EDMONTON - Two Edmonton police officers have been charged with selling anabolic steroids.
The police service says it became aware of allegations in 2013 and contacted the Alberta government, which directed the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team to investigate.
The police service says it developed an internal service directive prohibiting the use or possession of steroids without a prescription after it became aware of the allegations.
Sgt. Greg Lewis, a 10-year member, is charged with trafficking in a controlled substance, while Const. Darren French, a 25-year member, were charged Friday with trafficking in a controlled substance.
Both Lewis and French are off duty without pay and are to make their first appearance in court on April 10.
It's alleged that between 2007 and 2013, Lewis sold stanozolol, also known as Winstrol, as well as selling testosterone between 2008 and 2009 and trafficking methyl-1-testosterone.
French is alleged to have trafficked stanozolol between 2007 and 2008.
All are controlled substances under the Controlled Drug and Substance Act.
Susan Hughson, executive director of ASIRT, said French and Lewis are alleged to have sold the steroids to other officers.
"It should be noted that there is no evidence to suggest that the trafficking in steroids in this case was commercial operation or that it was done for commercial gain," Hughson said at a news conference Friday afternoon.
"This investigation focused on a core group of individuals. Additionally, although there is the possibility that the problem of trafficking in steroids extended beyond this group, there is no evidence to support the inference that this is a systemic or pervasive problem throughout the Edmonton police service."
Hughson said anabolic steroids can have considerable side effects and can be dangerous to the health and well-being of the user.
ASIRT's mandate is to investigate incidents involving Alberta's police that have resulted in serious injury or death to any person, as well as serious or sensitive allegations of police misconduct.
Edmonton police Chief Rod Knecht said as a result of the ASIRT investigation, six officers who allegedly purchased and or used steroids have been reassigned.
"We did a risk assessment on their current duties and they were removed to positions of lesser risk to the organization and to have less interaction and contact with the public," he told reporters.
"While not illegal, steroid use is contrary to our organization's values of integrity, accountability and respect and are contrary to the Edmonton Police Service code of conduct."
Knecht said the vast majority of the more than 2,500 employees of the Edmonton police service do extraordinary work and the public should continue to have confidence in police.
"Edmontonians expect their police officers to be honest and ethical and to answer to a higher standard. Behaviour contrary to these expectations brings reputational damage to your police service and violates the public trust."
(CHED, The Canadian Press)
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