Thread: A new super steroid?...
10-17-2003, 01:17 PM #1AR-Hall of Famer / Retired
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A new super steroid?...
U.S. Anti-Doping Agency says it found steroid 'conspiracy'
By ROB GLOSTER, AP Sports Writer
October 17, 2003
An anonymous tipster. A used syringe filled with a mysterious substance that arrives by overnight courier at a drug lab. Enough secrets to fill a good spy novel.
The latest scandal to hit track and field involves a designer steroid and could lead to the disqualification of several U.S. athletes from the 2004 Athens Olympics.
The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency said Thursday that several track athletes tested positive in late June for the steroid known as tetrahydrogestrinone, or THG, that until recently was undetectable. Those athletes now face two-year suspensions.
USADA chief executive officer Terry Madden called it a widespread ``conspiracy'' involving chemists, coaches and athletes that was brought to the agency's attention by an anonymous tip.
``I know of no other drug bust that is larger than this involving the number of athletes involved,'' said Madden, who refused to reveal the names or genders of the athletes, or to be more specific about how many had tested positive.
Madden said the inquiry began in early June and expanded to other U.S. professional sports, but wouldn't give specifics. He said he believes international athletes also have used the steroid, which is taken by putting a couple of drops from a syringe under the tongue.
``What we have uncovered appears to be intentional doping of the worst sort,'' Madden said in a statement before a conference call from USADA headquarters in Colorado Springs, Colo. ``This is a far cry from athletes accidentally testing positive as a result of taking contaminated nutritional supplements.''
Olympic athletes face drug tests at major competitions, as well as random testing between events. Their samples are divided in two and stored for future reference.
The athletes whose ``A'' samples revealed THG have been notified and will now have their ``B'' samples tested. If those also are positive, a review process will begin. Appeals could last for months.
THG has a chemical structure similar to two banned anabolic steroids , Madden said, but was tweaked to avoid detection. Though THG is not specifically named as a banned substance in world track, it would be considered a related substance outlawed under the sport's doping rules.
``This is a serious warning for cheaters,'' said Dick Pound, chairman of the World Anti-Doping Agency. ``It shows that supposedly undetectable substances can be detected as new tests are developed.''
Madden said the USADA received a call from a man in June claiming to be a track coach. The caller named athletes he claimed were using a steroid that wouldn't be detected by tests then being used by the USADA. The man later sent the agency a syringe containing the substance, Madden said.
After determining the syringe contained THG, the USADA retested 350 urine samples taken from athletes at the U.S. track and field championships in June at Stanford, as well as 100 samples from random out-of-competition tests on track athletes and 100 random samples from non-track athletes.
Madden said the USADA, acting with extreme secrecy while it conducted the tests, contacted federal authorities with the findings.
The anonymous tipster, Madden said, identified the source of the THG as Victor Conte, founder of BALCO laboratory of Burlingame, Calif. The lab supplies nutritional guidance and supplements to athletes ranging from Barry Bonds to Bill Romanowski to Marion Jones.
``Everything that the coach has identified to us up to this time is true. We are fairly certain this substance came from Victor Conte and BALCO labs,'' said Madden, refusing to be specific.
But Conte, in an e-mail Thursday to The Associated Press and other news organizations, said BALCO was not the source of the substance.
``In my opinion, this is about jealous competitive coaches and athletes that all have a history of promoting and using performance enhancing agents being 'completely hypocritical' in their actions,'' Conte said.
Agents from the Internal Revenue Service and a San Mateo County narcotics task force went to BALCO last month. No arrests were made, and IRS spokesman Mark Lessler wouldn't comment on the unannounced visit.
As part of the retesting of the samples from the U.S. track championships, Madden said, officials discovered several positive tests for the stimulant modafinil -- which sprinter Kelli White says she took for the sleep disorder narcolepsy.
White tested positive this summer at the world championships in France for modafinil, and it could cost her a pair of sprint gold medals. Her case is being reviewed by the USADA.
Anyone else know anything about this???
