T Nation



Steroids Detected In Dietary Tablets
Some Contents Similar To Those Used by East German Athletes
By Amy Shipley
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, November 30, 2005; E01

A dietary supplement marketed to fitness and health enthusiasts on the Internet and in body-building shops contains anabolic steroids linked to two of the biggest doping scandals in sports history, including the renowned case involving East German Olympic athletes in the 1960s and '70s, according to a prominent researcher.

The supplement, which is sold under the name Halodrol-50, contains a steroid that closely resembles Oral-Turinabol, the principal steroid used to fuel East Germany's secret, systematic sports doping program, according to Don Catlin of the UCLA Olympic Analytical Laboratory.

Catlin said it also contains DMT, or madol, a steroid federal authorities say was developed for Bay Area Laboratory Co-operative (BALCO), the California nutritional supplement company at the center of a scheme to provide prominent professional athletes with undetectable performance-enhancing drugs.

Catlin analyzed the makeup of Halodrol-50 for The Washington Post, which purchased the product on the Internet and reimbursed the Los Angeles researcher for the cost of the testing.

The discovery provides further evidence that the country's multimillion-dollar dietary supplements industry also has become a clearinghouse for the distribution of anabolic steroids, which help build muscle and speed recovery from strenuous exercise but also can cause serious health problems when used in excess.

Last month, Catlin tested five other dietary supplements obtained by The Post and found that each contained anabolic steroids, four of which had not been previously detected. The Food and Drug Administration announced after publication of The Post's story on Oct. 18 that it had opened an investigation into the four companies marketing them.

An FDA spokeswoman said yesterday that the investigation is continuing. The official declined further comment.

It is illegal to sell anabolic steroids or any unapproved drugs as dietary supplements.

Halodrol-50, which costs $50 to $80 for a bottle of 30 tablets, is marketed by Gaspari Nutrition, a dietary supplements company based in Neptune, N.J., that sells bodybuilding and weight-loss products. Halodrol-50 claims on its label to "induce maximal visible changes in size and strength in the shortest period of time possible." It also recommends that the product not be used by anyone under age 21.

The Halodrol-50 label further states that it contains polydehydrogenated, polyhydroxylated halomethetioallocholane. Catlin described that chemical descriptor as "hocus-pocus." He said the language was outdated and vague and appeared to be deliberately misleading. The label makes no mention of DMT or other anabolic steroids.

"It's obfuscation," Catlin said. "There is no attempt to be clear and concise and to describe the product for what it is."

Rich Gaspari, owner of Gaspari Nutrition, did not respond to two requests for an interview made by telephone to associates at his company. He also did not respond to two e-mail requests for comment.

However, Bruce Kneller, a consultant to Gaspari, wrote in an e-mail late yesterday that he had spoken to Gaspari and was conveying a comment on Gaspari's behalf. "The product . . . was discontinued several weeks ago after the publication of an inflammatory article in The Washington Post," Kneller said, referring to the Oct. 18 Post story. "It is no longer made or sold by Gaspari Nutrition and, in fact, was only available for less than three weeks."

Though Halodrol-50 is no longer available on the Gaspari Nutrition Web site, the product continues to be marketed on other Web sites that sell bodybuilding substances.

In an e-mail sent by a Gaspari official to a distributor, which was provided to The Post, the Gaspari official said Halodrol-50 and another product called Orastan E no longer advertised on Gaspari's Web site would continue to be sold to good customers. The Gaspari official added that he hoped "the government and media will ignore us and think we got rid of them," focusing instead on the "other companies."

Oral-Turinabol anchored the secretive doping program in communist East Germany that led to that country's emergence as an Olympic power three decades ago, according to classified documents uncovered in 1990 following the fall of the Berlin Wall. At the 1976 Summer Games in Montreal, East German women won 11 of the 13 swimming events. But the side effects from the massive doses of steroids administered to the East German competitors were as remarkable as the athletes' successes. Women developed excessive body hair, deepened voices, massive shoulders and male secondary sex characteristics.

Criminal trials in 2000 resulted in the convictions of East Germany's Olympic president and chief sports doctor, but a number of former athletes are still grappling with medical, legal and psychological issues related to the doping program.

One of the two steroids found in Halodrol-50, Catlin said, more closely resembles Oral-Turinabol than any other known steroid, but the two are not identical in structure. The steroid would be undetectable in standard drug tests because it is not an exact match with Oral-Turinabol.

"This is an unknown," Catlin said. "If I had to pick one it's ever so close to, it's Oral-Turinabol. . . . It's very close."

Athletes taking Halodrol-50 would flunk standard sport drug tests, however, because DMT -- which Catlin identified more than a year ago -- is now detectable. DMT was one of three steroids found associated with BALCO. The others were norbolethone and THG, also known as "the clear."

The FDA is investigating four other dietary supplement companies named in the Oct. 18 story in which The Post reported that Catlin had found anabolic steroids in five products produced by four companies: Anabolic Xtreme, Applied Lifescience Research Industries, Legal Gear and PharmaGenX. The story led Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (R-Va.) to demand that the FDA explain its efforts to ensure that dietary supplements did not contain steroids. The FDA said in a Nov. 7 letter to Davis that the companies could face punitive action.

(c) 2005 The Washington Post Company


That's very interesting. Does anyone have any experiences with Halodrol-50?


Don Catlin should keep his fat nose out of the supplement business. I'm telling you, it's just a matter of time before everything gets banned in this country and we will end up just like Canada :frowning:


This is the second big article where he tests supplements for the Washington Post. I think someone at the Post is real excited about shutting down the supplement industry.


