If you’re one of the millions of individuals using anabolic steroids to gain muscle, lose body fat and otherwise improve your physical appearance, the most readily available source for steroids is the androgen black market – either local steroid dealers or internet-based steroid sources. The biggest problem with steroids manufactured by underground labs (UGLs) is quality control. You simply never know exactly what is in the bottle. There are signs that that is all about to change.
The year twenty-fifteen has witnessed the rise of widespread analytical testing of UGL steroid products. Bodybuilders have more options than ever before when it comes to ensuring the content of the products they use.
Steroid analytics for bodybuilders are nothing new. In the early 2000s, San Rafael Chemical Services (SRCS), a small privately-owned laboratory providing analysis of dietary supplements and pharmaceutical products, tested anabolic steroids submitted by named and anonymous individuals alike. It provided results for a fee of $100-150. The company had a DEA license to perform such testing and everything was legal and above board. Or so they thought.
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) raided SRCS in November 2007 on the heels of the massive nationwide series of UGL busts collectively known as Operation Raw Deal. Maybe the DEA thought SRCS was really doing something illegal. Or maybe the DEA didn’t like the fact that UGLs were using SRCS for quality control validation. In the end, it didn’t matter because SRCS relinquished its DEA license (while maintaining it did nothing wrong) and avoided testing anabolic steroids.
In the aftermath of the SRCS raid, no other analytical laboratory would openly conduct steroid analytics for fear of becoming the next SRCS. Over the next 7 years, bodybuilders were left without a reliable way to test their steroids to see if they contained what they thought it did.
Certainly, some enterprising UGLs found ways to test their products as did individuals with connections to university-based laboratories. But none of the testing was done in an official capacity by the labs and the laboratories generally refused to provide interpretations or dare have their identities publicly associated with the steroid testing.
Things didn’t really start improving until a company named AnabolicLab.com was launched in the summer of 2015. The harm-reduction focused company facilitated independent and objective analytic laboratory testing to help consumers make more informed decisions and minimize the risks associated with the use of underground steroid products.
AnabolicLab.com also introduced the bodybuilding community to an internationally-recognized, fully accredited and licensed testing facility that would publicly stand by its results. The lab was named SIMEC AG in Switzerland. Up until this point in time, the services offered by SIMEC AG were a closely guarded secret known only to a few insiders.
This news made it possible for individuals to send samples directly to SIMEC AG for analysis and it also allowed other businesses to submit its own products for steroid quality control validation.
Most importantly, SIMEC AG possessed all applicable licenses to perform such services and its facilities were located in a jurisdiction where it is legally permitted to import and perform steroid analytics on UGL steroid products.
To make matters even better for bodybuilders, a few steroid UGLs offered to reimburse the costs of SIMEC steroid testing to individual customers who mailed samples to SIMEC. If customers had any questions about the quality of the products received, the UGLs would arrange to pay for objective evidence of the quality of its products.
The UGLs who have offered to pay for customer testing at SIMEC have helped expose potential reverse scammers and unscrupulous competitors who are making fake complaints. It has also proven to be a highly effective marketing strategy to promote the UGL’s confidence in its product line.
The movement towards increased steroid analytics (1) by harm reduction initiatives, (2) by individual customers who want to know what’s in the bottle and (3) by UGLs seeking quality control validation are positive trends favoring the individual steroid-using bodybuilder.
Support harm reduction initiatives like AnabolicLab.com, submit products directly to SIMEC for testing and/or support companies that will pay for SIMEC testing.