10-17-2003, 01:21 PM #2
hmm...never heard of THG
10-17-2003, 01:23 PM #3
Interesting, this is the first I have heard of it.
10-17-2003, 01:27 PM #4Respected Member
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10-17-2003, 01:29 PM #5
no doubt, and I am not sure if I read it wrong, but I dont feel these athletes should be punished if they "accidently tested positive by taking contaminated nutritional supplements"
10-17-2003, 02:49 PM #6AR-Hall of Famer / Retired
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10-17-2003, 03:05 PM #7
10-17-2003, 03:10 PM #8
Here you go Cyc...taken from an article posted ealier today by BiggerBri...
THG, a previously unknown drug related to two banned steroids, gestrinone and trenbolone. The drug's structure had been changed so that it could avoid detection by standard tests.
10-17-2003, 04:59 PM #9and pheedno, it is obviously a designer steroid but I dont know the regulations on that - maybe they cant be taking stuff that isnt even listed yet??
10-17-2003, 05:23 PM #10
Heard about it on CNN last night. Crazy. I wonder what the properties of this drug are??
10-17-2003, 05:35 PM #11
Never heard about it but good post.
10-17-2003, 05:43 PM #12
this is the problem with "organizations" any thing that gives someone a slight advantage is EVIL. EEEE-VILLLLLLLLLE. kudos to someone who came up with a new mix. if you were to come up with a new drug that would cure cancer it would take ten years before it was available, come up with a new "steroid " and its banned in 5 minutes. wtf
10-17-2003, 05:58 PM #13Originally Posted by D3m3nt3d
The drug is related to gestrinone and trenbolone ? What is gestrinone? I typed tetrahydrogestrinone into yahoo and not results.
I then typed that compound name into webmd.com, medscape.com and medline.com. NO results.
So far I'm more inclined to believe that this chemical is an underground altered drug.
I wouldn't believe any of the readings on it for the next 2-5 years, unless it's published in a refereed medical journal.
10-17-2003, 06:03 PM #14
heard of THC
10-17-2003, 06:04 PM #15
10-18-2003, 12:01 AM #16
Its close to parabolon I guess, I read a variation of this article somewhere else and they compared it to parabolon.
10-18-2003, 12:57 AM #17
10-18-2003, 10:23 AM #18
10-18-2003, 10:56 AM #19
10-18-2003, 05:01 PM #20
I saw this on TV on the "Today Show" Saturday morning. They found out about it because some labratory in California("Barasco", I think they were called) was purposely altering steriods to aviod detection. They were raided by the DEA..and they had the head of the Olympic Doping Committie on the show. He said that this drug was running rampant throughout "many" of the Olympians..and he was relieved that the source of all of this was finally stopped. He said that when they first found samples of the drug it took an expert in drugs about 2 monts to manipulate the structure so that he could figure out what it was.
The program didn't say which two steriods were being modified; but I think for our purposes it is irrelevant anyway. The drug was most likely very expensive(considering only one guy was making it), and the one guy that was making it has been busted. It seems too complicated for any underground lab to try to reproduce it; and obviously no pharacuitical company would dare produce it.
It just goes to show that there are always ways to cheat the system and people to cheat it.
10-19-2003, 11:47 AM #21Associate Member
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UPDATE IRT THG!!!
Found this through a google search today on sfgate.com
THG is composed of 21 carbon atoms, 28 hydrogen atoms and 2 oxygen atoms,
each molecule of THG is shaped "like a pretzel or popcorn," says Dr. Don Catlin,
director of the UCLA Olympic Analytical Laboratory in LA
10-22-2003, 08:50 AM #22
October 22, 2003
Though federal investigators appear to be targeting a California nutrition guru for fraud and tax evasion, accusations that Victor Conte's lab produced and sold a "designer steroid " to dozens of high-profile athletes potentially could mean jail time for the seller and buyers of such a drug.
