x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Doping drugs found at Abu Dhabi health clubs

The municipality seized steroids and other illegal drugs from fitness centres and health clubs as part of a surprise inspection campaign.

ABU DHABI // Drugs, hormones and doping materials have been seized by Abu Dhabi Municipality as part of a surprise citywide inspection of health clubs and fitness centres.

The municipality said yesterday it had recovered "large quantities of proteins and vitamins trafficked between visitors of such clubs without a licence".

The inspections also led to the discovery of injectable hormones and steroids.

"Youngsters usually fall victim to fictitious propaganda of such drugs depicting their pseudo role on body and muscle-building," said Khalifa al Rumaithi, the municipality director of public health. "The results are often devastating and may cost them their lives."

The seized drugs will be sent to the Health Authority - Abu Dhabi for testing "to assess the magnitude of potential risks on health, and refer offenders to prosecution". The municipality said the offenders could be charged with practising unlicensed activities.

The municipality warned against doping and steroid use, especially those that are injected into the body, because of the increased risk of infection from using contaminated needles.

To combat the problem, the municipality pledged to increase awareness of the issue, highlight the negative impacts of doping, educate young people on the dangers of drug use and increase inspections in health clubs and fitness centres.

jthomas@thenational.ae