|Number Sixteen, December 2003 - SPORTS MEDICINE & USAPL
Recently, a new designer steroid has been making quite a splash in the news, because of its previous undetectability. Most major sports organizations have now declared THG as illegal, following the FDA ruling that THG is a "drug" and not a "food supplement" as it had been marketed. Many sport org's are considering retroactive tests to any urine samples they still have. The Candadian Center for Ethics in Sport (The Canadian IOC Anti-Doping agency) declared on October 24 that it would test any samples in their possesion for THG, and that all future steroid tests would include THG detection. Below is a news article that discusses the issue.
Tuesday, October 28
WASHINGTON -- The newly detected steroid that is casting a shadow on Olympic and professional sports is an illegal drug that may pose considerable health risks, the government warned Tuesday.
THG has been sold in the guise of a dietary supplement when it is in fact a drug that lacks federal permission for sale in this country, the Food and Drug Administration said. It is a drug derived from another steroid long banned in athletics, the agency said.
The FDA's official designation of THG as illegal, which had been anticipated since the scandal over the previously undetectable steroid emerged, puts manufacturers on notice that the government will crack down on anyone caught selling it.
It also is the strongest warning yet that using THG is risky. Anabolic steroids can have dangerous side effects, including liver damage, heart disease, anxiety and rage. While little is known about THG's specific effects because it is new, its close chemical similarity to other well-known steroids means it poses the same risks, FDA Associate Commissioner John Taylor said.
"The greatest importance is preventing exposure and trying to nip this in the bud," he said.
U.S. drug authorities first learned about THG, or tetrahydrogestrinone, this summer after an unidentified coach gave them a syringe containing it. THG apparently was designed specifically to be undetectable by the standard test given to athletes.
Now armed with a test, sports organizations are scrambling to re-examine athletes and to decide what penalties to impose for THG use. Four U.S. track and field athletes have tested positive for THG, and Europe's top sprinter has admitted taking it in nutritional supplements that he says he thought were allowed.
Exactly who developed THG is unclear. Dozens of top Olympic and professional athletes have been subpoenaed to testify before a federal grand jury probing a California lab that sells nutritional supplements. Its owner has denied supplying THG, and federal officials, including FDA's Taylor, refuse to comment on the scope of their investigation.
Troubling to lawmakers is that THG apparently was sneaked onto the market in the guise of a dietary supplement. It's not a supplement but an unapproved drug, making any sale or usage illegal, FDA's Taylor said.
Currently, however, "There's nothing to stop another group of folks in another lab from concocting another designer steroid that will circumvent this FDA ruling," said Joe Shoemaker, spokesman for Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill.
Durbin is pushing legislation that would give FDA broader oversight over dietary supplements to prevent steroids from being sneaked onto the market. He said he was unimpressed by the agency's move against THG and said it falls short of dealing with similar substances.
"It's sad that it takes a national controversy, a lawsuit and a lot of publicity to bring the FDA around to their core responsibilities," he said in an interview.
Sens. Joseph Biden, D-Del., and Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, introduced similar legislation last week that also would outlaw steroid precursors like androstenedione, popularized by baseball's Mark McGwire.
Anabolic steroids are synthetic versions of the male hormone testosterone. Some are approved by FDA for prescription-only sale to treat certain diseases; athletes use them illegally to bulk up muscle and enhance performance.
FDA's testing of THG shows it was derived by simple chemical modification of gestrinone, a drug used in Europe to treat a gynecologic condition. It is explicitly banned by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, which monitors drug use by athletes in Olympic sports. THG also is very closely related to trenbolone, a controlled substance used to bulk up cattle.
THG "is a designer steroid in the truest sense," Taylor told a Senate committee.