Manhattan criminal defense lawyer Sean O'Shea, who in 1994 prosecuted wrestling promoter Vince McMahon for conspiring to distribute steroids among his performers, said steroids, "like heroin and cocaine, are a scheduled drug. The buying and selling of them is illegal. The guidelines are much lower than more serious illegal drugs, but they do include terms of incarceration." McMahon was cleared in the '94 case, though one of his stars acknowledged sharing steroids with him.
No athlete ever has been jailed for steroid use .
In the probe made public last week by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), Conte's company has been named as the source of a previously undetectable steroid, tetrahydrogestrinone (THG). USADA said re-tests for THG have since found that "several" American track and field athletes used the drug, and between 40 and 100 athletes - including players from Major League Baseball and the National Football League - now have been subpoenaed to appear before a San Francisco grand jury.
Conte, by selling supplements to athletes, then charging them for blood and urine tests to confirm the substances are legal (or possibly not detectable), might have made millions in undeclared income. Agents also are investigating whether Medicare funds were paying for needless tests, with kickbacks going to doctors who were ordering them.
There is no evidence that the subpoenaed athletes have used steroids and, beyond the potential criminal liability, penalties vary by sport.
Generally, all Olympic athletes with positive tests are banned from competition for two years. The NFL, which said it is considering re-tests for THG, suspends first-time steroid offenders for four weeks. Major League Baseball, which just last year began conducting "survey" testing for steroids, said it does not have the ability to do retroactive testing for THG, which, like other steroids, is capable of promoting muscle mass and improved recovery rates.
Among those to have received subpoenas are San Francisco Giants power hitter Barry Bonds, Yankees slugger Jason Giambi, sprinter Kelli White and shot putter Kevin Toth - all clients of Conte's Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative (BALCO) in the San Francisco suburb of Burlingame.
Conte, who has denied any wrongdoing, said at least five major league baseball players and seven National Football League players are among those issued subpoenas. His BALCO offices and the home of Greg Anderson, a Conte associate who also is Bonds' personal trainer, were raided by agents from the IRS, the Food and Drug Administration, the San Mateo County Narcotics Task Force and Olympic drug-testing officials after the USADA was tipped in early summer by a track coach.
The unnamed coach provided a syringe with some of the mystery substance, which was identified at the anti-doping UCLA lab. It then developed a test to screen the new drug. USADA already has re-tested 350 urine samples from track athletes, and yesterday the sport's worldwide governing body announced it also will re-test samples from the August world championship meet in Paris.
Copyright © 2003, Newsday, Inc.
10-22-2003, 08:51 AM #23
10-22-2003, 09:00 AM #24
October 21, 2003
Jason Giambi and Barry Bonds are among dozens of athletes subpoenaed to testify in a federal grand jury investigation of a possible new steroid scandal.
The probe focuses on a company that prescribes nutritional supplements for elite athletes and has been identified as the alleged supplier of a designer steroid that has gone undetected in drug tests.
Neither Giambi nor Bonds, well-muscled power hitters for the Yankees and San Francisco Giants, have been accused of illegal or unethical behavior. But as two stars among as many as 40 athletes called to appear before a San Francisco federal grand jury investigation of a California nutritional supplement laboratory, a broader scrutiny is focused on an issue often ignored by American professional sports.
"This is a much bigger story and about many more drug issues than just 40 guys," said Long Island physician Gary Wadler, a member of the three-year-old World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). "And it's a step forward much more than a step backwards."
The investigation became public Thursday when the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), an arm of WADA that oversees domestic drug testing in Olympic sports, said it got an early-summer tip from an anonymous, "high-profile" track and field coach.
Along with accusations that several athletes were using a new "designer steroid," the coach provided a syringe containing some of the questionable substance. Two months of analysis at the UCLA lab approved by the International Olympic Committee revealed a heretofore unknown drug, tetrahydrogestrinone (THG), related to known steroids gestrinone and trenbolone , and thus capable of promoting muscle mass and improved recovery rates during training.
USADA then alerted federal agents to the anonymous coach's claim that the source of THG was BALCO, the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative in the San Francisco suburb of Burlingame owned by nutrition guru Victor Conte. That was followed by a Sept. 3 raid at BALCO that turned up containers labeled to show they contained anabolic steroids, human growth hormone and testosterone .
