Sports is an integral part of society, and over the years various societies have come up with different types of sports that help them put their leisure time to good use.
However, some sports have a managed to unite the entire world, the main one being football – or as Americans refer to it, soccer.
Competition among professional athletes continues to soar as each one works to be the best in the world. Healthy competition is a positive thing as it encourages discipline and hard work.
However, unhealthy competition can bring about the use of dubious and underhanded means to achieve one’s goals; this is where doping comes in. Doping is the use of drugs to enhance one’s performance.
Renowned athletes such as Lance Armstrong and Marion Jones built stellar careers in their respective sports, but retired disgracefully after admitting to doping.
With the birth of the dark web and cryptocurrencies, it has given drug vendors and users a chance to trade anonymously without fear of getting caught easily.
It has also provided a platform for athletes to purchase performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) conveniently.
Enhancement in the field of science continues to bring about more sophisticated PEDs which are harder to trace in one’s blood.
Valhalla Doping Operation Busted
Like any other dark web market, Valhalla – perhaps better known by its first name, Silkkitie – is was an online platform where customers and vendors could interact and trade legal or illegal items anonymously.
The darknet market was initially available to users in Finland, however, with its growth, it went international and rebranded its name.
The website was meant to help its users get quality drugs and avoid street drugs, which are of poorer quality and pose a greater threat to a user’s safety. It was also meant to eliminate physical confrontation for both buyers and sellers.
Its access was restricted worldwide, and one could only join in via invite. This was done to regulate its growth. Users could recruit fellow vendors or buyers and be rewarded by the admin.
The bust of the Valhalla drug operation uncovered that, among many other doping drugs, they were also selling erectile dysfunction medication and testosterone blockers.
Finish authorities revealed that though some of the drugs were produced locally, the better part of them came from other countries such as Germany and China. The customs department held in custody approximately $420,000 worth of drugs.
There were various speculations about the case, but due to its ongoing nature at the time, not much could be confirmed. With continued investigations, it is likely that athletes who bought drugs from the website are going to be exposed and brought to face the consequences of their actions.
Such platforms continue to encourage athletes to dope to win, a sad occurrence ruining the beauty of sports and what they represent.
DNMs, Drugs and Betting
Other than the sale of doping substances meant to improve an athlete’s performance, addictive substances such as Nandrolone (a Scheduled substance) are also available.
Nandrolone is among the most popular anabolic steroids in the market. It has become a staple among PEDs, but when abused it can cause adverse side effects that can result in death.
Poor regulation of the dark web is quite dangerous for athletes because they can purchase counterfeit drugs with potentially fatal results.
For athletes not seeking to dope but are money driven, the dark web also has illegal money-making schemes for them through match-fixing – determining the outcome of a match before its play.
The dark web therefore not only lures athletes to purchase drugs (which may or may not be counterfeit), but also encourages illegal manipulation of sports.
Strict regulations on doping and any malicious sporting activity and thorough policing of the dark web is needed to solve such problems.
John wanted to have an athlete’s body. He thought losing weight from 182 pounds to172 pounds would see him develop that well-toned athlete’s body that he deeply desired. Instead, he ended up looking sickly and his doctor diagnosed him with an eating disorder.
That was when John turned to steroids. With the abundance of information online and ease of access, it was not long before he got his hands on some and started using it.
He felt the effects on his mental state almost immediately, feeling good and more confident.
The physical effects came soon after. It is common in the realm of bodybuilding, where many take steroids to develop the frame they want. John’s case is just one in many.
In a different case, 25-year-old Romario Dos Santos was hospitalized after injecting himself with synthol (an alcohol and oil compound), which causes muscles to swell when injected.
He almost lost his arms, and he would not likely have found such drugs online as there is enough information online that would have cautioned against such actions.
When a young teen posted online about his intentions to try out a new steroid regimen, he received more caution than support from the online community.
There is extensive information on the negative effects of steroids online, and others even went as far as posting a list of people who have died due to steroid use.
Support for athletes has developed in the online community, therefore it is largely one’s personal decision whether to use steroids or not.
When one chooses to take steroids with the knowledge that it might lead to their death, then they are to blame for not heeding the warnings.
Thomas Mann was the alias used by Michael A. Moorcones to sell PEDs, mainly peptides, internationally.
He delivered quality products to his customers, and his clientele boasted a large number of athletes, professional and amateurs alike.
The closure of his business led to the suspension of quite a few professional athletes, showing just how deep-rooted doping is in sports.
Therefore, it is essential that we put strict measures in place to curb this trade at its early stages.
As we have seen, buying PEDs on the dark web without the relevant information can be dangerous because you can receive counterfeit drugs.
On the other hand, when buying from reliable and well-established sources, one gets authentic drugs.
Doping is illegal, and its punishment needs to be harsher to discourage athletes from engaging in it.
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