October 31, 2014
Former user confirms that bodybuilding is rife with steroids
A FORMER bodybuilder has broken his silence about his use of liquid steroids, revealing that mounting pressure on athletes caused the sport to be rife with the use of illicit drugs. Ballarat personal trainer Benjamin Sellars’ words come in the wake of his conviction at the Ballarat Magistrates Court on Tuesday. Mr Sellars was ordered to pay a $3000 fine with a conviction after he pleaded guilty to 13 charges including possession of a schedule 4 poison after police found 16 vials of human growth hormone and 16 vials of liquid steroid in fridges at his house. Mr Sellars is the first to admit he has made a mistake, one that he says nearly cost his family and in his darkest moments almost cost him his life. “I’m completely demoralised, embarrassed and ashamed,” Mr Sellars said.
The owner of Ben’s Army Gym at Alfredton has revealed that the use of performance enhancing drugs at elite level body building championships, is rampant.
He said he has not touched drugs since February this year, months before police raided his home.
Mr Sellars said without the assistance of banned substances, it is impossible to compete in the highest level competitions.
Mr Sellars was a bodybuilder for about eight years, before he was first introduced to the testosterone.
Tireless training without drugs had allowed him to reach a certain point but Mr Sellars said in order to progress, he need to change his regime.
“People around me were telling me I should compete at a high level, that I had what it takes,” he said.
“My coach who was a world champion in his own right and who I really looked up to was also encouraging me to compete. My ego had taken over and for one of the first times in my life I felt like people were really believing in me.”
But the path was a destructive one filled with excessive drug use and extreme dieting and training.
“What I needed to do to get to the certain level was take certain stuff, certain drugs,” Mr Sellars said.
“Because if you didn’t you might as well not even stand up on stage. To get that muscle development, to get that lean, to get to that perfect body weight you need it. Its all driven by all driven by what the judges are after and they are looking for certain things in your body. The texture of your skin, the shape of your muscles. Without looking a certain way you wouldn’t even make it into that stage.”
Mr Sellars said after winning a state championships in 2013, the feeling of people applauding his physical appearance became addictive.
“It gave me a feeling of self worth,” he said.
“But it was all false pride.”
But it was the love unconditional love of his fiancée Sharna, daughter and unborn child that pulled him out of the cycle of self destruction.
Despite winning titles for elite bodybuilding competitions, Mr Sellars said he never won a cent.
All he has to show for his relentless pursuit are trophies that now sit collecting dust in cardboard boxes in his house.
“I don’t like to look at them anymore because they don’t represent who I am,” he said.
“I have completely distanced myself from anything to do with bodybuilding since my last competition and my focus is now on being the best husband, father, coach and friend and I can be.”
Before Mr Sellars stepped onto to the stage for his last competition, he not had a sip of water in 64 hours.
He taken copious amounts of Vitamin C in a bid to rid his body of all waste.
“All of this for two minutes on stage,” he said.
“I’m still shocked at what I did to win.”
He said his life’s mission is to now educate others on the dangers of using steroids.
“I hope that by sharing my story publicly I can encourage others not do the same,” Mr Sellars said.
“Whether they are body builder or kid that looks up to bodybuilders or even just a guy in the gym who thinks that taking steroids is the path to improving their self confidence, I want the tell them that is it is an unhealthy and dangerous path.”
Within hours of his conviction Mr Sellars wrote an open letter to all his clients, friends and family, detailing his harrowing personal story.
After sharing it on Facebook he was flooded with messages of support from the men and women he trains, who credit him with changing their lives.
“For me my life is about helping people and supporting them in anyway I can,” he said. “I had a female client who endured chronic leg pain and wasn’t able to sleep through the night and now she can sleep pain free. We also were able to help a man reduce the life threatening levels of immunity suppressants he was on through nutrition and training, seeing that change in peoples’ lives has become my reason for living.”