The grand jury hearing is expected to begin this week with athletes from Major League Baseball and the NFL, among other sports, being questioned concerning their financial relationship with Conte.
It was Conte who told the San Jose Mercury News that five baseball players and seven football players are among those subpoenaed. So far, Giambi, shot putter Kevin Toth and sprinter Kelli White - already in danger of losing two World Championship gold medals because she tested positive for a stimulant - have confirmed receiving subpoenas.
Among Conte's clients are Bonds, White, Oakland Raiders linebacker Bill Romanowski and Olympic sprint champion Marion Jones. BALCO's Web site lists a veritable who's who of sports stars as clients, including John Elway, Michael Chang, the entire Seattle SuperSonics team and Ralph Sampson.
Giambi told reporters at the World Series in Miami, "I don't know who he [Conte] is," and that he only knew of BALCO through Bonds' trainer, Greg Anderson. Conte has denied any wrongdoing.
Giambi said he visited BALCO last fall before going on a tour of Japan with other major leaguers.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, among other items seized in the Sept. 4 raid were computers and documents that listed the names of prominent athletes who had received blood and urine testing through the company. Giambi reportedly was one of the names on that list.
"I'm not worried about it," Giambi said yesterday about the probe. "I didn't do anything wrong."
Said Yankees general manager Brian Cashman: "I don't have enough of the facts to say anything one way or the other."
Conte has said BALCO does blood and urine analysis of athletes to determine mineral and trace element deficiencies and then provides supplements to counter the shortages and enhance performance.
Meanwhile, UCLA lab director Dr. Don Catlin and his associates were able to develop a test to detect THG, and subsequently "several" U.S. track and field athletes were found to have used the drug, according to USADA chief executive Terry Madden.
"I know of no other drug bust that is larger than this," said Madden, who declined to name athletes because they are entitled to a second test of urine samples. Only with a second confirmed positive test would the athletes be identified and a two-year ban imposed.
Even though THG wasn't identified until after many of those tests, retroactive disqualification should not be a problem, said Wadler, who is on the committee that determines the list of banned drugs. "The entire family of anabolic steroids is banned," he said. "And there is a fast-track system to get something like THG on the updated list when it appears Jan. 1, 2004."
Madden called the THG discovery "international doping of the worst sort . . . a conspiracy involving chemists, coaches and certain athletes using what they developed to be 'undetectable' designer steroids to defraud their fellow competitors and the American and world public."
But Wadler thought the wide net cast by the scandal lent legitimacy to the effort of anti-doping officials, in part because it reaches far beyond Olympic sports.
While 199 national Olympic committees, in cooperation with their governments, have signed onto a WADA anti-doping code formalized in March, such entities as Major League Baseball remain apart.
"I'm an advocate of pro sports contracting out with USADA and WADA," Wadler said. "If you left this to the leagues, it would never get done, going up against the unions. But there are federal agencies in there now, and we're talking about pulling in people from the World Series and saying, 'I wonder if . . . ' This is a system beginning to work."
"Obviously, any player who uses illegal performance-enhancing supplements is a concern to us," said Robert Manfred, Major League Baseball's executive vice president for labor relations. "It is my understanding that these people have been subpoenaed as witnesses in an investigation. We're not going to jump to conclusions implicating anyone."
Copyright © 2003, Newsday, Inc.
This is a better article
10-22-2003, 07:26 PM #25
What impact do you all think this will have?.
10-22-2003, 07:51 PM #26Originally Posted by JohnDoe1234
Should of known if new juice was out that Bill Romanowski had his hands on it. That guy is nuts. Always seems to be one sec away from destroying something.
10-22-2003, 08:32 PM #27Originally Posted by n0_Genetics
10-22-2003, 08:51 PM #28
sounds like we'll be hearing a lot more about this in the near future...
