Steroid scandal for East-Rand school + what you need to know about steroids

04 February 2015

Two pupils of Hoërskool Dr EG Jansen in Boksburg, on Johannesburg's East Rand, will appear before a disciplinary hearing for being in possession of steroids, Beeld reported on Wednesday.

Principal Leon de Beer called the police to arrest the two boys, aged 16 and 17, on the school premises.

The school's governing body decided to suspend the boys pending the outcome of the hearing next week.

Governing body chairman Kobus Kleynhans said any children caught using steroids would not be allowed to participate in school sport again.

The police said the boys were arrested and then released into their parents' care.

What are anabolic steroids?

They’re synthetic substances that mimic the effect of testosterone on the body. Testosterone, known as the male sex hormone – even though it also occurs in women – is the primary hormone responsible for muscle growth.

Dr Henry Kelbrick, a sports medicine expert of Pretoria, says in some circumstances the use of steroids is permitted, for instance in the treatment of medical problems such as delayed puberty and diseases such as cancer and HIV/Aids which result in loss of lean muscle mass. In such cases the steroids must be prescribed by a doctor.

It’s illegal to use anabolic steroids to build muscle in order to improve sport or athletic performance. Anabolic steroids are available in various forms – pills, liquids, injectable mixtures and powders. They’re known by various nicknames such as juice, candy, pumpers and stackers.

Signs of steroid abuse:

Sports medic Dr Henry Kelbrick says general signs that indicate substance abuse by boys include:

- A bigger appetite

- Insomnia

- Acne

- Aggression

- Depression

- Stretchmarks, especially on the upper arms and thighs

- Needle marks, usually on the buttocks

- Muscles that tear easily

SAPA; Additional info: Gloria Edwards

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