September 29, 2020

Steroid Testing in the NFL is a Failure

A new report suggest that while the NFL’s Policy on Anabolic Steroids and Related Substances is a public relations success, its effectiveness at actually reducing steroid use among football players may be a failure. The Wall Street Journal recounts an incident last week where a reporter observed a player receiving advance notice of a steroid test from the team’s head trainer. Doping flourishes in sports like cycling and track and field which are subject to the most rigorous drug-testing standards presented by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). Other sports, such as NFL and MLB, have much more lax anti-doping rules.Anti-doping experts feel that the NFL might as well abandon drug testing if they are going to give advance notice to players. [Read more…]

NFL Knowledge of Bumetanide-Spiked Supplement Exposed Players to Significant Health Risks

The National Football League apparently is willing to jeopardize the health of its players in a misguided effort to catch athletes who use banned performance enhancing subtances. John Lombardo, M.D., the administrator and medical advisor to the NFL Policy regarding Anabolic Steroids and Related Substances allegedly knew that the dietary supplement StarCaps were contaminated with bumetanide as early as 2006. Bumetanide is a powerful prescription diuretic found in StarCaps but not disclosed by the manufacturer. Yet, he failed to notify any NFL teams about the discovery to prevent athletes from using StarCaps as an explanation for a positive bumetanide test result exposing NFL players to significant health risks that could have easily been prevented by responsible concern for players’ health and well-being as the primary objective. [Read more…]

Diuretic Bumetanide Used by NFL Players to Mask Anabolic Steroid Use?

Four of the eight NFL football players whose names were “leaked” as having violated the league’s policy on anabolic steroids and related substances were caught using the diuretic Bumex (bumetanide). New Orleans Saints running back Deuce McAllister and defensive ends Will Smith and Charles Grant tested positive for bumetanide as did Houston Texans deep snapper Bryan Pittman.

Reports of a “rash of positive steroid tests” in the NFL by news websites here and here and here and here are highly misleading and false since none of the players are alleged to have tested positive for steroids by the NFL. Nonetheless, MSNBC stated that one player tested positive for anabolic steroids with the headline “Report: Saints’ McAllister positive for steroids“, but deep in the article reported the truth that it was bumetanide. There are even plausible indications these may have involved inadvertent doping from weight loss supplements tainted with bumetanide.

[Read more…]

Football Player Sues Supplement Company for Undeclared Steroidal Ingredient

No sooner than I finished writing an article critical of the supplement industry does a professional football player file a lawsuit against a supplement company for containing steroids in their supplements (due to either contamination or intentional “spiking” of the ingredients). It gives me no pleasure to write this story because the defendant is a friend of mine.

Former NFL running back Femi Ayanbadejo has filed a lawsuit against Author L. Rea of ALR Industries. He claims an undisclosed ingredient in ALRI Max LMG caused him to fail an NFL doping test leading to his release by the Arizona Cardinals and Chicago Bears. Ayanbadejo tested positive for a “form of nandrolone.” Ayanbadejo’s attorney is blaming the positive steroid test on the manufacturer for possibly intentionally “spiking” the supplement with banned substances or contamination from the manufacturing facility.

I have not had a chance to review legal documents in the case. The owner of ALR Industries did not seem to be aware of the lawsuit and could not provide me with any insight into the case.

But on the surface, I’m not sure it has merit from a legal standpoint. [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…]