U.S. drug agents have arrested more than 90 people and seized 16 underground labs in a 20-state operation targeting illegal steroids.
The Drug Enforcement Administration’s Operation Cyber Juice involved more than 30 investigations and netted 636 kilos of steroid powder, 8,200 liters of raw steroid injectable liquid, and more than $2 million in currency and other assets, the Justice Department announced Tuesday.
In the Western state of Arizona alone, the agents seized four labs and nearly 150,000 dosage units of the finished product.
Underground labs often are found to have finished steroid product, raw steroid powder, oils needed for steroid conversion to a finished product, conversion kits and other lab equipment, authorities said.
«These products are commonly obtained via the Internet from Chinese chemical manufacturing companies and underground labs,» the agency said in a statement.
«Too many young people are ruining their lives and damaging their bodies from steroid use,» acting DEA Administrator Chuck Rosenberg said. «Through Operation Cyber Juice, DEA is attacking the global underground steroid market, exposing its dangers and lies.»
Over the course of the operation, the DEA worked with U.S. and global authorities, including Europol and the World Anti-Doping Agency.
«For a long time now, the World Anti-Doping Agency has been concerned about the illegal activity in some countries of underground production of and trade of anabolic steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs,» WADA Director General David Howman said. «These substances, either as full steroid products or in raw material form, are being produced in unsanitary ‘underground laboratories’ with no concern whatsoever given to the labeling of the products, nor to the health of the end user — quite often the athlete, and worryingly, very often young people.»