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Mon 25 Jul 2016 10:52 AM

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Dubai revealed as potential doping destination for 'drug tourists'

Performance-enhancing drugs are cheaper and more readily available in Dubai than in Europe or the US

Dubai revealed as potential doping destination for 'drug tourists'
Russian weight lifter Apti Aukhadov won a silver medal at the 2012 Olympics in London. He has since been suspended from international competition following positive doping test. If confirmed, Aukhadov faces losing his Olympic medal (Getty Images)

Dubai is attracting “drug tourist” athletes because it provides cheap and easy access to performance-enhancing drugs, it has been claimed.

According to a report in The National, doping drugs favoured by professional athletes and other sportsmen are widely and cheaply available in the emirate – despite their use being banned.

Examples of performance-enhancing drugs include human growth hormones, testosterone and anabolic steroids.

One former Olympic weightlifter who lives and works in Dubai reportedly told the newspaper that such drugs cost half the price they do in Europe and the US. For example, a month’s supply of anabolic steroids costs around $100 a month in Dubai, compared with around $400 per month in the US, he claimed.

“I was astonished how rampant the use of performance-enhancing drugs is here compared to the US,” the athlete was quoted as saying. “I moved here nine years ago from the US, but the drug culture there was nothing compared to Dubai. It is more accepted, drugs are cheaper and easier to get. There is a culture of people coming here to take drugs.”

Dr Danielle White, a professional bodybuilder and associate professor at the American University in the Emirates, added drug use has become more common due to the rise in international sporting competitions in the Middle East.

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