Operation Raw Deal was the largest steroid law enforcement action in the history of the United States; it resulted in steroid busts involving 56 underground labs including Texstar Labs, Phalco Labs, Powerline Labs, Superior Labs, Medline Pharmaceuticals and Pacific Rim Labs. The steroid busts had a significant impact on underground steroid labs in the United States. But the United States exterted their heavy-handed political influence on other countries to adopt similar law enforcement actions against steroid users and steroid dealers. The nine other countries that worked in conjunction with the United States during Operation Raw Deal were Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, Denmark, Germany, Sweden and Thailand.
Australia has been one of the leading cheerleaders of United States steroid law. They worked closely with the United States during Operation Raw Deal and executed their own large-scale steroid law enforcement action dubbed Operation Kasha (“Worldwide steroid sting catches Australian bodybuilders in its net,” September 29, 2007).
In Australia, Operation Kasha resulted in more than 1400 separate seizures of steroids, growth hormone and other performance and image-enhancing drugs, the execution of 145 search and seizure warrants, and the charging of 29 people with a range of prohibited import offences. Most of the 200 members of Australian Custom’s investigative unit were involved in Operation Kasha.”
The Australian steroid busts affected dozens of Aussie bodybuilders and personal trainers including 1995 Mr. Australia Glen Purtell, former Miss World Figure Diane Shipway, 2003 Australia Manhunt International model of the year runner-up and actor Brendan Brophy and Sydney bodybuilding brothers Johnathon Kyriacou and Adrian Kyriacou.
Glen Purtell and Diane Shipway pleaded guilty to importing clomiphene citrate and human growth hormone and were fined AUD $14,000. The Kyriacou brothers were fined AUD $34,000 for importing anabolic steroids. Brendan Brophy was recently sentenced to two years and six months in prison after pleading guilty to 13 charges including importation and trafficking of anabolic steroids and human growth hormone from China.
Since Operation Kasha, Australia Customs has continued to crack down aggressively on the importation of anabolic steroids uncovering deceptive and creative steroid smuggling operations.