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Four-year doping sanction for bulk import of steroids

30 Jun 2023

30 June 2023

The Sports Tribunal of New Zealand has banned club cricket player Vaibhav Sharma from all sport for four years for the use and possession of eight steroids and an anabolic agent after one of the largest border seizures investigated by Drug Free Sport New Zealand (DFSNZ).

In October 2022, NZ Customs intercepted a package at the border addressed to Mr Sharma. Medsafe identified the 26 vials and 2,250 tablets as assorted anabolic agents – all illegal to buy without a prescription or unapproved for medical use in humans – and referred the case to DFSNZ for further investigation.

Anabolic agents increase muscle mass and strength and, in the case of Clenbuterol, aid weight loss. They are banned in sport at all times. Side effects from these types of substances can be serious, and include cardiovascular disease, heart attacks, impotence, depression and liver damage.

“This case sends a clear message,” said DFSNZ Chief Executive Nick Paterson, “if you play sport, anti-doping rules apply to you, and protect you, whatever your level of competition. Anyone importing or buying banned substances risks a ban from all sport.”

Mr Paterson went on to comment on the significance of the purchase: “Doping denies clean Kiwi athletes the chance to excel on a level playing field. This is one of the largest import cases we’ve seen – it’s concerning to see such a quantity and combination of substances, and that the individuals ordering these substances may be doing so without medical advice. Nonetheless, we’re pleased to have taken such a substantial quantity of doping material out of circulation. It goes to show the importance of our partnerships with NZ Customs and Medsafe in disrupting the supply chain and protecting athletes at risk of doping.”.

NZC’s GM Community, Kent Stead, said the case highlighted the need for awareness in terms of the scope of Drug Free Sport NZ’s programme.

“This serves as a reminder that the Sports Anti-Doping Rules apply to all cricketers registered to an NZC-affiliated club or organisation, regardless of the level in which they compete,” he said.

“The assumption that it only applies to elite or high-performance athletes is incorrect.”

The substances found in the seizure were:

  • Nadrol-50, oxymethalone 50mg, 15 bottles x 50 tablets;
  • Sustanon, sustanon 250mg, 5 x 10ml vials;
  • Tren-A-100, trenbolone acetate, 100mg/ml, 3 x 10ml vials;
  • Masteron, drostanolone propionate 100mg/ml, 2 x 10ml vials;
  • Deca-300, nandrolone decanoate, 300mg/ml, 6 x 10ml vials;
  • Cyp-300, testosterone cypionate, 300mg/ml, 3 x 10ml vials;
  • Test Depot, testosterone enanthate, 250mg/ml, 2 x 10 ml vials;
  • Cypionex, testosterone cypionate, 250mg/ml 5 x 10ml vials;
  • Clen-40, clenbuterol, 40mcg, 15 bottles x 100

Read the Sport Tribunal decision.

About anabolic agents

Anabolic agents are synthetic compounds designed to mimic the effects of testosterone in the body. They’re banned in sport at all times under Section 1 of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Prohibited List. Anabolic agents increase muscle mass and strength but carry the risk of serious, even fatal, health consequences – including cardiovascular disease, heart attacks and liver damage.

Testosterone (Cyp-300, Test Depot, Cypionex)

Anabolic androgenic steroid. Prescription-only medicine used for hormone replacement therapy and to treat hypogonadism.


Anabolic androgenic steroid. Altered from Dihydrotestosterone, the most potent form of testosterone. Prescription-only medicine in NZ.


Anabolic androgenic steroid. Prescription-only medicine in NZ used to treat hypogonadism, osteoporosis or for transgender hormone therapy.


Anabolic androgenic steroid. No approved medical use in NZ. Used in some countries to support weight gain in cattle. Carries serious risks of cardiovascular disease and heart attacks.


Anabolic androgenic steroid. No approved medical use in NZ.


Anabolic androgenic steroid. No approved medical use in NZ.


Anabolic agent. Often used with anabolic androgenic steroid. No approved medical use in NZ. Used in some countries to promote muscle mass in cattle.