Body builder admits importing raw steroids

A POLISH man, who formerly ran a gym in Dungannon, has admitted importing almost two kilos of raw steroids in what a court heard was a “well planned, well organised operation”.

Mariusz Bak, 30, from Castleview Heights, pleaded guilty at Omagh Crown Court, sitting in Belfast, to possessing the Class C steroids with intent to supply, and also to importing the drugs.

The court was told that from January last year to January this year, officers from the UK Borders Agency and Customs and Excise seized 1.72 kilos of various body building powders at Heathrow Airport, having been sent from China, destined for Bak’s home address.

Prosecuting lawyer Robin Steer told the court that as well as the class-C drugs, officers also intercepted a metal press capable of making “thousands” of tablets in a day, 13,000 printed labels and during searches at Bak’s home, uncovered a receipt for the purchase of 1,086 glass vials and “paper work for the delivery of steroids”.

Arrested in September 2010, Bak, who was running a gym in the town at the time, admitted importing the steroids but claimed the tablet press was to be used to make protein tablets as a body supplement.

However, Mr Steer said that just two months after his arrest, officers discovered that Bak had ordered more steroids, giving rise to the fear that he was attempting to “replenish his stock”.

Defence QC James Gallagher told the court that Bak, who has competed in body building at a “high level with some success”, was selling the steroids to his circle of friends for no profit and added that they were in fact legal to own and import for personal use.

Judge Geoffrey Miller QC described the operation as “well planned and well organised” but added that it appeared the “hard working and industrious” Bak did not understand the potential harm for the unlicensed supply of steroids.

Bak was sentenced to a two year jail term, which was suspended for three years.