SYDNEY, April 26. A scientist at Sydney's top Olympic training centre, the New South Wales Academy of Sport, has been suspended after being charged with illegally importing steroids ordered over the Internet.
Australian customs officials said the man had been summonsed to appear in a Sydney court on May 9 after they intercepted a package containing the body-building substances dehyroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and androstenedione.
The academy issued a statement today to say the man had been stood down from his job. "We have been advised that the matter is under investigation by the Commonwealth authorities and as a result we cannot make any further comment until that investigation is complete," the academy's director-general Brendan O'Reilly said.
"On receiving advice that this employee was under investigation he immediately ceased work pending the outcome of the investigation."
A court official told reporters that the man had been charged with trying to import three bottles of DHEA and a bottle of androstenedione from the United States.
Both drugs are illegal in Australia and included on the International Olympic Committee's list of banned substances but are freely available over the counter in the US.
The academy said in its statement that the man had ordered the drugs over the Internet.
The case comes less than two weeks after one of Australia's top female basketballers revealed she was being investigated after customs intercepted a package addressed to her which also contained DHEA.