10-23-2003, 07:47 PM #29AR-Hall of Famer / Retired
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By PAUL ELIAS, AP Biotechnology Writer
SAN FRANCISCO - The sports world is being rocked by a doping scandal involving a "designer steroid " synthesized so craftily that it is undetectable by the standard test given to athletes.
Already, Europe's fastest man — 100-meter champion Dwain Chambers (news - external web site) of Britain — has admitted taking tetrahydrogestrinone, or THG. Other athletes — including sluggers Barry Bonds and Jason Giambi and boxer Shane Mosley — have been subpoenaed to testify before a grand jury investigating the nutritional supplement company at the center of the unfolding case.
Because of the scandal, USA Track & Field, the sport's national governing body, proposed tougher drug rules Wednesday that could include a lifetime ban for a first steroid offense. The organization also disclosed that four of its athletes tested positive for THG, and they could be barred from the 2004 Olympics.
THG's chemical components are similar to those of most banned steroids , but with an insidious twist: THG disintegrates during the standard testing process, foiling even the skilled doping detectives who hunt for steroids in urine samples, said Dr. Don Catlin of the University of California, Los Angeles Olympic Analytical Laboratory.
The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, which monitors drug use by athletes in Olympic sports, turned to Catlin when it received a syringe of the stuff from an unidentified track coach this summer. After weeks of extensive tests, Catlin and his colleagues identified the substance as a "new chemical entity" with all the hallmarks of an anabolic steroid.
Anabolic steroids are synthetic versions of the male hormone testosterone . Doctors prescribe them to AIDS (news - web sites) patients and other disease-stricken people who lose muscle mass. Athletes use them illegally as chemical shortcuts to bulk up, build endurance and recover better from training.
They can have dangerous side effects, including liver damage, heart disease, anxiety and rage.
There are at least a hundred known anabolic steroids, and professional doping sleuths such as Catlin have amassed a library of chemical fingerprints of these illegal substances that they match against athletes' urine samples.
To find steroid traces in urine, scientists use gas chromatography and mass spectrometry testing. The testing involves drying the sample, adding chemicals and then heating it. But THG disintegrates during this process and goes undetected, Catlin said.
Catlin, however, said he has developed a new process that keeps the essential signature of THG from disintegrating. He said he is making his recipe available to international doping detection agencies.
The burgeoning scandal is the latest example of the cat-and-mouse game between makers of illicit drugs and the anti-doping officials who must constantly readjust their tests to detect ever-evolving substances.
Exactly who developed THG is unclear and is under investigation.
Victor Conte, owner of the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative recently raided by federal officials, has denied being the supplier of THG. He has not been charged with a crime, and his lawyers deny he has committed any wrongdoing.
Furthermore, Conte has said that there is no proof THG is a steroid by the scientific definition.
Catlin, however, said he is convinced that THG is in fact a steroid. What he and other scientists are not so sure of is whether THG was deliberately designed to evade detection or whether its creator got lucky.
"But then I also tend not to underestimate the people who do this," he said.
Federal law makes possession of anabolic steroids illegal without a doctor's prescription. But some lawyers contend THG may not fit the legal definition of a steroid.
"It's apparently a newly created substance," said New York defense attorney Rick Collins, a former prosecutor who has defended clients accused of illegal steroid possession. "At this point we have no evidence, only speculation."
Collins said a stronger criminal case could be made that THG is an unapproved drug that violates Food and Drug Administration (news - web sites) regulations for the marketing of pharmaceuticals.
Either way, sports governing bodies worldwide are moving to crack down on THG use. The NFL has said the league might retest its samples for THG. Swimming's world governing body said it would consider retesting drug samples from its world championships this summer.
Major league baseball said it will be unable to retest samples taken this year for THG, but plans to discuss whether to add it to the list of banned substances.
Anti-doping scientists said Catlin's discovery may confirm what they have suspected for years: that there is a robust underground trade in performance-enhancers created specifically to evade detection.
"This is junior chemistry compared to what's coming," warned Dr. Gary Wadler, a member of the World Anti-Doping Agency.
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