Young boys, some only 14 years old, make a beeline to the many gyms in the city. Not all these gyms have scientifically trained staff, however, and untrained coaches often offer punishing training schedules.
Young people are also directed to protein supplements and anabolic steroids, and performance enhancers like creatinine and glutamine. These substances are easily available in the Khairnagar market.
Shipra Sharma, owner of Gravity Gym in the city said, “Lots of youngsters approach our instructors with only one thing in mind – to have a body builder’s physique, within six months. Sadly, young people are willing to pop any pill or get injected. Even if we discourage them, there are other gyms that cater to their demands.”
Ranji Mathew, a senior medical consultant, said, “Anabolic steroids are growth hormones, strictly to be administered under the supervision of an endocrinologist, that too in extreme cases like cancer, delayed puberty, osteoporosis, etc.”
Sunil Jindal, surgeon and male infertility expert said, “Anabolic steroids are increasingly being used by aspiring body builders. They depend upon fitness magazines to decide on doses, and also have poorly trained instructors and chemists. High doses of hormones could lead to serious side effects like erectile dysfunction, fall in sperm count, impotence and diabetes.”
Many of these products are marketed under international brand names like Weider and Prolab, and about a kg of the substance is sold in the Rs 6,000-Rs 8,000 price range. There is, however, no way to check if the product is authentic. A reliable source says more than half the material at the Khairnagar market is manufactured locally and mixed with steroid.
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