Underground criminal networks and untested chemicals are fuelling Australia's quest for a beautiful body.
When the fish hits the fan
In the Western Sydney gym where he trains, Jarrad is the guy people stare at, the guy who proves what everyone wants to believe: that you can transform your body through hard work.
Weighing in a bit over 120kg, Jarrad can deadlift 280kgs.
When he trains for bodybuilding competitions he eats rice and peas and chicken and dramatically sheds fat in the final weeks – a process called "leaning out".
A few months after placing second in a national bodybuilding competition, Jarrad reminded his followers of this transformation when he posted on the Jarrad Wheeler: Competitive Bodybuilder Facebook page a "blast from the past" photo.
"You have to appreciate where you begin to continue to move forward and grow," he wrote.
The photo was from seven years ago, in 2011, when Jarrad had just begun lifting weights — a soft-bellied teenager flexing in front of the bathroom mirror.
"I was overweight and I was getting bullied a lot in school for being overweight and just having red hair," he said.
And so he set out to become lean and shredded. From the beginning, he considered supplements necessary.
First, a big tub of protein powder, to make sure he was getting enough amino acids for his muscles to grow, and then a high-stim pre-workout — a powder that he mixed up with water, and which gave him extra energy to train.
Within a year, the national regulator would ban the sale of this pre-workout in Australia, after a stimulant ingredient was linked to deaths in the US.
Jarrad had become a sports supplements consumer just as these products, once used only by professional athletes, were starting to go mainstream.
From 2012 to 2017 sales of sports nutrition, vitamins and dietary supplements in Australia increased by more than 50 per cent to $3.7 billion.
Online sales increased by 49.5 per cent to $1.3 billion over the same period.
In part, this was driven by a gyms boom — by 2016 more than 800 new gyms were opening in Australia every year.
The increase in supplements consumption created a new public health risk.
Every year supplements cause 23,000 emergency admissions in the US — the world's largest consumer market.
There are reports of liver, kidney and heart damage.
This concerns Jarrad; every week he sees young gym recruits diving headlong into consumption of sports supplements.
He once took so much L-carnitine, a popular bodybuilding supplement, that his sweat smelled like rotten fish.
Despite this, he takes up to 20 kinds of supplements as he trains for competition, including caffeine pills and sleeping pills.
Australia has tighter regulations than the US around what can go into supplements.
But the regulation only applies to ingredients that have been identified as dangerous, and there can be a long delay between the product going on the market, and the national regulator identifying the danger.
"I learned from my mistakes," Jarrad said.
"But I wish I had someone there who told me what to do, who gave me the right advice."
Aside from the problem of new and unknown ingredients, there's also the problem of supplements that contain hidden ingredients.
Regulators in Australia test only a fraction of the available supplements.
When they do test, they often find prohibited substances.
In the US, regulators have found 850 dietary supplements with hidden ingredients over the last 10 years.
Supplements are only part of a continuum of bodybuilding products that crosses into a black market supplied by criminal networks.
At one end: Batman-theme protein shakes. At the other: anabolic steroids.
National crime statistics released last year show a record for steroid arrests, and the second highest number of steroid seizures.
Now there's evidence of a growing trend in steroid supply — the rise of the backyard steroid lab.
The rise of the backyard brewers: John Triulcio
In the lead up to 2014, John Triulcio's life was in turmoil.
He had been using ice, police were receiving reports of violent disputes with his wife, and his four children had been removed from his care.
He and his wife sought refuge in the gym, and quickly made friends.
Some of them regularly used steroids, and it was there that Triulcio's business idea was born.
On 2 January 2014, John Triulcio joined the "Brotherhood of Pain" bodybuilding forum.
He soon became an active member of the group, posting advice about which steroids to use, how much, and who to contact to get them.
By May, Triulcio had risen to become a senior forum member, and by June, he was already selling steroids online.
By November, he was ordering several kilograms of raw steroid powder from labs in China and Hong Kong to be delivered to the home and business addresses of associates.
The Chinese labs provided recipes and instructions on how to turn those raw powders into his own brand of injectable steroids, which he did, in his own kitchen.
Commonwealth lawyer Megan Voller has spent two years working the case against John Triulcio.
She works in Adelaide as the Assistant Director of the Commonwealth Department of Public Prosecutions, and says that at this point Triulcio was just getting started.
"John Triulcio was running a full-time, well-organised, well-concealed illicit business," Ms Volle said.
Using raw powder imported from overseas, a $125 vial of steroids can be made for just $3.
"The profits that were available and were the focus of his business were staggering," she said.
But in late November 2014, less than a year after he joined the forum, his business hit a snag when South Australian Police officers raided his Westlakes home.
When John Triulcio was released on bail, instead of slowing down he increased the size of his business dramatically, and ordered at least 10 times more steroids.
"He moved quickly and he changed his modus operandi and kept going," Ms Voller said.
"This was a very lucrative business for him, and that first undertaking was one that he had no regard to at all."
