The supplements with added steroids were being sold to the UK and Germany. | Policia Nacional

The National Police have arrested a German couple in Calvia who are suspected of distributing nutritional sports products adulterated with anabolic steroids.

The anabolics are said to have been acquired illegally in the UK. They were then added to supplements and packaged under a brand name that the couple had adopted. There was no indication of the presence of steroids on the labelling.

The investigation started last year after two people were taken into hospital suffering liver damage as a result of consuming steroids. There was one in particular that the Spanish agency for medicines and health products had banned because of its high risk. This led to the police establishing that products had been bought via the internet and that distribution was from Palma.

The products were being offered on various websites and through social networks. They were being distributed by courier firms, with mainland Spain, Germany and the UK being the principal markets. Buyers were predominantly bodybuilders.

The police operation uncovered a laboratory, which was where the two were arrested, and 119 different types of food supplement were discovered to contain substances such as Epistrol, Espistane, Halodrol and Ultradol, all of them prohibited.

This is the second major operation against anabolics in Majorca this year. The earlier one resulted in arrests of individuals very well known in the world of bodybuilding culture on the island.