May 6, 2013
Steroid use is NOT limited to one or two schools!
PARENTS would be “naive” to think the steroid scandal involving students from an elite Brisbane school was an isolated incident, the nation’s peak medical body has warned. Australian Medical Association president Dr Steve Hambleton said every Australian school is at risk of being infiltrated by steroid pushers, with “ringleaders” taking advantage of increasing body-image pressures on young men. And he said part of the blame lies with the country’s elite athletes, who should understand their bad behaviour is readily picked up by impressionable youth. Police last week arrested two males, aged 16 and 17, from St Joseph’s Nudgee College, on charges of possession and supply of steroids. A third student was cautioned. Dr Hambleton said schools needed to urgently address increasing problems with body image in students. “This is a big lesson for other schools to go and sit down with their young men and try to establish some sort of normality,” he said. “Let’s not be naïve – these Nudgee College students are not the only ones. “Whoever the ringleader is, they would be trying to open up other markets at other schools. Maybe it’s happened already.” He said he believed the prevalence of steroid use among elite athletes was encouraging school children to follow suit. “Lance Armstrong and other leading individuals need to understand the impact they have on young people,” Dr Hambleton said. “If it’s OK for them (to take steroids), why isn’t it OK for kids? “These role models have a huge impact on our society. “Every school, not just in Queensland, but in the whole of Australia, needs to start looking at body image.” He said steroid pushers who prey on young men needed to be brought into the spotlight. “Why would two good kids make decisions like that?” he said. “If their mates had said ‘get lost, we’re not interested in that sort of thing’ it would never have happened. “Whoever the ringleader is, there is no punishment strong enough for them. Don’t blame the kids – blame the ringleader.” Dr Hambleton said the distinction between steroids and peptides “was not huge” and both had side effects. He said steroid use could prevent people growing to their full height, and taken orally can increase the risk of liver cancer. Injected steroids can cause breast growth in men, aggressive behaviour and testicular shrinkage. Australian Customs and Border Protection Service figures show the detections of performance-enhancing drugs soared 56 per cent last year, while seizures of hormones more than doubled. Authorities say outlaw bikies and organised crime gangs are behind the increase in importations. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/ama-president-dr-steve-hambleton-says-incident-of-steroid-use-at-nudgee-college-not-confined-to-just-one-school/story-e6frg6n6-1226635580059