Im in the DC area and its a bunch of liberal pukes. There are not too many mesomorphs in this area at any gyms Ive been to...this is the land of cardio and BMWs...


Did they pull this stuff from all the stores and websites? All the websites I went to out of curiosity are not carrying it.


From above:
In an e-mail sent by a Gaspari official to a distributor, which was provided to The Post, the Gaspari official said Halodrol-50 and another product called Orastan E no longer advertised on Gaspari's Web site would continue to be sold to good customers. The Gaspari official added that he hoped "the government and media will ignore us and think we got rid of them," focusing instead on the "other companies."

Now, what does that really mean? I'm sure they plan on running these articles until more blow hard politicians jump on the bandwagon.


I put the blame squarely on the shoulders of the supplement companies, they are to blame for putting these types of products on the market and attracting media attention. The media and the average american knows so little about this subject and are totally influenced by heresay and conjecture, not facts. If they keep this up, we are going to have some legislation that will increase the prices, perhaps ban some of the supplements we know and love, i.e. creatine, protein powder, multivitamins and Alpha Male type formulations.

I believe these people hate steroids and supplements so much because they cause people to be independant and think for themselves. Not follow along like lemmings, believing anything the media tells them.


Who would buy something like Halodrol-50 anyways?
I know you all hate when I get technical but, If you look into any sports antidoping laws you will find that it is not lawfull to use any performance enhancing herb, thermogenic or hormonal supplement.
I just can't see why anybody would put something like this in the open market in the first place. Gaspari is asking for it. They would do good to stick to calling thier supps estrogen blockers like everybody else. but no, they go strait up and go against everything the new law states is considered illegal. I knew that they were going to end up getting popped because the add for Halodrol-50 specifically promised mass gains which acording to the new law would be considered illegal.


Excellent post.

FDA Regulation of the Supplement Industry is a certainly.

Unethical people bring about bad results for everyone.



Since when did steroids and supplements help you to be a free thinker? If thats true, the Pro Bodybuilders must be the greatest thinkers in the universe.


Then, maybe bodybuilders should stand up and tell these politicians we're not going to put up with these ridiculous laws. I voted libertarian in this last election and I was in a severe minority. When I asked others if they considered voting libertarian they had no idea a third presidential candidate was on the ballot, they only saw two choices. At any rate, how long before some politician looking for publicity decides that creatine sounds awfully close to creatinine and is bad for the kidneys in large doses so it should be illegal? How long before somebody decides that fat-loss products like HOT-ROX are just forms of speed and should be illegal? How long before there are so many laws on the books that we all just hide in a corner because we don't know what's illegal?

By the way, Catlin suggest that Halodrol-50 is "very close" to oral turinabol and should be treated as such. Any so called scientist who makes such broad claims is a joke. This whole article is designed to be a shock piece and has no merit what so ever. If anything it will probably increase sales of these products as many people will take this article as evidence that these products are as effective as Anabolic Steroids.

Here's a wild and crazy idea: Legalize steroids and marijuana. Take the taxes from these items and the existing cigarette taxes ( can we all agree we are talking about a sizeable chunk of change?) and create a national healthcare program. WHOA! Where did that come from? Must be the HOT-ROX affecting my brain chemistry, that stuff should be illegal.


Knock, Knock

Who's there?


Reality Who?



HES BACK!!!!!!!


That spokesman Bruce Kneller, didn't he used to write here under the pen name Brock Strasser?


hey, i have been on h-50 for a week now, coupled with (legal gear) methyl-masterdrol (2x day spaced few hours apart). I have not noticed significant gains although I am a little bigger.

I am sure if i could get some food down my neck i would have far better gains.

halodrol-50 1x day morning
methyl masterdrol, 2x day, noon, eve
amino acids all day
more glutamine at night
multi-vitamin morning
EFA pills 2-4 per day

183 pounds
7% bodyfat
21 years
bench 185x8
squat 225
pullup max 12-15 reps


Having that you noticed that you are alittle bigger in a week I would say is significant!!! Thats awesome, because say in a month that little each week will become alot. And I've never noticed a supplement(prohormone-like)ever working till the end of the second week. Let us know of any side effects, especially with it being methylated.


If it's the old formula that says all the mumbo jumbo on the outside of the box "polyhydrogenated etc etc", then it's the original formula and it will work. Keep taking it, take in alot of calories and protein. You should already be feeling the pump from it after a week. Around week 3 and all through week 4 you'll start to see great gains on your strength.


Sooo funny, I think that article would increase sales of it (i know it convinced me to buy 2 packets of it) secondly, I think a study recently came out that constant supplementation with creatine does increase creatinen levels and does put stress on the liver (who cares, informed usage as well as moderation, ie. cycling on/off with it as well as perhaps changing doses) but also, this guy who started the halodrol-50, I hope you know what you are doing, because you sound kind of like a weakling, I hope your base is there for you to maintain what you will gain from your drol cycle.... 185x8??? come on....


Oh yeah, anyways though, this is old news, people have known about that 'Post' article for a while now, I am not sure how I feel about companies doing this anyways. Couldn't we pretty much call these designer steroids, and in that sense they are crossing a legal line (not that I care except I wouldn't want to see other supplements go) but if anyone (like an 18 year old punk) can get there hands on superdrol or halodrol there may be something wrong... I don't know, who is to say what the hell is in these pills.