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Feb 7, 2013

How Crikey bought banned peptides online in 30 seconds

Growth hormone-releasing "peptides" might be rife in Australian sport. And no wonder -- Crikey purchased a vial for nix from a US distributor in under a minute.

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The banned “peptide” believed to have been injected into numerous Australian professional athletes can be bought in under 30 seconds online.

GHRP-6, the growth hormone-releasing peptide that features in the Australian Crime Commission’s report into organised crime and drugs in sport released this morning, was identified — alongside other so-called performance and image enhancing drugs (PIEDs) — as a dubious supplement threatening to cast a pall over the country’s professional codes.

Although unproven, GHRP-6 purportedly helps the body repair damaged tissue and can stimulate human growth hormones to improve athletic performance. It can be used in conjunction with anabolic steroids to promote muscle gain.

Peptides are classified as a prohibited substance on the World Anti-Doping Agency prohibited list and were banned for use both in and out of competition in 2008. The ACC report said most peptides are also:

“… listed under Schedule 7A Item 3 of the Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations 1956. Further, under Regulation 5 of these Regulations, Schedule 7A substances are classified as prohibited imports unless the importer has a permit to import issued by the TGA.”

However, using a credit card, Crikey was able to easily order a 5 milligram vial of GHRP-6 without a permit or a prescription from the US-based Peptide Labs for the the bargain-basement price of $US18.50 plus $US10 postage and handling. A disclaimer attached to the sale stresses the peptide is “not for human use” and is for “LABORATORY USE ONLY”.

At 99% purity, the peptide boasts “paramount attributes for experiments involving muscle synthesis and recovery”. Delivery is promised between 7-14 days after the payment is processed.

At least four other online operators — including the apparently Australian-based “The Research Clinic” — offer a cocktail of peptides and other supplements at the click of a mouse.

Andrew Crook —

Andrew Crook

Former Crikey Senior Journalist

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11 comments

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11 thoughts on “How Crikey bought banned peptides online in 30 seconds

  1. mikeb

    Before you get too hysterical a look at some facts would be in order. Firstly – some peptides can be bought over the counter and are no more controversial than protein supplements. The peptides which release growth hormones however are a different story and are banned by sporting bodies. Also just because they are banned by WADA or other sporting agencies does not make them “illegal”. A doctor being interviewed on ABC Radio yesterday spoke of prescribing them out to patients so presumably they are available for medical use. Again – wait until the facts are out before making assumptions.

  2. Holden Back

    Oooh, hark at her!

  3. Andrew Crook

    Yeah, of course they do. How could Crikey have been so stupid.

  4. Anthony Piccolo

    No news here. Pretty sure most people know obtaining GHRP-6 is easy enough with the interwebs.

  5. Otto Wynton

    How do you package 5mg of anything? I mean you can barely see 5 mg unless it’s diluted by ,say, a thousand fold of something that will bring it up to 5g of injectable material.

  6. mook schanker

    Article would have been miles better if it was framed tongue in cheek…

  7. mattsui

    30 Seconds! a new world record! Yeeeeeeeehhhhhhh! Crikey! you bloody bewdy!……..what are you on?

  8. Bill Parker

    Don’t know why this is a surprise. Peptides (without the quotes) are readily available across the globe. The customs regularly check bioactives, even for transmission to bona fide end users. I was in the peptide manufacturing business some years ago.

  9. mark palavra

    You can buy heroin online too y’know.

  10. Mike Smith

    If you want 100% inspection of incoming goods, Andrew, its going to cost a lot, and cause a lot of delays for legitimate imports. Just to stop some people who only want to harm themselves slightly. Is it worth the cost?

  11. Coaltopia

    This is a bit Today Tonight though isn’t it? You can buy all sorts of sh*t online… Customs may or may not seize it.

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