The badge and a steroid-filled syringe — it’s not the typical image most have for the abuse of performance-enhancing drugs. But as more within law enforcement get nabbed in steroid investigations nationwide, observers say that usage levels among police officers could rival the seediest patches of the pro sports landscape.
“It’s a big problem, and from the number of cases, it’s something we shouldn’t ignore,” Drug Enforcement Administration spokesman Lawrence Payne told AOL News. “It’s not that we set out to target cops, but when we’re in the middle of an active investigation into steroids, there have been quite a few cases that have led back to police officers.”
The pace of investigations into steroid use in the police ranks has picked up in recent months:
- A former police officer in Canby, Ore., who allegedly took delivery of some steroids while on duty pleaded guilty in February to purchasing steroids.
- An officer in South Bend, Ind., pleaded no contest in March to selling steroids.
- A Cleveland police officer was sentenced to a year in prison and five years of supervised release in April after he was found guilty of illegally purchasing steroids.
- A dealer in Paw Paw, Mich., allegedly told authorities that he supplied “several police officers” with steroids, which led one Kalamazoo officer to resign in May.