A COSTA BLANCA beach bar employee suffered a perforated stomach after being tricked into taking performance enhancing vitamins which were actually anabolic steroids.
The owner of the unnamed business at Arenales del Sol in the Elche municipality and four others have been arrested by the Policia Nacional.
The female worker told the police that there were several employees who had also unwittingly taken the drugs, including her son who was 17 years old at the time of starting his job.
All of the workers were threatened with the sack if they did not take the ‘vitamins’.
The victim was hired at the start of the summer season and straight away one of her managers offered her some tablets which he said were vitamins.
He assured her that they would give her more energy for her shifts and she- along with her colleagues- were also given the vitamins as an injection.
The female worker over the summer noticed all kinds of unwanted symptoms including loss of appetite, weight and hair; larger muscles; a deeper voice; and greater aggressiveness- something that her colleagues also suffered.
She thought nothing of it at the time as she put it down to fatigue due to her workload.
In September, she was admitted to hospital with severe abdominal pain and ended up requiring an emergency operation for a perforated stomach.
Doctors told her that her symptoms were compatible with taking anabolic steroids.
The police probe led them to a warehouse which was owned by the same man behind the beach bar and a search found traces of anabolics on the premises, as well as over 100 tablets at the bar itself.
Besides the owner, two managers and a cook also administered the drugs and they were detained on crimes against public health and breaching workers rights.