A Saturday afternoon in a pizzeria in the Stuttgart area, Tim suggests a table in the back corner for the interview. Tim actually has a different name. He is one of those who got caught. He’s in jail. Although Tim is a free agent, he is allowed to move eleven hours a day outside the walls, but every evening he has to be back in prison.
Four years ago he was convicted of “marketing doping drugs in sport”, the indictment said. Tim operated one of the most lucrative and productive underground laboratories in Germany. He cooked, mixed and distributed anabolic steroids on a grand scale. In the end, his cover was blown. House search. U-prison.
“I could have made four times as much, so much was the demand.”
In his gym, Tim met a pump who was running an underground laboratory in a rented apartment. He was looking for a successor for the business and asked Tim if he was interested. Tim was thrilled. He ordered anabolic raw materials via the Internet: testosterone enanthate, testosterone propionate, nandrolone decanoate, trenbolone enanthate and trenbolone acetate. He bought from a company in China for up to 10,000 euros per order. The raw materials came in powder form, hermetically sealed.
Tim converted his kitchen into a small doping factory. Production was always the same: he took the powder and added castor oil and ethyl oleate. He boiled up the mixture and disinfected it with benzyl alcohol. Finally, he filled the liquid into ten-milliliter vials. Done. He needed 90 minutes for two liters of doping agent. Tim’s days consisted only of strength training and cooking. “I was totally obsessed,” he says.
I was totally obsessed.
He posted his product range in web forums. He had 30 substances on offer, plus preparations in tablet form. His e-mail inbox with the orders overflowed. “I didn’t have to advertise“, says Tim, “I could have produced four times as much, the demand was so great“.
Tim sold the ampoules and tablet boxes to resellers, who in turn distributed the products via the Internet or in studios. Tim earned up to 5000 euros per month. But the good life was soon over. Policemen in Munich grabbed one of Tim’s resellers, he had been dealing in parking lots of fitness studios. The officers traced the chain until they stood in front of Tim’s apartment door.
I risked my life.
Many dealers don’t know how hard the prosecutors are now cracking down. “Most people don’t realize how dangerous it is to sell the stuff,” Tim says, “I put life on the line.”
The side effects of the drugs are enormous, steroid users can get an enlarged heart muscle and have a heart attack. They can suffer from high blood pressure, mood swings and depression. Men’s testicles shrink. As soon as the body receives testosterone from the outside, it shuts down its own production. In many athletes who dope themselves with anabolic steroids, the testicles shrink to pea size.
Tim has had a lot of time to think recently. Also about the question why doping is so popular. For him, the answer has four letters: Yolo. “Many people who work on their bodies in the studio live by this motto,” says Tim, “they want everything, and they want it now. The products for this lifestyle are manufactured in the U-Labs.”