Introduction – Early History of British Dragon
British Dragon steroids have become a household word among bodybuilders and anabolic steroid users in general, and British Dragon has become known over time as perhaps the largest underground lab (UGL) ever. At one point in history, the majority of the anabolic steroid black market had become saturated with British Dragon steroids, and was a brand that was on almost every list of every source. What started out as a small anabolic steroid import/export business running out of Thailand by two men had over time become a major underground lab that had manufactured injectable anabolic steroids, oral anabolic steroids, and ancillary drugs in the number of millions.
Thailand is well known as being the “hormone heaven” where pharmaceutical grade anabolic steroids are widely and easily legally available for purchase. This is still true today, but was previously even easier in the pre-2000 era, where the importation of anabolic steroids (or exportation) to other countries was much easier than it is today (although today it is still said to be very lax). Among the anabolic steroid using community, Thailand is also very well known for its pharmaceutical brand of Dianabol (Methandrostenolone) known by its trade name of Anabol, which is manufactured by a legitimate pharmaceutical company known as British Dispensary.
British Dragon steroids had its beginnings when one of the two original owners/founders, by the name of Richard, decided to move to Thailand after being convicted and jailed for fraud in his home country in the UK, and sought to delve into the anabolic steroid market upon moving to Thailand. In Thailand, Richard connected with a friend of his by the name of Mark (who also was known by the alias Justin), and the two began their underground lab in small steps in 1999, known as British Dragon. The label and name of British Dragon was chosen specifically for its close similarity to the name of the manufacturer of Anabol, British Dispensary. This would launch the popularity of British Dragon steroids in the near future, as well as the fact that the very first British Dragon steroids manufactured was essentially copies of the British Dispensary Anabol product. Shortly after, a third partner joined British Dragon by the name of Kenneth C, who would then be responsible for stamping these tablets in the newly formed underground lab business. The British Dragon copies of Anabol had launched so successfully that British Dispensary began stamping their logo right into the Anabol tablets (as well as using hologram security stickers on their bottling) in order to battle the copies and counterfeits.
In the year 2000, the United States pressured other countries to participate in an international shutdown of online pharmacies that had been selling prescription medication to customers in the USA and elsewhere without prescriptions. The result was a bust in Thailand that seized 2.5 million units of drugs and arrested 22 people for the violation of Thailand’s laws on the importation and exportation of drugs. Because of this bust, Thailand customs had become much more stringent and it had become far more difficult to move illegal products through Thailand. This is the opening that would ultimately allow British Dragon to rise from a tiny basement underground lab to a massive manufacturing operation, and result in British Dragon steroids becoming the most popular underground brand in the bodybuilding and anabolic steroid world. Because of the massive and lucrative gap in the market that had been created due to the busting operations in 2000, British Dragon had moved in to fill this gap because there was nobody left to take it.
British Dragon Becomes Big
The bust that occurred in the year 2000 had focused mainly on the exportation of legally purchased anabolic steroids and other medications in Thailand, which created a massive opening for underground products. With British Dragon there to fill this opening, the lab then delved into the manufacture of now not just Dianabol tablets, but every type of oral and injectable anabolic steroidsunder their own brand name, and British Dragon steroids took off in record time and in record amounts. Eventually, British Dragon steroids had become so popular that they had developed their own security measures and customized imprinted logos and hologram stickers to ensure the legitimacy of product. British Dragon steroids progressed from a crude basement operation where the manufacture of British Dragon steroids was under questionable quality to what could be considered pharmaceutical grade drug manufacturing facilities. Within a few short years, “British Dragon” became a household word among anabolic steroid users, and the two letters BD were widely recognized by anyone in the subculture.
By 2004, British Dragon had connected with several different source dealers, opening up markets on different fronts, and in April of 2005, British Dragon steroids were being manufactured in three different locations due to the different regions that demanded supply, complete with different security codes, measures, and sticker labels for the products. British Dragon continued to grow significantly, especially in Eastern Europe where a dealer source by the name of Alin, who partnered with British Dragon to source the products outwards, was also working to legitimize British Dragon as a legitimate pharmaceutical company. The three partners in British Dragon, as well as Alin, worked towards raising the money required to establish a legitimate pharmaceutical operation in Eastern Europe.
