As the name would indicate, an underground steroid manufacturer is an operation that manufactures steroids specifically for sale to athletes on the black market, and not through legitimate pharmaceutical distribution channels.These firms are unlicensed, unregulated, and operate in a completely clandestine manner. An underground maker is different from a counterfeit steroid manufacturer only in that these operations usually produce real steroid products. They are not operating to outright steal money from customers with totally worthless products, but are simply trying to get a piece of the legitimate pie, so to speak. Many of these companies are clearly trying to build good reputations in the marketplace, operating, for the most part, on a small scale, and catering to tight-knit circles of Internet-savvy steroid shoppers.
There has been an amazing explosion of underground steroid manufacturing companies in the past half decade. The Internet, a communications medium that has been able to put bodybuilders in the West in ready contact with bulk raw steroid manufacturers in the East, has no doubt fueled this. It is now quite easy to find places to sell you bulk raw materials, in multi-kilogram amounts.The raw steroid power is usually quite cheap given the amount of final product each kilo can produce (it is food grade instead of pharmaceutical grade). Bottling and encapsulating are usually done with inexpensive low volume manually operated machinery. Let’s do a little math. 1kg of methandrostenolone will produce 2,000 bottles with 100 5mg tablets in each.The cost will come to roughly $2 per bottle for the actual steroid. Clearly there are very high profits to be made for anyone willing to do some “basement bottling” Judging by the sheer number of these firms in operation right now, it seems that everyone wants to run an underground steroid manufacturing business.
Below is a sample price list from a raw materials supplier in China. Note the high cost for drugs like oxandrolone, methenolone,and trenbolone. We can see counterfeiters rarely use these actual steroids in their products.
Nandrolone phenylpropionate $4,000/kg
Nandrolone decanoate $4,800/kg
Testosterone undecanoate $3,000/kg
Testosterone propionate $2,500/kg
There are things that must be taken into consideration when thinking about buying an underground steroid product. First, you need to remember that you never truly know what you are getting.These operations are clandestine, and nobody is looking over their shoulders to make sure things are up to code.There is no code in the world of underground gear. Second, almost none of them are making their drugs in a sterile environment. Most, in fact, are being made in someone’s living room or basement, with hand-filling and crimping tools. Such products are likely to have dust particles and other contaminants from the air in them, at the very least. Do you want to inject this in your body? Also, most legitimate pharmaceutical products have the air removed during filling, and replace it with some type of inert gas.This helps protect the sterility of the product during its long shelf life. Is your underground product filled like this? The actual steroids inside are probably different too. Does your underground lab manufacture with the proper and very expensive purified USP (pharmaceutical quality) ingredients, or the abundant and comparably very inexpensive “food grade” material currently produced on large scale in China? I know where I’d put my money if I were betting. There may be a few exceptional companies with products made to high human-use-pharmaceutical specs, but they are extremely rare. With virtually all underground companies,you are never ultimately sure that what you are getting is clean and accurately dosed. With this in mind, my recommendation has always been to avoid these companies and stick with the legitimate producers.There are enough risks to be taken here without amplifying them with poor quality “underground” drug products.
Even with the given risks and uncertainties, many bodybuilders still prefer to shop with underground companies, perhaps finding attraction in cheaper prices, higher doses, or easier availability. For whatever reason, these companies do exist, and many people do buy their products regularly. In previous editions I tried keeping a kind of a list of these operations. I quickly found, however, that was an exercise in futility. Due to the entirely secretive and unregulated nature of these companies, they are simply too elusive to keep tabs on. Half of the manufacturers listed in one book will have already gone out of business by the next. Given the illegitimate nature of this market, I have decided the best thing to do is to simply advise on the potential risks associated with underground drugs, and refrain from rating these firms individually. Instead, I will simply display product photographs, and mark them “underground”When possible we will run lab tests on them, as I believe the information presented in the lab testing section will be of much greater value than vague recommendations of what might or might not be good.