Singapore bodybuilder taught others how to use illegal steroids

In a stunning admission, the chief of Singapore bodybuilding, Rano Izhar, told The New Paper on Monday that he has “taught” another bodybuilder how to use illegal steroids.

The revelation came after TNP confronted Rano with an email that he had sent to that bodybuilder in 2010, a year before he took over as president of the Singapore Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation (SBBF).

In the email, Rano told the recipient that he had “not shared” the programme with anyone else but that it “f****** worked”.

The programme then details two “steroid cycles” that should be followed along with an exercise routine.

The email lists no less than 14 types of anabolic steroids to be taken in a six-month period, with breaks in between.

Among the steroids “recommended” are Clomid, Dianabol, Anadrol 50 and Primobolan – drugs that mimic the effects of testosterone in the body.

These drugs are banned from sport and are included, under their medical names, on the World Anti-Doping Agency list of illegal doping agents in sport (see sidebar).

Rano, 50, admitted to TNP that he had sent the email.

But he said that he only did so knowing that the bodybuilder would have gone ahead to take the steroids with or without his blessings.

Rano, who is not a medical doctor but told TNP he has a doctorate in lifestyle medicine from Harvard Medical School, said: “At the time I sent the email, I was not the SBBF president.

“I was not training (the bodybuilder), but helping him as a friend.

“Yes, I discussed (the use of steroids) with him, but it was more towards the countermeasures of it.

“It’s not right if someone abuses (drugs) and suffers from the symptoms. So, I felt I needed to tell him what works and what doesn’t.”

So was he speaking from personal experience?

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Rano insisted that he was not, and that the programme was based on the account of a former world champion bodybuilder who had used it. He told TNP: “I never used steroids myself.

If I did, I wouldn’t be such close friends with (former Musclemania champion) Ade Rai and the only Asian to be on the world advisory board of the International Sports Hall of Fame.”

So why did he advise another athlete to take steroids?

The 2004 Musclemania World runner-up acknowledged steroid use was a “wrong shortcut”, but insisted that he did “no wrong”.

He added: “When people come to me about such matters, and I know they’re going to use steroids no matter what, I can’t just push them away.

“I have to at least tell them what they need to know about it, so that they know the countermeasures.

“Most of the trainers in Singapore are fitness- trained, but I am also medically-trained, so I’m obligated to educate athletes.

“When I stepped in as SBBF president, I never advocated such things. Again, this was before my appointment.”

Rano and the SBBF have been under a cloud of controversy recently.

He was exposed as an undischarged bankrupt last month, after which he offered to resign from his post.

His executive committee (exco) then asked him to stay on until after the SBBF National Championships on July 1.

Later, it was reported that the SBBF constitution had no article or section prohibiting bankrupts from holding office.

Last month, Rano, along with his exco, passed a resolution to remove former SBBF president Paul Chua as its honorary life president and adviser.

The SBBF also announced a potential merger with the Singapore Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness (SFBF) – a competing organisation – and decided to keep Rano as its president for the next four months.

Despite these latest revelations, Rano said he would not step down from his position.

He said: “People are trying to tarnish my reputation by any means.

“I will not step down because of them. If I do leave my position, it will only be when my exco decides that I should.

“From here, life goes on. I will still continue my work as SBBF president.”

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