Writing awards gives steroid journalist a boost

Consumer magazine writer of the year Ben Wilson won his prize after "going beyond the call of duty" according to the judges when he took steroids as part of an investigation for men's lifestyle magazine Arena.

Wilson, a self confessed "chubby bloke with a 38-inch waist and man-boobs", took oral steroids for six weeks that saw not only a radical physical transformation and him putting on two stone of muscle, but left him feeling an emotional wreck – one minute oozing confidence, the next "sobbing in the bath".

"For the first week I felt amazingly powerful. I felt like I had the testosterone of every 15-year-old in an 11-a-side football team put together. I felt this surge of constant power. Then suddenly you'll turn.

"You've got so much fake testosterone in your body, it produces oestrogen to counter that, because there's an unnatural balance. I'd be watching Will and Grace and just start crying."

Wilson made the decision to take steroids after reading statistics that revealed 100,000 people a year are on steroids in the UK. Feeling it was an under-reported subject, he decided the best way to accurately report on the subject was to become embroiled in the culture himself.

He said: "I discovered a whole subculture of steroid takers who suddenly accepted me, kind of like I'd been inducted into some biker gang."

Wilson is no longer working at Arena, but it still working at Emap on "special projects".

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