M BABAR CH

GUJRANWALA - The Pakistani bodybuilders continue to die due to the use of steroids and the latest indecent happened in Gujranwala where 25-year-old Irfan Butt was the fourth one who lost his life.

Irfan lost his life due to allegedly use of steroids while death toll raised to five for using of steroids during the last four months. Irfan Butt was resident of Bakhtewala and was prepping for bodybuilding competition that was to be held on August 14. He was allegedly using steroids to develop his muscles. He felt chest pain and was rushed to the hospital where he breathed his last.

On the other hand, heirs of the deceased Irfan told this scribe that Irfan had left bodybuilding for the last many years and he had taken no steroids. They claimed that their son lost his life due to heart-attack.

It is pertinent to mention here that earlier, four bodybuilders have lost their lives due to the use of illegal drugs. Soon after the fourth death, the Pakistan Bodybuilding Federation (PBBF) had announced that the federation would start registering gyms and clubs across the country in an attempt to increase awareness about supplements and over-the-counter drugs and reduce unauthorised usage. Still no action in this regard was taken and the federation is just busy in extending dates and warning the gyms to get registered soon. The government is also not supporting the federation in this regard, therefore, unauthorised usage of steroids couldn’t be stopped yet in many of the gyms.

Earlier, national bodybuilders Matloob Haider, M Rizwan, Humayun Khurram (Mr Lahore, Mr Punjab, Mr Pakistan and South Asian Bodybuilding Championship 2016 gold medalist) and Hamid Ali (Ex-Mr Punjab) lost their lives during the first of half of this year. The PBF warned that registration of the club would be cancelled if failed to submit affidavit within the given time. The federation made it mandatory for the clubs to submit an affidavit to the federation mentioning that they would not be using any illegal substance for rapid muscle-building.

Talking to this scribe, PBBF president Sheikh Farooq Iqbal said the deadline for the clubs to submit an affidavit to the federation was June 2016 but due to Eid holidays it was extended till July. “Those clubs which will not submit affidavits will have to face action and be shut down or banned. After the clubs submit affidavits to us, we will send a list of such clubs to the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB),” he said.

“To make it foolproof to prevent bodybuilders from using steroids or any illegal substance for growing their muscles, we will be ensuring that dope tests are conducted of every bodybuilder before any district, regional or national level championship,” he added.