September 30, 2014

Steroid Testing Kit for Home Use

Confirm Biosciences has released a new home anabolic steroid testing kit this month. CNBC’s Sports Biz with Darren Rovell thinks it would be useful for parents to test their children for steroid use. Athletes may found it useful and convenient to monitor the elimination of banned substances from their bodies.

STEROIDCONFIRM™ enables sports trainers, employers and parents to test individuals who they suspect may be abusing steroids. Simply take a urine specimen at home, in the workplace or at school, and mail to our laboratory using the pre-paid shipping pak. You have the option to perform a confidential test (no personal information is required) or a test with a Chain of Custody…

Using Liquid Chromatograph Tandem Mass Spectrometry (LC/MS/MS), the most sophisticated and sensitive technology available for the steroid testing community, STEROIDCONFIRM™ can accurately quantify substances well below the cut-off levels. Each specimen is tested directly with this instrument – there is no screening process.

Confirm Biosciences claims the SteroidConfirm steroid testing kit is comparable to the steroid panels used by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). This may be misleading. [Read more...]

Impact of Steroid Hysteria on Medical Treatments Involving HGH and Steroids

The steroid hysteria related to steroids in sports continues to have an adverse impact of the availability of anabolic-androgenic steroids and human growth hormone for legal use in legitimate medical conditions. Congressional attacks upon anabolic steroids and other anabolic drugs (solely because athletes use them) are hurting those patients who stand to benefit from these highly beneficial and effective drugs.

Nelson Vergel, HIV activist and co-author of Built to Survive, published a letter on his blog that outlines how patients with legitimate medical needs for these pharmaceuticals suffer as a result of the steroid hysteria and legislation that limits the availability of anabolic steroids and human growth hormone (“Hearings on Steroids in Sports and the Impact on Treatments for HIV and other Medical Conditions,” March 12). [Read more...]

HGH Bill Would Increase Costs and Limited Availability of Medical Treatment for Children

Filip Bondy wrote a story today about the likelihood that growth hormone would be more expensive and more difficult to obtain for parents of children with growth-related disorders as a result of a Congressional bill that would reclassify human growth hormone as a controlled substance (“Littlest victims of an HGH bill,” March 17).

Here’s the problem: The proposed legislation would re-classify HGH as a Schedule III drug, increasing penalties for its illegal use and limiting access in several ways. The penalties are fine, the parents agree. Limiting access for growth-challenged kids is the deal breaker.

The Champs, for example, would need to go to Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan once every month for a new prescription, which would last 30 days. Currently with each visit, they are able to obtain a three-month supply of HGH, with two refills. They only need to go once every nine months. Meanwhile, their insurance co-pays would triple for the extra doses.

[Read more...]

Steroids in Our Drinking Water is More Important Than Steroids in Baseball

The non-medical use of anabolic steroids by mature, consenting adults, whether for appearance- or performance-enhancing purposes, is one thing that doesn’t particularly trouble me. The voluntary consumption of steroids by consenting teenagers is more problematic. But it still does not represent a public health crisis.

According to a recent AP probe, there are steroid hormones in our drinking water. The presence of pharmaceuticals including steroids in our public water supply is significantly more important than steroids in baseball. Not only does is point to the hypocrisy of our doped culture attacking doped athletes, but more importantly, it represents a serious threat to children, infants, and developing fetuses whose endocrine systems are particularly vulnerable to pharmaceuticals that act as endocrine disruptors. [Read more...]

Teenage Cheerleader Uses Winstrol and Becomes Suicidal

I know it is not popular to express skepticism at claims that anabolic steroids lead to suicide or suicidal behavior. But the media has once again embraced a story of a teenager who blames steroids as the cause of his/her psychological state without question.

A former cheerleader and gymnast admits to injecting Winstrol ever other day for a five week period when she was in high school. She claims the steroid caused her to experience “roid rage” and experience suicidal thoughts and behavior. [Read more...]

Steroids and Dietary Supplement Regulation

Several blogs have been discussing Neil Levin’s criticism of inaccuracies reported by CNN.  Levin strongly criticized CNN for “preposterous,” “erroneous,” and otherwise “false claims” that dietary supplements are “unregulated” and/or free of “government supervision.” His blog entry goes on to cite the many ways that dietary supplements are regulated by the government. The lengthy entry, with several quotes from regulatory agencies gives the impression that the dietary supplement industry is tightly regulated.

While CNN is technically inaccurate, it is closer to the truth than Levin’s advocacy would suggest. From a consumer standpoint, I feel it is safer to assume that dietary supplements are unregulated. Most regulations are actually “post-marketing” measures i.e. very little prevents a new supplement from being sold in the marketplace. [Read more...]

Does Texas High School Steroid Education Video Work?

The State of Texas University Interscholastic League (UIL) produced a steroid education video entitled “The Making of a Champion.” The steroid education video was released in conjunction with the introduction of steroid testing in public high school sports in Texas.

The video features lengthy segments featuring high school teenage athletes who used steroids and suffered. The video implies that anabolic steroids caused stroke and paralysis in one case; it implies that steroids caused suicide in the other case (Taylor Hooton). This type of “scare tactic” approach is common in state produced steroid education and anti-drug productions. [Read more...]

Therapeutic Use of Testosterone and HGH Granted in Football Players

John Lombardo, M.D. is the drug advisor to the NFL on anabolic steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs. He has granted waivers to football players who have tested positive for anabolic steroids based on medical need. The medical rationale was “testicular disease” in each case.

John Lombardo, has granted waivers to players who have failed drug tests but then explained their medical need for testosterone. NFL spokesman Greg Aiello won’t disclose names or reveal how many players have been allowed to pump synthetic hormones into their bodies except to say it’s “a very small number.”

This is the National League Football (NFL) version of the therapeutic use exemption that can be submitted after failing a drug test. An interesting article by Tom Farrey of ESPN the Magazine suggests this is a precedent opening the door to widespread use of hormones in sports like football. [Read more...]

Anabolic Steroids and Power Factor Statistics in Baseball

More websites are covering Eric Walker’s Steroids and Baseball website that we discussed last week, including the New York Times. Walker suggests there is “no evidence” that anabolic steroids have increased home run hitting. He points to the power factor statistics to support his claims. Most baseball fans have never heard of Eric Walker; fortunately the NY Times gives us some insight:

Walker was a National Public Radio correspondent in the early 1980s when he began filling the San Francisco airwaves with his theories regarding baseball — specifically, that on-base percentage was undervalued, fielding was misunderstood and power ruled all. One increasingly intrigued listener was Sandy Alderson, then a young Athletics executive, who soon hired Walker as a team consultant and with him devised the Oakland philosophy now called Moneyball. [Read more...]

Steroids in Baseball Facts and Assumptions

Matt Welch of the Reason blog tells us about a new steroids in baseball website that critically examines assumptions, particularly those in the Mitchell Report, about steroids and performance-enhancing drugs as they related to Major League Baseball. Eric Walker’s stated goal behind the website:

The purpose of these pages is to methodically dissect those claims and assumptions and compare each with what is actually known about it.

He analyzes several steroid assertions and supports each analysis with several scholarly and scientific citations. Some of his conclusions:

  • Steroids and Home Runs: “No evidence” that steroids have affected home-run hitting.
  • Steroid Side Effects: The side effects of anabolic steroids have been “grossly exaggerated.”
  • Kids and Role Models: Adolescents who self-identify with a role model are no more likely to use drugs than those without a role model.
  • Kids and Sports Heroes: Teenagers, overwhelming male, who self-identify with a sports role model are slightly less likely to use drugs.

Source: Reason blog; Eric Walker’s Steroid website