A 35-year-old man has appeared before York magistrates accused of running a large-scale illegal international operation involving banned performance-enhancing drugs.

Daniel Meek faces 14 charges relating to anabolic steroids and growth hormone committed during a 28-month period.

All the drugs are on the current World Anti Doping Agency list of banned substances for sportsmen and sportswomen and are banned in this country for any use other than medical use with a doctor’s prescription.

Meek, of Ninth Avenue, Tang Hall, is alleged to have smuggled the drugs into the UK from China and to have then sold them on, with at least £160,000 changing hands. He did not enter a plea at the brief hearing.

Magistrates decided the case was too serious for them to handle and sent him to York Crown Court to be tried by a judge and jury.

They released him on bail until a preliminary hearing before a judge on March 17.

Meek is charged with 11 offences of possessing Class C drugs with intent to supply them to others, one of supplying a Class C drug and two of evading customs duty on imported drugs.

All but two of the charges involve anabolic steroids. The other two involve somatropin, a growth hormone.

Meek is alleged to have smuggled anabolic steroids into the UK between January 8, 2011, and April 4, 2013, and smuggled somatropin into the UK on June 11, 2013.

The possession with intent charges together allege that on June 10, 2013, Meek had ten vials of somatropin, 86 tablets of mestanolone, 233 tablets of oxandrolone, 26 tablets of stanozolol, 40 millilitres of trenbolone acetate, five millilitres of drostanolone, ten millilitres each of testoterone enanthate, testoterone decanoate and testosterone isocaproate and six ampoules of chrorionic gonadotrophin