Boys of 11 using anabolic steroids to ‘attract girls’

Children as young as 11 are using anabolic steroids so they can attract girls or raise their chances of getting in a boy band, experts warned yesterday.

The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs said there was increasing evidence of youngsters injecting the bodybuilding drug, which can lead to rapid muscle growth. It came as they confirmed they are reviewing the legal status of ecstasy as well as cannabis.

A survey found one in every 200 11-to-16 year olds had tried steroids.

Committee member Lord Adebowale: “These are being used not just by athletes but by people who want to be in boy bands and get girls.”

The advisory council will write to Home Secretary Jacqui Smith to warn about the trend, which can lead to long-term health problems for children including sterility, acne, liver tumours and the growth of breasts in boys.

“It can also make the testicles wither which is probably not what the users want,” said Professor Sir Michael Rawlins, the chairman of the committee.

“Even more worrying, there is emerging evidence that anabolic steroids cause aggression.

“I am really very worried about that. I shall write to the Home Secretary explaining our very grave concerns about this.”

They also fear a boom in use of the drug by athletes in the run-up to the 2012 Olympics. The figures revealed that 200,000 people in Britain have tried anabolic steroids, with 42,000 saying they had used them in the last year.

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