A champion bodybuilder has vowed to fight charges that he was behind a nationwide steroid dealing operation.

Phil Musson, 44, appeared in court last week accused of being a "significant importer, manufacturer and supplier" of performance and image enhancing drugs, including anabolic steroids.

Court documents allege the professional personal trainer was selling his own brand of performance and image-enhancing products that he made himself and packaged up in pills and vials.

He was back in Christchurch District Court today to indicate not guilty pleas to seven charges of selling various tablets and vials under a 'Phoenix Biotech' brand before "provisional consent of the Minister of Health to the distribution of that medicine had been notified in the Gazette".


Musson, of Bishopdale in Christchurch, was remanded on bail for a status hearing next month.

No pleas were entered to 291 original charges of possession and supplying performance and image enhancing drugs, which were laid in May.

Police opposed bail at Musson's last court appearance, saying he had offended while on bail.

Defence counsel Pip Hall today denied that was the case, but in any event, his client had had his court obligations "brought home to him" after spending six days in custody.

Mr Hall applied for bail, saying the charges, brought by the Ministry of Health who helped police lay them under the Medicines Act 1981, were not likely to result in a jail sentence if proven.

He also argued that the drugs involved were merely "not gazetted substances", making them very different from drugs under the Misuse of Drugs Act.

The police and Crown prosecutor Anselm Williams, representing the Ministry of Health, did not oppose bail today.

Judge Raoul Neave granted him bail, with special conditions, but warned Musson he was "on notice" and any further offending would see him back behind bars.

Musson was named Mr New Zealand Athletic at the 2005 national championships, crowned Mr Christchurch Physique 2009 and competed in last year's National Amateur Bodybuilding Association Asia Pacific Bodybuilding champs.