Prime Time Crime

(Prime Time Crime exclusive Jan. 29, 2013)

Steroid abuse in Canada

By Evelyn Morris


According to figures that were released back in 2011, it seems that Steroids are the type of drug that is more likely to be seized at Canadian Borders than certain other substances that perhaps spring to mind, such as cocaine, hash or heroin. This surprising revelation seems to have been backed up throughout 2012 with various news stories coming to the fore of steroid abuse being prevalent not just amongst sports people who are trying to improve their physique, but rather more worryingly amongst adolescents who are still developing and growing and not yet at full maturity.

However, a major news story broke on the 17th January, involving a former University of Waterloo football player, Nathan Zettler, who has finally pleaded guilty to one of the biggest doping scandals in Canadian sporting history.

Zettler had been under house arrest for almost three years, despite being previously granted bail and he has now finally admitted to not only possessing up to six different kinds of steroids, including nandrolone, testosterone, metandienone and praterone, with intent to traffic them. He has also pleaded guilty to selling two other sorts of controlled substances, which included tamoxifen and clomiphene, taken to try and hide or counteract the effects of steroid medication in the body and finally, trafficking a third other type of steroid.

Reports suggest that even though Zettler has admitted his wrong-doing, there have still been no formal convictions registered by the judge. This means that it could be at least another five months before he is brought to trial for his alleged crimes.

Alongside the possibility of a lengthy stint in jail, Zettler should also face a lifetime ban from taking part in any sort of competitive sports in Canada and this stretches to taking on either coaching or assistant coaching roles. However, the ultimate decision on this will be made by the Canadian Center For Ethics In Sport at a future date to be decided, hopefully sometime during or shortly after the trial itself.

Zettler is not the only one to have been embroiled in the scandal; indeed, there are three other of his team mates from the University of Waterloo who have also been implicated to various degrees.

Brandon Krukowski was previously acquitted back in 2011 of selling steroids to his other team mates, whilst Matthew Valeriote was arrested for his part in a series of burglaries which led the police to the discovery of steroid pills, sharps and vials that were in Zettler’s home.

Finally Eric Lagare was also implicated in the same break ins but pleaded guilty in 2011 and this avoided a jail term.

At the current moment, Zettler is a free man, but was warned by the Justice Patrick Flynn to “keep his nose clean”.

Whilst this is a story that causes concern and serves to highlight the ongoing problems that Canada appears to have with the issue of not only trafficking steroids, but the consumption of them, it’s important to remember, especially for young people who may be thinking about taking them as an illegal alternative to a proper exercise and dietary regime that the best and only way to safely build muscle and to develop big arms and properly toned muscles throughout the body is to use a proper program of exercise and diet to do so. A well set out training program that is easy to stick to, combined with the right sort of foods will ensure that there really is no need to rely on any sort of substance, banned or otherwise to gain muscle mass.

Indeed, Bob Copeland who is Director of Athletics at the University of Waterloo, at the center of the scandal is quoted as saying that he thinks “it sends a strong signal that you shouldn’t think about this type of activity because there’s consequences. Whether you’re a world class athlete or just a young person thinking no-one will pay attention, the use of steroids is a losing path”.

Paul Melia from the Canadian Center For Ethics In Sport backed up Copeland’s assertion by saying he hoped a strong message would be sent to the Canadian Justice System.

Whatever the outcome, the story still has a long way to go yet and it’s certainly clear more needs to be done to root out the problem of steroids within Canada, whoever they’re taken by. 


MORE:   U of Waterloo football program suspended over steroids



Prime Time Crime

Contributing 2012