politicians to stop ignoring the fight against doping in popular sport," says Börjesson. His mission is not over yet.

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