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July 7, 2014
Women students claim that their school administration forces them to use steroids for sports

LAHORE: Women students of Punjab University (PU) have claimed that the administration forces them to use steroids to enhance their performance in sports events. Five PU students, who are colour holders and have represented the university in various sports events, have written an application to Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, seeking his intervention. The students are Bushra Mahmood, Aqsa Rashid, Aqsa Nawaz, Fauzia Parveen and Zunaira Liaquat. The application, a copy of which is available with The Express Tribune, has been marked by the CM Office for further investigation. Written on July 3, the application has also been sent to the governor who is the university’s chancellor. The students claimed that they were experiencing medical complications due to “excessive use of steroids”. They alleged that some students had earlier been expelled from the university for not agreeing to take steroids. The application said the athlete were injected steroids under the supervision of a coach. “When many [athlete] girls got sick after they were administered injections, they asked the nurse to tell them the names of the steroids. She told them that they were being given Crealine, Anbolic and Tamoxifen,” stated the application. The nurse was replaced afterwards, the students claimed. The application alleged that many girls had developed serious medical complications. “The girls are told these are food supplements.” They students mentioned names of three women athletes and claimed that they would test positive in a dope test. They claimed that the athletes were told that those who did not use the medicines would not get any stipend and their admission would also be cancelled. “From 2013 to June 2014, many girls from the PU Sports Department were admitted to Emergency Department of Shaikh Zayed Hospital with low blood pressure and vomiting. This was due to the use of steroids injections and tablets,” the application claimed. The athlete students claimed that they had complained to PU Vice Chancellor Mujahid Kamran but he asked them to settle the issue with the Sports Department. “The additional sports director used to tell us that we must win medals… it is not possible without using food supplements,” Bushra Mahmood, one of the students who have written the application, toldThe Express Tribune. “We request you (the chief minister, governor) in the holy month of Ramadan to rescue us from the university administration’s tyranny. Many students of Sports Department do not have the resources to bear their sports expenses on their own… Several students are suffering from kidney problems. Action should be taken against the university administration and the culprits should be brought to justice,” the application said. PU’s version A PU spokesperson said the students had not contacted the vice chancellor to complain about any official of the Sports Department. “Anyone can write a letter to defame the university. If there was any substance to their claims, the students should have contacted the VC first. They claim that they have contacted the VC office but they have not.” He said two of the students who had written the application had been expelled from the university. “A faculty member from the PU Law College has been instigating these students to level baseless allegations,” he said. The spokesperson said some students were writing a letter to the chief minister, stating that they had neither used steroids nor had anyone ever pressured them to use steroids. PU Registrar Dr Amin Athar refused to comment.