A Chinese woman quietly suffered the humiliating masculinizing side effects of anabolic steroids for several weeks before seeking medical attention. The woman identified as Ms. Cao had no idea that she had been consuming the androgenic hormones. And why would she? She wasn’t an athlete. She wasn’t a bodybuilder. She wasn’t taking any supplements. She had no reason to use steroids.
It turned out that Mr. Cao was an unsuspecting victim of a co-worker named Mr. Zhou. Mr. Zhou secretly slipped male hormones into her meals for months as a shocking act of revenge.
Ms. Cao was involuntarily subjected to a 24-week steroid cycle that included large daily dosages of the orally-active steroid methyltestosterone. Her body underwent numerous undesirable changes. The reported changes included a coarser and deeper voice and a disturbing increase in body hair. Upon consulting her physician, blood tests revealed that she had suffered significant liver damage (which wasn’t surprising given the known liver toxicity of methyltestosterone). Steroids are also known to trigger several additional side effects in woman such as male-patterned baldness, clitoral hypertrophy and menstrual irregularities.
Even after seeing a doctor, Ms. Cao didn’t know that it was a co-worker who covertly spiked her meals with steroids during lunch. She finally put all the pieces of the puzzle together when another co-worker exposed Mr. Zhou’s evil plan.
Ms. Cao promptly filed a police report against Mr. Zhou. The police obtained all workplace surveillance video from her employer during the course of the investigation. The closed-captions television footage captured Mr. Zhou in the act of adding a mysterious liquid to Ms. Cao’s meals on numerous occasions.
Mr. Zhou was interrogated by police investigated. He was forced to admitted tampering with her food in the face of the video evidence against him. Mr. Zhou said his actions were motivated by a desire for revenge against his co-worker after Ms. Cao teased and embarrassed him at a time when he suffered his own medical problems.
Mr. Zhou described an incident when Ms. Cao openly “made fun of him” because he was afflicted with a case of intestinal worms and was prescribed several vitamins and medicines to eliminate the worms.
“I was only playing a joke on her,” Mr. Zhou told the judge. “She had once made fun of me for taking vitamins to get rid of parasites, so I started adding them to her food and drinks.”
Mr. Zhou failed to show any remorse for his “joke”. Furthermore, he trivialized his actions as nothing more than a sophomoric prank. Finally, Mr. Zhou also denied that giving her steroids; he insisted that he only added liquid Vitamin-B1 to Ms. Cao’s meals. Yet the evidence against Mr. Zhou was overwhelming.
In addition to the video evidence, Mr. Cao’s extremely elevated serum testosterone level, the significant liver damage and the various masculinizing side effects coincided perfectly with the 6-month period in which Mr. Zhou tampered with her food.
The Gaoxin District Court in Chengdu convicted Mr. Zhou of intentional injury and food tampering in 2015. Mr. Zhou appealed the verdict but it was upheld by the Intermediate People’s Court of Chengdu in 2017. Mr. Zhou was sentenced to one full year in jail as punishment for the reprehensible crimes against Ms. Cao.
There’s nothing wrong when an adult voluntarily chooses to use anabolic steroids and muscle-building drugs. But it is inexcusable and indefensible when anyone is given steroids without his or her knowledge or consent. Steroids aren’t bad but people can do some very bad things with steroids.