The UFC middleweight fighter Yoel Romero recently got caught with a performance-enhancing drug (PED) in his system that was banned under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy. The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) identified the prohibited drug as a growth hormone-releasing peptide (GHRP) called ibutamoren.
GHRPs like ibutamoren are capable of stimulating large increases in endogenous growth hormone production. This has considerable advantages for athletes such as enhanced fat loss, increased muscle growth and improved healing from injury.
Like many athletes who fail drug tests, Romero claimed he never knowingly consumed ibutamoren. Most athletes are obviously lying. But Romero was able to provide proof that he was sabotaged by the use of a contaminated dietary supplement called Shed Rx by Gold Star Performance Products.
Shed Rx is sold as a dietary supplement and marketed as an all-natural diuretic. It makes no mention of GHRPs like ibutamoren. The label only lists a variety of natural vitamins and herbal substances such as Vitamin B6, potassium, dandelion, green tea and uva-ursi as its ingredients.
USADA independently obtained an unopened bottle of Shed Rx and submitted it to the analytical lab testing facility of its choice to find out what was in it. The laboratory confirmed it contained the banned PED ibutamoren.
USADA has never been a fan of the dietary supplement industry. It launched a program called “Supplement 411” designed to serve as a supplement safety education and awareness resource to keep athletes from using products that will cause them to fail a drug test.
In response to the Romero case, USADA promptly added Gold Star’s Shed Rx to the list of supplements-to-avoid on the Supplement 411 page. The list also inadvertently helps non-drug tested consumers find supplements that may have illegal undisclosed steroids and powerful PEDs.
”This case clearly demonstrates some of the dangers inherent to supplement use,” said Dr. Amy Eichner, the Special Advisor on Drugs and Supplements for USADA, in a press release. “When considering whether to incorporate supplements into a training plan, it is vitally important that athletes exercise the upmost care in order to avoid making a decision that could endanger their eligibility, reputation or general health and wellness.”
There is a funny irony in the sports nutrition marketplace. Any time the FDA, FTC or USADA alert the public to the presence of illegal and powerful physique- and performance-enhancing drugs in dietary supplements, the sales of those products surge!
The governmental agencies and moral watchdogs think they are protecting consumers and discouraging them from buying this products. But in reality, they are only feeding into the strong consumer demand for these products. The alerts provide free advertising for the supplement companies as they watch the products fly off the shelves.