Biogenesis Charges Remind us that Steroid Possession has Strict Penalties
Almost every Major League Baseball (MLB) fan is aware of scandal that came fully to light last year, involving several players who received steroids from the Biogenesis anti-aging clinic in Florida. New York Yankee Alex Rodriguez was one of 13 players who received suspensions as a result of the allegations. Though none of the players have faced criminal charges, the owner of the now-closed Biogenesis clinic now faces serious charges of distributing large amounts of anabolic steroids. Allegedly, the owner not only provided the drugs to professional baseball players, but also to numerous coaches, judges, and high school athletes.
Rising Popularity of Steroids
Anabolic steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs have been on the rise for years among athletes, especially in high school, who want to increase strength quickly for a chance to compete for college scholarships and professional drafts. Some coaches have been known to encourage steroid use or even find ways to supply the drug to a team to increase the chances of winning. Lately the MLB scandal has revealed that steroid use does not necessarily decrease once an athlete has reached elite levels. Though steroid use has become popular and even is accepted in many circumstances, possession and distribution of the drug is still highly illegal and can mean severe consequences.
Penalties for Steroid- Related Offenses
Illinois criminal laws provide for harsh consequences for those convicted of possessing or selling steroids. Anabolic steroids are a Schedule III controlled substance, which means there are some accepted medical purposes for this type of substance. However, the Illinois Controlled Substances Act specifically states that using steroids for the following purposes without a medical necessity are NOT considered to be valid or lawful medical reasons:
- Hormone manipulation;
- Increased weight;
- Increased strength;
- Increased muscle mass;
- Improved physical appearance; or
- Improved performance in any sport, exercise, or game.
If you are caught with steroids and cannot show that you have a prescription or any other valid medical reason for having the drugs, you can be facing the following charges and penalties:
- A first offense is a Class C misdemeanor, punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a fine of $1,500; and
- A second offense is a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to 6 months in jail and a fine of $1,500.
The above penalties may significantly increase for those charged with distribution or delivery of steroids. The law specifically allows for increased sentences for coaches, athletic trainers, or fitness club personnel who supply steroids. The Controlled Substances Act states that delivery of anabolic steroids from such parties is considered to be particularly damaging to the welfare and peace of Illinois residents, and that such people should face the “most severe penalties.” Therefore, a judge may have more discretion to increase sentences for these defendants.
If you have been accused of possessing, delivering, or distributing anabolic steroids or any other type of controlled substance, you should seek the assistance of an experienced Chicago drug crime attorney as soon as possible. Attorney Steven Goldman has helped numerous defendants with drug cases, so do not hesitate to contact Goldman & Associates today.