United Arab Emirates Cracks Down on Gyms Promoting Steroids

Anabolic steroids have been widely recommended to gym members by several bodybuilding and fitness centers in Dubai.

Several Dubaian bodybuilding gyms were recently raided by the United Arab Emirates Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHaP). The gyms were targeted after officials were notified that anabolic steroids and performance-enhancing drugs were being promoted by fitness instructors and personal trainers.

MoHaP accused the gyms of promoting steroids in an effort to increase and maintain the number of gym memberships in a highly competitive marketplace. The availability of steroids from personal trainers was apparently a perk of membership.

The Ministry of Health and Prevention issued a stern warning to fitness centers which continue to sell anabolic steroids to clients.

“These fitness centres or gyms are unaware or pretending to be inattentive to the negative impacts of these drugs on the health of young people,” according to a statement released by MoHaP, “especially in light of the tough competition between fitness and bodybuilding centres to attract the largest number of members.

“They tend to use illegal methods such as promoting banned steroids to increase the muscle mass of their members to earn more money.”

The purchase of anabolic steroids without a prescription is illegal in the United Arab Emirates. Nonetheless, many pharmacists are more than willing to sell pharmaceutical steroids like Andriol, Sustanon 250 and Deca Durabolin without a prescription.

However, a much wider variety of anabolic steroids are often available from local personal trainers. These steroids include popular and unlicensed international brands imported via black market channels.

MoHaP has promised to increase the monitoring of local fitness centers and to introduce greater controls to prevent the illegal black market distribution of steroids. It hopes to reduce the sale of unlicensed steroid drugs in coordination with local municipalities and health authorities.

Of course, no government warning would be complete without a dire warning about the dangers of anabolic steroids. And Dr. Hessa Mubarak, the MoHaP Director of Health Empowerment and Compliance Department, was happy to provide one.

“These substances can be dangerous and cause serious health risks, including serious liver and kidney diseases, especially since there is no control over their storage conditions, which leads to their damage.

“Besides, they cause side effects such as severe acne, hair loss, increased aggressiveness and depression, and cause life-threatening reactions such as kidney damage, heart attacks, stroke and pulmonary embolism (blockage of one of the central blood vessels in the lungs), and deep vein thrombosis.”


MoHaP. (December 11, 2019). Emirates News Agency – MoHAP issues warning on selling, promoting steroids. Retrieved from wam.ae/en/details/1395302809620

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