Twenty-eight-year-old Dev Luthra desired perfect six-pack abs before his marriage. An overdose of steroids promising to tone his physique in no time led to the swelling of his brain and, within months, the young company secretary was dead.
According to experts, an ever-increasing number of physique-conscious boys and men are taking anabolic steroids to buff their bodies for several reasons like an aspiration to join showbiz or, like Luthra, to impress the other sex.
“Having a toned body is a fad nowadays for youth and because of this, the number of youth taking supplements are on the rise,” Rommel Tickoo, senior consultant (Internal Medicine) at Max Hospital, told IANS.
Tickoo said that anabolic steroids are not meant for body building because their prolonged use without supervision can affect the liver and kidneys and can cause other serious harms.
Agreed V.M. Katoch, director general of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR): “Using steroids for building muscles is not only wrong but is illegal.”
However, a visit to some of the premium as well as affordable gymnasiums around the city revealed that business is booming. The gyms were more than willing to provide the steroids if you had the money.
A popular gym in west Delhi suggested capsules, a box that would last around three weeks for Rs.5,000, which would “burn fat and turn them into muscles in a month’s time.”
Another gym in south Delhi suggested shakes that would increase stamina, resulting in longer workout sessions. Questions on side effects or withdrawal symptoms were simply ridiculed.
However, national-level weightlifter Joginder Singh Saluja, who also owns a gym in the capital, said that in several cases especially involving teenagers, steroids were being given by their trainers in the garb of health supplements.
“Health supplements do benefit the body but steroids produce dramatic results. So, fake supplements mixed with steroids are promoted,” Saluja told IANS.
“A good quality protein supplement would cost anything between Rs.3,000 and 4,000 for a 2.5 kilo pack, but a copy of that same product would be available in the grey market for around Rs. 1,000,” he added.
An alumnus of Khalsa College, Saluja, despite suffering from polio has been working out for over a decade an