>Excessive use of drugs and steroids by owners of body building gyms in absence of expert advice has become a matter of concern for the Pakistan Body Building Federation.
“It’s a matter of serious concern because this trend is rising among gym owners, which are not checked by any government agency,” said the general secretary of South Asian Body Building Federation, Sohail Anwar.
Talking to this correspondent on the sidelines of a bodybuilding contest held at Sindh Museum, Mr Anwar raised some important questions about the bodybuilding which was getting popular day by day thanks to English and Indian movies.
Anwar who runs a chain of gyms in Karachi believed that bodybuilding was not restricted to a particular class now.
“Irrespective of the discipline, fitness is becoming very important for people. That’s why we are trying to change concept of bodybuilding and trying to introduce a healthy lifestyle,” he said.
“Look at the turnout of youths in this hall for this district-level event…this despite the sport of bodybuilding not getting any backing,” he argued.
On the culture of steroid and supplment use he said, “In fact, gyms are mostly run by uneducated people and they feel free to train boys the way they want. As a result, steroids and food supplements are being excessively used.”
He said that a check and balance system for use of supplements should be put in place under advice of medical experts.
“Educated people are not coming to own this field so quacks become trainers and start training bodybuilders,” Anwar said.
“I raised this issue before the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on sports after we returned from South Asian Games,” he said referring to four gold, two silver and one bronze medals bagged by Pakistani bodybuilders in that event.
“Our federation should be have authority to issue NoCs to people for opening gyms so that this sport is organised in a better way,” he said.
Anwar emphasised the need for a legislation to keep things in order and to check use of drugs and steroids.
“Only food supplements certified by laboratories should be allowed in gyms,” he said.