Companies in India are producing an enormous amount of generic pharmaceuticals and steroids every year. And would you believe that it\'s up to 10 times cheaper for locals to juice with these off-brand steroids, rather than use more-internationally accepted supplements and protein powders!?
Living in the United States, I\'m used to two things with regard to steroids:
1) Feelings of shadiness when purchasing roids online or from a local dealer.
2) Paying a hefty price to get enough legitimate gear for a stack.
This being said, I feel like India is some mystical, made-up place when I hear of people walking into a pharmacy without a prescription and buying steroids as they please. Furthermore, it\'s extremely cheap to juice in India since locals can buy a month\'s supply of gear for as little as US$5 to $10. Granted, our exchange rates are quite favorable when compared to the Indian Rupee, but still...
The big reason why Indians can get gear so cheap is because their country is one of the world\'s leading manufacturers of generic pharmaceuticals and steroids. India is pretty lax in how they handle patents and the manufacturing of drugs. This has caused a huge trade rift between India and other countries like the US, but it enables Indian companies to keep churning out large amounts of off-brand drugs and gear.
The natives have definitely taken advantage of this availability too by building bi\'s on their own supply. Since 2009, when India\'s National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) began operating, they\'ve had nearly 500 athletes test positive for banned performance-enhancing drugs. This is an even more eye-popping statistic when you consider that Russia is the next closest with a comparably distant 260 PED-related suspensions.
So is this just an indication that India is full of cheaters who could care less about sports rules? Actually, I\'d venture to say that Indian athletes juicing is more a product of the country\'s high tariffs, coaches and economic conditions, which I\'ll discuss more below.
As previously stated, steroids get pretty expensive in the United States and other countries where gear is sold on the black market. So even those who are interested in PEDs often stick with supplements to build more muscle due to expensive roids and fear of being busted by law enforcement. But let\'s say that these two factors are suddenly dropped - wouldn\'t it now be more tempting to buy cheap steroids?
Availability and cheap prices are two big reasons why Indian athletes continue to juice like mad. Another huge factor that comes into play here is how supplements and protein powder are extremely expensive in India. This trade-protected country slaps anywhere from a 30% to 150% tariff on these items that natural athletes use to improve their workout performance.
When you combine the skyrocket prices of supplements with how cheaply generic steroids can be bought, it\'s little surprise what some Indians choose for building muscle and recovering from workouts faster.
A Little Push
Most athletes look to their coaches for leadership and guidance. And some of the coaches in India are guiding their athletes towards juicing at a young age. Rehan Khan, who\'s supplied steroids to the New Delhi area for over two decades, echoed this sentiment. "Some of my biggest clients are the coaches of junior athletes," Khan said. "Most of my clients understand what they are buying. They know they will get fast results, so it is worth the risks. If they don\'t buy from me, they can just as easily order the steroids online."
It seems strange and even dangerous for a coach to push younger people who aren\'t knowledgeable steroid users into juicing. But one big reason for the recklessness is that Indian coaches are often paid based on the performance of their athletes. So they have a win-at-all-costs mentality that means pushing athletes to use PEDs.
Ashwini Nachappa, who heads up Clean Sports India, gave a vivid account of what this coaching philosophy leads to. "Whether it is a junior meet or university meet, you see syringes all over the track," the former track star said. "Nobody has given it a thought. The onus lies in the training center to start education programs and start randomly testing the kids so that there is fear."
Juicing towards a Future
As many people know, India isn\'t exactly the world\'s richest country. And even a large majority of athletes who excel in their sport aren\'t looking at lucrative contracts or endorsement deals during or after their careers. However, being good enough to make the national team in your respective sport can lead to a high-paying government job - something that\'s not in abundance in India.
Given that some of the country\'s impoverished kids have few other prospects, as well as little money for proper nutrition and training, working out hard and using generic steroids seems like a worthwhile pursuit. This is especially the case when gear is cheap and your coaches are providing it.
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