Josh Townshend wants to sell legal dietary supplements to athletes and bodybuilders.
Josh Townshend is planning to launch a new website to sell legal dietary supplements called Eukora Health. The store will not be open for business until next year but the local reporters want everyone to know that the man behind it is a convicted steroid dealer.
Townshend was convicted and imprisoned for his involvement in the largest doping scandal in New Zealand history. Of course, New Zealand doesn’t really have a history of doping scandals. But the scope of Townshend’s doping scandal remains impressive nonetheless.
Anti-doping officials found the names of over 100 amateur athletes in Townshend’s customer database.
Drug Free Sport New Zealand (DFSNZ) identified over 100 competitive athletes who acquired anabolic steroids and/or other performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) like clenbuterol from Townshend.
Most of these were amateur and recreational athletes who were in DFZNZ’s drug testing pool. However, bigger name athletes were also involved.
These included numerous rugby players such as Nathaniel Walker (Bay of Plenty), Sam Barton (North Harbour), Henry Boyhan (Auckland) and Paratene Edwards (Hawke’s Bay) and Shaun Laurence (Tasman).
Townshend apologized to the New Zealand athletes who were sanctioned by anti-doping authorities based on his customer records.
“I was running an irresponsible and dangerous business for my own benefit, and I deserved to be held to account for my actions,” Townshend said. “I never considered that I could lose everything and go to prison, nor did I consider the impact on all these promising athletes – for that, I am truly sorry to their families, partners, coaches and all those who supported their careers.”
Townshend operated an underground laboratory (UGL) that produced various anabolic steroids and other PEDs under the APS brand. The drugs were sold online via the website clenbuterol.co.nz.
Townshend reportedly sold over 2100 bottles of clenbuterol and 2400 vials of injectable steroids such as testosterone and nandrolone decanoate. Townshend’s illegal steroid operation generated revenue of approximately $300,000 New Zealand dollars per year from 2013 until 2017.
Townshend pleaded guilty to 129 violations of the New Zealand Medicines Act of 1981. The charges included unauthorized advertising of new medicines, selling a new medicine without proper consent and possession of prescription medicine without reasonable excuse.
Townshend was sentenced to two years in prison before being released earlier this year.
Townshend insists that his new venture Eukora Health will follow all applicable laws. All Eukora Products will be produced by GMP-approved facilities.
Nonetheless, NZ government and anti-doping officials are warning consumers about the dangers of buying supplements from companies like Eukora Health.
“Consumers and sports people should be aware that websites can be very deceptive about the legality of their operation, where they are located and the quality of their products,” according to a Ministry of Health spokesperson.
DFSNZ corporate services manager John Williams advised consumers to avoid the use of supplements entirely.
“Supplements are a very risky area. They can be contaminated with prohibited substances either deliberately or inadvertently in the manufacturing process,” Williams said. “Given that there isn’t really a universal quality standard for manufacturing of supplements and labelling and so on, if we’re importing these supplements it is difficult to know what sort of rigour has been behind the manufacturing process.”
Johannsen, D. (November 24, 2019). Ringleader of New Zealand sport’s biggest steroid operation sets up new health company. Retrieved from stuff.co.nz/sport/other-sports/117626410/ringleader-of-new-zealand-sports-biggest-steroid-operation-sets-up-new-health-company