Performance-Enhancing Drugs Becoming More Popular Among Non-Athletes

The A-Rod scandal and the closing of Biogenesis in Coral Gables made it difficult to find other South Florida clinics willing to talk about the performance enhancing hormones they dispense.

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    Performance enhancing drugs are banned by sports organizations, but they're not illegal with a legitimate prescription. And they're becoming more popular among non-athletes.

    There are several local websites promoting human growth hormone and testosterone for anti-aging and weight loss.

    Raul Sosa says he's the former director of Bio Fit Anti Aging Institute in Kendall and a patient. He injects himself with testosterone and sermorelin, a substance that causes the release of growth hormone.

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    "What it does it tightens up your skin makes you speed up your metabolism and it makes you build muscle," said Sosa.

    He says hormones are a hot topic of conversation at local gyms, where there's interest in muscle enhancement and definition.

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    "You hear all the gym rats talking about it the testosterone and the deka and all that stuff - the steroids," said Sosa.

    The A-Rod scandal and the closing of Biogenesis in Coral Gables made it difficult to find other South Florida clinics willing to talk about the performance enhancing hormones they dispense.

    Physical therapist Bruce Wilk says in the last two years he's seen a significant increase in other patients taking HGH for running injuries. He's concerned about possible dangerous side effects.

    "It could stimulate cancer it creates swelling it can cause carpal tunnel. Jaw enlargement and outrageous behaviors, " Wilk said.

    Wilk tells patients he won't work with them if they're using hormones. Some have been student athletes.

    "So the conversation is going 'Yes I will get off it' because that's my requirements. 'Yes I'm not going to do that anymore and don't tell my coach.'"

    One local gym owner who did not want to be identified said he has parents coming to him asking how they can obtain these hormones for their kids.