The Estonian Tax and Customs Board (ETCB) confiscated a record haul of what they believe are anabolic steroids.
On June 25, ETCB officials stopped a car boarding a ferry in Tallinn's D-Terminal, in which 1,009 bottles (10 milliliters), 150 ampules (1 milliliter) and 198 packs (10 milligrams) of medications were found hidden in alcohol boxes.
A week earlier, a family-member of the man who owned the car had attempted to smuggle another 9,540 ampules, 100 bottles and 1,400 tablets, all hidden inside a mattress, out of Estonia through the same route.
The exact substances contained in the packages will only be known once the results of the expert assessment are in. However, Urmas Koidu from ETCB said that this is definitely a record amount of doping caught in Estonia. Previously, anabolic steroids had only been found and confiscated in rare cases and small amounts.
Anabolic steroids, synthetic variants of the male sex hormone testosterone, are used to treat patients who suffer from conditions resulting from steroid hormone deficiency and diseases that result in loss of lean muscle mass. However, some people use the drugs to enhance their physical performance or appearance.
Abuse of anabolic steroids can, however, have serious side effects, including damage to internal organs, infertility in men, and increased body-hair growth in women.
"No drug containing anabolic steroids has market authorization in Estonia," Liis Prii from the State Agency of Medicines said. Such drugs can only be sold in pharmacies to patients who have a prescription and a special approval for the use of an unlicensed medicine. "Selling anabolic steroids in sports clubs, shops, Internet or anywhere else is illegal and punishable by law," she stressed.
Editor: M. Oll