October 1, 2020

Did Jessica Hardy’s Advocare Supplements Contain Clenbuterol?

Swimmer Jessica Hardy has withdrawn from the United States Olympic Team bound for the 2008 Beijing Olympics after testing positive for low levels of the long-acting beta-2 adrenergic agonist (LABA) clenbuterol. Hardy maintains that she never knowingly or unintentionally consumed clenbuterol or any other banned susbtance.

The question of why and how clenbuterol appeared in Jessica Hardy’s sample remains a mystery. Was Hardy simply caught doping? Or were the “dietary supplements” used by Hardy contaminated or spiked with the banned substance clenbuterol? The supplement company Advocare was cited as one of the brands of dietary supplements used by Jessica Hardy. [Read more…]

DEA Identifies 22 Dietary Supplements Containing Anabolic Steroids

The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) identified 22 dietary supplements containing anabolic steroids that are marketed and sold on the Internet in proposed rules published last week in the Federal Register. According to the DEA, the following three steroids meet the criteria for “anabolic steroids” under the Anabolic Steroid Control Act of 2004 (“Classification of Three Steroids as Schedule III Anabolic Steroids Under the Controlled Substances Act,” April 25).

  • Boldione (aka androsta-1,4-diene-3,17-dione)
  • Desoxymethyltestosterone (aka DMT and 17a-methyl-5a-androst-2-en-17b-ol)
  • 19-nor-4,9(10)-androstadienedione (aka 19-norandrosta-4,9(10)-diene-3,17-dione and esta-4,9(10)-diene-3,17-dione)

Apparently, this is a shocking surprise to supplement industry lobbyist Loren Israelsen. Israelsen recently forwarded the following remarks (written by Rob Eder) to members of the United Natural Products Alliance. [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…]

Sports Supplements as a Gateway to Anabolic Steroid Use

I asked Dr. Jay Hoffman, Professor and Chair of the Department of Health and Exercise Science at the College of New Jersey,  about the theory that sports supplements are a gateway to anabolic steroid use. He replied in an email:

I do not believe that this is the case. There really isn’t any documented evidence to support such a claim. Although all anabolic steroid users I would venture to guess use sport supplements – I do not necessarily support the hypothesis that increasing supplement use would increase anabolic steroid use.

[Read more…]

Gatorade a Gateway to Anabolic Steroid Use in High School Athletes?

Many people believe that dietary supplements, specifically sports nutrition supplements, are a “gateway” to anabolic steroid use. It is the steroid war’s version of the “gateway drug theory.” While I agree that teenagers should not be permitted to purchase or use stimulants and steroids sold as dietary supplements, I do not subscribe to the “supplements as a gateway to steroids” theory.

 Chris Connolly, the head football coach and athletic director of Dolgeville High School in Dolgeville, New York, has taken the gateway theory, as it applies to suppplements, to the extreme. [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…]

Recommendations for Steroid Education in Baseball

The Mitchell Report noted problems with current steroid education programs in MLB that focus on severe steroid dangers and deleterious side effects:

[T]hese health risks… generally will not deter a player from using these substances. This is because players who use or are considering using performance enhancing substances do not consider them dangerous if used properly. This view is reinforced when players see that other players who they know are using performance enhancing substances arc not experiencing the adverse health effects described in the educational materials.

This makes sense. If steroid use is rampant and the clubhouse, yet no one is experiencing any of the negative side effects, then why would players give any credence to the MLB “steroid education” programs? Perhaps overstating and exaggerating the side effects and related scare tactics are not effective in a drug education program? [Read more…]

Steroids Found in Popular Dietary Supplements

A recent study revealed approximately 25% of popular dietary supplements in the U.S. were contaminated with low levels of steroids; 11% of supplements were contaminated with stimulants, most commonly ephedrine. These steroidal and stimulant ingredients were not declared on the product label.

The study was done by Informed Choice, a nonprofit coalition of dietary supplements, and the analysis was conducted by the British company, HFL, to investigate levels of steroid and stimulant contamination in popular supplements available on the US market. The names of the supplements that were tested were not identified. This is most likely out of fear of legal action against them by any company should it be named in the study results. [Read more…]