List, Effective November 30, 2003
Name State Offense Date/Offense Length
Tim King North Carolina Indebtedness to the Association May 20, 1998 Indefinite
Chris Kostas California Indebtedness To The Association Jul 20, 1998 Indefinite
Refusal To Do Drug Testing At Meets
Steve Gavin Minnesota Indebtedness To The Association May 21, 2001 Indefinite
Bringing organization into disrepute
Antonio Garcia Colorado Nandrolone (second offense) Sep 23, 2001 Indefinite
Jeremy Biewer Minnesota Failure to report for testing Jan 20, 2001 3 years
Paul F Unis Colorado Nandrolone, T/E Ratio 22.7 Jan 28, 2001 3 years
Steve T Fergen South Dakota Nandrolone Feb 10, 2001 3 years
CJ Salas Nebraska Nandrolone Feb 10, 2001 3 years
David Pierce Michigan Nandrolone Feb 10, 2001 3 years
Eric Sampson Wisconsin Nandrolone Feb 17, 2001 3 years
Warren Fahrenfeld New Jersey Nandrolone, Epitestosterone Mar 24, 2001 3 years
James Rictor Oregon Nandrolone, Stanozolol Mar 24, 2001 3 years
Patrick Gratton Missouri T/E Ratio 74.7 Mar 31, 2001 3 years
Matthew Hebert Louisiana Nandrolone Apr 01, 2001 3 years
Boomer Fleming Hawaii Nandrolone, Methandienone Jun 30, 2001 3 years
James Cahill Minnesota Nandrolone Apr 28, 2001 3 years
Jason Berkowitz Pennsylvania Nandrolone Apr 29, 2001 3 years
Robert Abfalter Michigan Nandrolone Jul 28, 2001 3 years
Jacob W Heglar Virginia Nandrolone Oct 21, 2001 3 years
Tim E Geyer Michigan Nandrolone Oct 27, 2001 3 years
Brett J Polofsky Rhode Island Nandrolone, Oxymetholone Nov 17, 2001 3 years
Douglas D Mounkes Kansas Nandrolone, Epitestosterone Nov 17, 2001 3 years
Elizibeth Volk Texas Nandrolone Nov 17, 2001 3 years
Theresa J Fish Wisconsin Nandrolone, Stanozolol Nov 26, 2001 3 years
Toe Preston Hawaii Nandrolone Dec 08, 2001 3 years
Karen C Phillips Virginia Nandrolone, Methandienone,T/E ratio 126.4 Dec 08, 2001 3 years
Garnet C Boudreau Maine Methenolone; T/E ratio 57.5 Dec 08, 2001 3 years
Greg Lee Mississippi Nandrolone Jan 19, 2002 3 years
Joshua McMillan Michigan Boldenone Feb 02, 2002 3 years
John Onorato Colorado Nandrolone Feb 10, 2002 3 years
Jim Thompson Montana Boldenone; T/E ratio 44.9 Feb 23, 2002 3 years
Ralph Buckles Minnesota Nandrolone, Epitestosterone, T/E ratio +6.0 Mar 16, 2002 3 years
Dwayne Poucher Florida Nandrolone Mar 24, 2002 3 years
Ben White New York Nandrolone Mar 30, 2002 3 years
Richard Davis Pennsylvania T/E ratio 15 Apr 07, 2002 3 years
Antonio Lanzellotta New Jersey Failure to report for testing Apr 27, 2002 3 years
Avery Adams Tennessee Boldenone May 04, 2002 3 years
Chad Crigger Iowa Nandrolone; T/E ratio 28.3 May 19, 2002 3 years
Norman Fulk Virginia Nandrolone Jul 20, 2002 3 years
Matthew Hayes Carter Louisiana Nandrolone Nov 30, 2002 3 years
Luke Cottrill California T/E ratio 23.6 Nov 03, 2002 3 years
Kip Sixbery Colorado Nandrolone Dec 08, 2002 3 years
Rafael Rodriguez Pennsylvania Nandrolone Mar 02, 2003 3 years
Frank Tisko New York Nandrolone Mar 08, 2003 3 years
Michael L Coe Indiana Nandrolone Mar 15, 2003 3 years
Daniel Martin New Jersey Methandienone, T/E Ratio 45.2 Mar 15, 2003 3 years
Garrett Chabot Maine Nandrolone, T/E Ratio 50.4 Apr 12, 2003 3 years