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Monday, 01 September 2014

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Dalton bodybuilder ‘had year’s supply’ of steroids

A BODYBUILDER arrested on suspicion of drug smuggling in Germany had a year’s supply of steroids in his luggage, according to police.

Bernie Cooper, owner of Bernie’s Gym in Chapel Street, was stopped by customs officers in Munich
Airport on Monday January 7.

Mr Cooper was travelling on a flight from Egypt with a German woman when he was searched by officials.

Thomas Meister, spokesman for the customs office in Munich, said the veteran bodybuilder had more than one thousand ampoules and tablets of anabolic steroids in his suitcase.

He confirmed the haul was the largest quantity of steroids discovered in Munich Airport over the past three years.

Mr Cooper has been in jail since his arrest, and will remain in custody pending the completion of a German customs investigation. His companion is not being remanded in custody as she is a German citizen.

According to Mr Meister, if Mr Cooper is found guilty of drug smuggling he could face a lengthy prison sentence in Germany.

A Foreign Office spokeswoman said: “We can confirm the arrest of a British national on January 7 in Bavaria.”

The spokeswoman added the Foreign Office would provide Mr Cooper with consular assistance should he require it.

Mr Cooper has picked up a raft of titles in the sport of bodybuilding, including Mr Universe in the National Amateur Bodybuilding Association’s over 50s event in Southport, in 2006.

Aged 60 at the time, he beat off competition from Germany, Australia, Mexico Holland, Brazil and Poland to bag the title with a unanimous decision from seven judges.

He also received national attention when he featured on BBC TV documentary Bodybuilding Pensioners the following year.

According to drugs advice website www.talktofrank.com, anabolic steroids, which are used to help build up muscle tissue, can cause high blood pressure and increase the risk of illness and death due to liver failure, stroke or heart attack.

They can also lead to increased aggression and sexual problems in men.

Steroids are considered Class C in the UK, which means possession for personal use is legal, but possession with intent to supply is punishable with up to 14 years in prison and an unlimited fine.

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