He changed his steroid brand name from 'OzPharma' to 'Alpha Anabolics', opened 13 post office boxes under fake names, and eventually sent $350,000 to Chinese steroid laboratories in exchange for 60 kilograms of raw steroids to be sent to Australia by boat.
Steroids arrived hidden inside babushka dolls, LED lights, cables, shampoo bottles and food and drink sachets.
But Triulcio had become reckless.
In August 2015, when police were called to his house over another domestic violence dispute, they were ready to take him down for the steroids.
In an industrial skip bin in the front yard, they found a handwritten list of steroid names, scales, Alpha Anabolics labels, vials, and packaging.
When the case against him ended in December last year he was sentenced to six-and-a-half years in prison.
One down, one up
Federal and state police across Australia have been keen to promote the record arrest figures in their crackdown on steroids, and to publicise the arrests of guys like John Triulcio.
But steroid users, importers and manufacturers are learning from their mistakes and the methods they use to hide from police are becoming harder to track.
So what happens to the supply of steroids when a guy as big as Triulcio goes under?
When Background Briefing contacted his suppliers in China, they sent a price list, and confirmed they will still sell and send steroids to people in Australia.
NSW Police keep some of Australia's most detailed crime statistics for people arrested in relation to steroids. These figures have been rising dramatically since 2011.
And on the forums Triulcio used to frequent, users, manufacturers and dealers are still openly plying their trade.
One steroid dealer even agreed to be interviewed via an encrypted messaging app.
"John he was a freak," he said.
"Dead set. How he managed what he did… crazy."
Before John Triulcio was arrested, this man was distributing his steroids on the east coast.
To conceal this man's identity, we've called him "Chris."
"I'm one of the main sources, if not the most influential. [But] I'm no bikie, no 'gym bro', you'd walk straight past me. You wanna buy some steroids? Ha ha."
Chris says he's currently dealing about 250 to 500 vials of homemade steroids a week, even though he's facing minor charges relating to steroids right now.
He conducts all of his communications via an encrypted messaging app called Wickr that deletes messages as soon as they've been read.
"Slappppp over the wrist. LIKE I KEEP STOCK AT MY HOUSE."
He shows me an Australian steroid brewer who is right now doing exactly what Triulcio was doing, making steroids in Australia on behalf of a Chinese laboratory and even using their brand.
Background Briefing requested an interview with Australian Border Force to explain how the powders are getting into the country, and what they're doing to stop it, but they declined.
In a brief statement, a spokesperson wrote that "with the aim of protecting the community the ABF works closely with state and federal law enforcement partners to detect, disrupt and investigate the importation and distribution of these drugs."
Commonwealth DPP associate director Megan Voller says while the presence of another 'Triulcio' comes as no surprise, she's determined to go after them too.
"No that doesn't surprise me as such but we will, with the ABF and other agencies, work through those businesses and work out the source and reconstruct those businesses as the evidence becomes available to us," she said.
'It's never been easier'
While state police and Australian Border Force trumpet their seizure statistics, steroid users, dealers and manufacturers say it's never been easier to get them into the country.
This thriving market in steroids is in plain view, Jarrad says.
During the late afternoon at a Western Sydney gym, among the after-work crowd, he can pick out 15 regulars who he knows are using steroids — about a third of the total present.
"I could get steroids tomorrow just by asking one person in the gym."
"You just go up to the biggest guy."
In the last year or so, Jarrad says, there has been talk of a new "super product" — a substance that's said to be like steroids, but without the side-effects.
The product is actually several, a group of compounds that are collectively called Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators (SARMs).
Many were developed in the 1990s to build muscle after cancer treatment, but attempts to commercialise them as drugs have so far failed.
As yet, there are no approved SARMs medications in Australia.
Among the products that are being sold as SARMs is Cardarine or GW501516 — it's technically not a SARM — which has been linked to cancer in lab mice.
In February, the TGA ruled the sale of Cardarine would be totally prohibited from June.
Online forums are hyping SARMs as the "holy grail" of supplements — able to grow muscle without shrinking testicles and damaging livers.
Whether they have other side effects, however, we just don't know.
Health law experts say supplying SARMs is illegal, with fines of up to $1 million and up to five years jail. So far, there have been no prosecutions.
Meanwhile, SARMs distributors are saying sales are picking up; they are being sold both online and through retail supplement stores in Australia.
One of the main suppliers of SARMs in Australia says he distributes to a network of more than 20 shops around the country.
He says the online store sells up to 100 vials a day, or more than $15,000 worth. Adding up to annual revenue of more than $5 million.
Recently, Jarrad began using SARMs to bulk up for competition.
"There have been no long-term conclusive studies to say exactly what it's going to do," he said.
"I am a little nervous as to what it does to my body."
He acknowledges he's experimenting on himself, but says that's the case with all kinds of supplements.
"You just take a leap of faith," he said.
- Reporter: Alex Mann and James Purtill
- Executive producer: Alice Brennan
- Producer: Brendan Smith
- Digital producers: Laura Brierley Newton and Michael Dulaney
- Illustrations: Natalie Behjan