The Canadian bodybuilding champion avoids jail but must serve house arrest in a 16-month conditional sentence.
Gordon Nelson, a Canadian national champion bodybuilder from Vancouver, will not go to prison for illegally manufacturing and selling anabolic steroids under the Genomax Pharma brand. However, his conditional sentence involves house arrest followed by a strict curfew.
North Vancouver Provincial Court Judge James Sutherland mandated an 18-month conditional sentence for Nelson on October 4, 2019. Nelson had previously pleaded guilty to smuggling anabolic steroids, and producing and possessing steroids for the purpose of trafficking.
The first four months require that Nelson be placed under house arrest. Of course, Nelson managed to negotiate an exception that would allow him to go to the gym to train on a daily basis.
The house arrest is followed by a strict curfew between 10pm and 7am for the following 8 months. Nelson must also pay a $140,000 fine by November 9, 2019.
Gordon Nelson operated the large-scale UGL known as Genomax Pharma.
Nelson operated Genomax Pharma. Genomax was a large-scale underground steroid lab (UGL) that sold hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of steroids every year.
Nelson was busted when police conducted simultaneous raids in North Vancouver on his apartment, a warehouse and a rented storage locker in August 2016. Police seized 418 vials of injectable steroids, 3 liters of unbottled liquid steroids, 14,537 oral steroid tablets, and 12.5 grams of steroid powder.
The police also found substantial evidence consistent with the operation of an underground lab including pill presses, a powder mixing machine, scales and various lab supplies. The labels and packaging supplies were covered with the Genomax Pharma brand name.
The financial success of the Genomax Pharma UGL was evident from the financial records and cash seized at Nelson’s apartment. Investigators found a spreadsheet that documented steroid sales for the 15-month period between April 2015 and August 2016. The gross sales amounted to $456,000. They also located approximately $140,000 in cash hidden around his apartment.
The evidence seized during the raid did not even begin to reflect to true scope of Nelson’s steroid empire. He had been importing massive quantities of steroid powders from China and Hong Kong in the year prior to his arrest.
Nelson imported an unspecified quantity of steroid powder disguised as “glass glue” in January 2015.
Nelson imported 25 kilograms of steroid powders and ancillary drug powders (like Viagra) disguised as “calcium carbonate” in September 2015. He paid his Chinese suppliers $48,000 USD for this shipment.
Nelson received a similarly-sized shipment (declared as “instant coconut powder”) shortly thereafter. He paid $39,000 USD for it.
Cait Fleck, the defense attorney representing Nelson, said his client started using steroids to compete in bodybuilding. Nelson won several bodybuilding contests including the 2009 BCABBA Northern Classic (middleweight) and the 2009 CBBF Canadian National Bodybuilding Championships (Welterweight).
Nelson’s rising status in the Canadian bodybuilding community gave him to opportunity to sell steroids to his fellow competitors. The temptation to keep selling steroids to an ever-growing customer base apparently became too great.
Fleck told Judge Sutherland that Nelson continues to lift weights but has stopped competing and no longer uses steroids.