OUTLAW bikies and organised crime gangs are
smuggling record amounts of banned steroids and hormones into
The Australian Customs and Border Protection Services
is policing airport importing rings and international postal deliveries
of illegal pills and liquids.
The detection of performance-enhancing drugs soared 56
per cent last year, while seizures of hormones more than doubled,
Customs figures show.
And the Australian Crime Commission said criminals
were becoming major players in the distribution of peptides and
hormones, with "steroid abuse" now heavily linked to outlaw bikie gangs.
ACC acting chief executive officer Paul Jevtovic said
organised crime groups were establishing a greater presence in the
profitable and established performance and image enhancing drug (PIED)
"The ACC identified that organised crime identities
and groups are involved in the domestic distribution of PIEDs, including
peptides and hormones, to a greater extent than was previously thought
to be the case," Mr Jevtovic said.
"If left unchecked, it is likely that organised
criminals will increase their presence in the distribution of peptides
There were 8721 detections of performance-enhancing
drugs in 2011-12, up from 5562 a year before.
Peptides, such as erythropoietin (EPO) and darbepoetin
alfa, and anabolic agent DHEA are being smuggled into the country, with
the drugs regularly being sent by mail.
Customs spokesman Matt Wardell said vanity-obsessed
Aussies had driven up the demand, with many bought from markets in
He said most PIEDs that were brought into the country
were for personal use.
"Certain individuals and certain groups are interested
in getting their hands on these sort of materials and we are alerted to
that at the border," he said.