Fitness fanatics are increasingly using drugs including cocaine and opiates like heroin to improve their workouts, experts say.
Toilet swabbing at 13 popular gyms in Sydney revealed a startling amount of gym-goers were using illicit substances before and after working out, the Daily Telegraph reports.
Bathrooms at 11 of the sampled businesses were found to have traces of cocaine, and others tested positive for cannabis and opiates like heroin.
Swabs taken from the bathrooms of 13 gyms throughout Sydney revealed 85 per cent had traces of cocaine and other illicit substances, including Broadway gym in Ultimo (pictured)
‘Cocaine heightens mental activity, stimulates the heart rate and is performance enhancing and effectively makes people feel like Superman in the gym,’ forensic toxicologist Andrew Leibie of Safework Laboratories said.
‘Gyms are like pubs these days, it’s where people go to socialise and pick up. Some gym users might be taking it to feel confident while working out or after exercising before going out.’
Among the gyms found with traces of cocaine and opiates were Fitness First’s Kings Cross facility and its platinum gym in the CBD.
Self-proclaimed ‘world-class’ gym Virgin Active also presented traces of cocaine from male and female bathrooms, as well as Anytime Fitness’ Bondi Junction and Kings Cross centres.
Anytime Fitness’ Bondi Junction and Kings Cross centres were found to contain traces of cocaine in its unisex bathrooms
Among the gyms found with traces of cocaine and opiates were Fitness First’s Kings Cross facility and its platinum gym in the CBD
City Gym in Darlinghurst is leading the way in safe drug administering practices, having recently installed needle disposal bins in its change rooms.
‘We are in an area, Darlinghurst and East Sydney, where social drug use is prevalent, hence the government’s decision to support a Drug Supervised Injecting Centre,’ general manager John Reidy said.
He said while the centre did not condone illegal behaviour, it wanted to create a safe facility for people who use syringes for ‘whatever reasons’.
Cocaine was also detected in the disabled bathroom in Surry Hills’ Fitness Playground and in the female bathroom, as well as cannabis, at Broadway Gym in Ultimo.
There is no suggestion gym owners or managers are in any way connected to drug use within their facilities.
Cocaine was also detected in the disabled bathroom in Surry Hills’ Fitness Playground
City Gym in Darlinghurst is leading the way in safe drug administering practices, having recently installed needle disposal bins in its change rooms
Drug using before a workout can boost performance, minimise pain and create an all-round pleasurable experience, according to Australian Drug Law Reform Foundation president Alex Wodak.
‘They (gym-goers) believe they can exercise more vigorously on cocaine and hit whatever targets they have set. Some people love taking opiates like morphine because it’s a pain killer for when they’ve torn a muscle for the sheer pleasure of it, in the same way that some people like drinking alcohol in pubs,’ Mr Wodak said.
Findings come after the NSW Drug Squad last year suggested gyms were fast becoming a new meeting spot for Sydney’s gang scene.
Reports of ‘manicured mobsters’ hanging out in fitness clubs follows the harsh crack down on Sydney’s nightlife and a rapid surge in the prominence of 24-hour gym facilities.
Former trainer at Fitness First’s Bondi Platinum centre, Lee Clark, 43, was last year sentenced to five years behind bars for selling cocaine, ecstasy and steroids to his clients.
He was found to be running a business out of his apartment and a separate garage – packaging and weighing a variety of substances including cocaine, MDMA and steroids.
Self-proclaimed ‘world-class’ gym Virgin Active also presented traces of cocaine from male and female bathrooms
Cocaine and cannabis was found in the female bathroom at Broadway Gym in Ultimo
Former trainer at Fitness First’s Bondi Platinum centre, Lee Clark was sentenced to five years behind bars for dealing illicit substances to his clients