Soon after, however, things began to take a turn for the worse when British Dragon steroids were being diverted, without authorization from the owners, to a Ukrainian source dealer known as Vadim. However, the only British Dragon steroids being sold to Vadim were oral tablets. Because Vadim only possessed tablets, it is highly suspected (but not officially confirmed) that at this time Vadim began manufacturing fake (counterfeit British Dragon) injectables. Not long after this, rumors and conflicting information spread in regards to the legitimacy of British Dragon steroids. Many individuals in the subculture then began to doubt the quality of British Dragon. In 2005, it was officially confirmed that Vadim did indeed begin selling knock-offs of British Dragon steroids out of Hong Kong (the products were actually manufactured in India by BM Pharmaceuticals and exclusively sold these products to Vadim, who then attempted to sell them as British Dragon knock-offs). British Dragon had quickly countered Vadim by spreading the word across the internet concerning the counterfeits, and would continue this aggressive PR strategy whenever the quality of British Dragon steroids would be questioned.
British Dragon is Busted
In December 15, 2005, the DEA made busts of several Mexican sourced anabolic steroids, which lead the DEA to investigate British Dragon. In August of 2006, Richard and Mark decided to pull out of the partnership with Alin by looking to buy Alin out (or be bought out themselves). More heat descended upon British Dragon when in October of 2006, the DEA office in Vienna, Austria received information from the DEA office in Bangkok, Thailand concerning British Dragon. The DEA then began their investigations into British Dragon steroids, tapping telephones and monitoring computers, and emails. By December 2006, the partner owners of British Dragon were eager to cut ties with Alin and amidst the looming DEA, partners and associates of British Dragon now began fighting over shares of the company and what would happen to its remains in the aftermath of a DEA bust.
Mark, one of the partner owners of British Dragon decided in 2007 to attempt to contact the DEA office in Vienna to provide them with information in an attempt to avoid jail. Things took a sharp turn for the worse when the moment he was supposed to board a flight while he was in Vienna, and he was deemed too drunk to board. Mark instead decided to leave the airport and check into the NH hotel in Vienna. Between being extremely stressed out, the fear of prison, and Interpol on his tail for months, Mark decided to kill himself. Following Mark’s suicide, that same month the DEA along with cooperation of the Thai Police raided Richard’s house along with another individual known by the alias RediCat (also known as Ashley) who sold oral anabolic steroids in paper format and worked alongside British Dragon. With Richard being the next highest partner owner in British Dragon steroids, the DEA focused almost solely on him. Richard opted to fight extradition, which requires years before anything is finalized.
However, through the other connections that were arrested at the time, all of the information concerning British Dragon was divulged by them to the DEA: over 10 years’ worth of all lists of purchases and sales, bribes, hand-outs, raw steroid material purchased from suppliers, stock purchases, and more. Richard eventually sold the British Dragon website, and fought extradition for 3 years before finally being extradited to the United States in 2011. With all of the evidence and informants against him, Richard pleaded guilty. He served a short time in prison in the USA, but he was released early due to pneumonia sickness, and the US government did not want to pay his medical bills or result in his death while he was still incarcerated. Richard, one of the original founders of British Dragon, died of pneumonia on July 1, 2011.
The New British Dragon?
As would typically be expected with the fall of a massive anabolic steroid empire that was British Dragon, there is a massive lucrative hole/gap that is left open to be filled by any labs of varying quality to fill the spot. There are many claims on the internet and in the anabolic steroid community in general that as of 2012 – 2013, there is a specific brand that is claiming to be manufacturing British Dragon steroids. The truth is that there are several labs that are manufacturing anabolic steroids under the British Dragon label as of recently, and it is highly advised that individuals do not trust or buy these products. There happens to be one particular underground lab that claims to be a “new and restructured British Dragon”, and supposedly holds a significant amount of credibility over the other questionable laboratories labelling their products as British Dragon steroids, but only time will be able to tell if this is truly the case. This new British Dragon prints a completely different label, is of a completely different brand and lab, and bears absolutely no resemblance to the original British Dragon of several years back. Time will only tell if this new British Dragon is worthwhile.
In addition, many dealers, sources, and suppliers will claim to sell left-over old stock of British Dragon steroids. Once again, large warnings and red flags must be raised in this case, as the original British Dragon is now defunct and the original British Dragon steroids have not been manufactured in years (dating back to the original BD’s final demise in 2006). With the original British Dragon owners and manufacturers arrested and jailed, any source claiming to sell old stock of original British Dragon product is lying, and the products should not be trusted at all. Even if the products are indeed original old stock of British Dragon steroids, the contents of the bottle are probably expired, outdated, and not worth any money paid for it.