T Nation

Senators want over-the-counter andro ban


Load up on your Mag-10 now. It looks like the life of prohormones is very short indeed.


Mark McGwire's little home run pill is about to be pulled off the shelves.

That's the intent of a new bill sponsored by influential senators on both sides of the aisle, who introduced legislation late Thursday night that would prevent the over-the-counter sale of androstenedione and its muscle-building chemical cousins. The bill would also ban THG, the substance at the center of a growing scandal involving several elite athletes.

"These substances, called steroid precursors or pro-steroids, are one step removed from the substances (regulated) in the law," Sen. Joseph Biden, D-Delaware, said on the Senate floor. "When ingested, they metabolize into testosterone or other illicit steroids. These are products which the United States Anti-Doping Agency, the group in charge of testing Olympic athletes for performance enhancing drugs, has called the 'functional equivalent of steroids.' "

Biden was the driving force behind the effort in 1990 that led to anabolic steroids being made controlled substances. The new bill, the Anabolic Steroid Control Act of 2003, serves as acknowledgement that there were flaws in that original legislation, which discouraged doctors from prescribing steroids to athletes but stimulated the black market and encouraged scientists to devise powerful substances that were technically legal.

THG, a designer steroid undetectable by drug tests and kept secret until recently, is one of those substances. Although not generally sold in health stores -- like andro is -- the substance had the potential to become available over the counter once it became better known.

The bill is co-sponsored by Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, whose support is considered critical to the bill's passage, Senate staffers familiar with the legislation told ESPN.com. Hatch was a leader in a successful 1994 effort to deregulate the nutritional supplement industry, which has spawned many of the ethically suspect products used by athletes in recent years. Over the years, he has remained a protector of the industry and calls have increased for greater government oversight of products such as andro.

The bill would not ban many of the more popular substances, such as ephedra and creatine, used by athletes to enhance performance.

A similar bill was introduced in January to the House of Representatives by, among others, Tom Osborne, R-Neb., formerly football coach at the University of Nebraska. The Senate effort gives that bill renewed viability.

Andro, which is banned in the NFL and other sports but not in baseball, was used by McGwire during the 1998 season when he hit 70 home runs, breaking the single-season record owned by Roger Maris. Andro sales quadrupled after his admission, with teenagers making up many of those consumers.

At the time, McGwire dismissed public concerns about his use of andro, and discounted comparisons to anabolic steroids, because the pills were available over the counter.

Major League Baseball was one of the 34 organizations listed as supporting the bill, which is endorsed by a wide range of medical, athletic and drug policy groups. Several groups are from the nutritional supplement industry.

Andro increases both testosterone and estrogen levels in the body. Biden cited a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association concluding that "orally administered androstenedione increases testosterone and estrogen levels in healthy men, particularly at higher doses." The study also notes that long-term administration could be hazardous, particularly in women and children.

"To be honest, I would be less concerned about what professional athletes are doing to their bodies if their actions did not have such a profound effect on kids," Biden said.

If the bill passes, people who want to use andro or its chemical cousins would have to get a prescription from a doctor. Biden said the bill would also make it easier for the Drug Enforcement Administration to add new substances to the controlled substances list.

Government agencies have been largely impotent in dealing with the steroids issue. As ESPN.com previously showed in an investigative report on the steroids trade, even those trafficking in the hard stuff -- anabolic steroids -- face few consequences. Stopping the flow of steroids from Mexico is a low priority for border guards, and steroids dealers in the U.S. rarely get any prison time.

Currently, the maximum sentence for offenses involving anabolic steroids is only 33 to 41 months for first-time offenders, and to receive the maximum sentence an offender would have to be caught with 300,000 doses.

The Biden-Hatch bill directs the U.S. Sentencing Commission to review the federal sentencing guidelines for crimes involving anabolic steroids, and consider raising them.

Biden and Hatch are scheduled to speak at a hearing Tuesday that has been called by Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, who has introduced a separate bill that calls for more research into performance-enhancing drugs used by athletes


This makes me want to cry. The logic behind this kind of shit is dazzling. Unless they're moving for a way for us to get steroids from our doctor with a prescription, they can all go to hell and die.


Great so the govt has taken upon itself to regulate another area it doesn't belong in. And the reason is that they're worried about the children? What happened to parenting in this country...I'd suggest everyone take a few minutes during the week and write your congressman/senators with your views on this issue. I used to work in a congrasswoman's office and letters are definately read and forwarded to DC. The congresswoman I worked for received a slew of anti-Iraq campaign letters from constitutents and local groups, and after voting for the campaign, she was voted out of office in the next election. So it can make a difference in how they vote


Everything that's going on at Balco is going to amplify this issue...


I know there are reporters and pundits scampering around the web as well as other laboratories and magazines who are going to track down things like MAG-10 and 4AD. I can only imagine seeing an article in a paper naming Biotest, and having quotes like "what kind of supplements is biotest producing?"

-again, damn. This process is going to make me ill.

This should be one instance where the owners of proffesional sports teams should maybe pay off the papers and sponsor thier respective senators' hunting trips. Sports Radio shows here in socal and the Nationally sindicated ESPN radio networks are already asking the question "Does the fact that the most home runs hit this year was less than 50 directly corelate with the mandatory steroid testing rule brought into effect this year?"



Brad, I like that question.


You would think that our government would have enough to do without trying to run every waking moment of our lives. What could the argument be -- Andro based products are harmful to your body? If that is the case, how about all of the preservatives and chemical modifiers, that are approved by the FDA (see Frankenfood -- Great Article). Cigarrettes are known to cause cancer but you can get them on practically every street corner. If I want to enhance my physique with the help of Mag-10, that's my business. I hate to rant but it just pisses me off that so much time can be wasted on something like banning andro when we have real issues that could be dealt with. Well, that's our government at work. Let's hope the voice of the T-voters will be heard come election time.


Sigh. Whimper. Figures. Bastards!!!


Don't cry and whimper, write letters like Jason05 said! Send them pictures of your big bulging biceps if you have to. We're going to let a couple hundered politicians and a few uninformed "save the children" types ruin this for us? I'm starting my letters right now.


side note...the end of the article mentions that Cytodyne (Xendarine maker) has filed bankruptcy.


So what if this really happens...as it appears it will. How many of you would consider going to the dark side after you've seen the results you've attained with prohormones (specifically mag-10)? I know the results I've gotten and I'll be damned if some senator is going to take that option away from me. If this happens I have to seriously consider "other options" in the future. I'm conflicted however since I'm not happy about possibly breaking the law in the future.


It's only breaking the law if you get caught.


If/when the bill became law, would there be a "grace period" or would all such substances have to be pulled from shelves within 24 hours? Basically, would Biotest be able to sell off all its stock? I'm imagining stocking up on as much Mag-10 or 4-AD-EC as possible, even maxing the credit card if necessary, and wondering if there will be some warning.

And...does a governor stand a chance of having any influence on a senator or congressman, or even the president, to convince them that this is a bad bill?


Quit voting for these fascists/socialists and vote libertarian so we can make up our own mind as to what we put in our body!!!


this is why everyone NEEDS to go to www.usfa.biz and send letters to their congressmen


If this bill goes through (which I'm sure it will), I have a feeling fina is going to become a whole lot more popular :slight_smile:


Well, I guess I'm glad I ordered 2 cycles of 1-test/4ad. :slightly_smiling:

Its time the government just stopped worrying about drugs. The demand is the problem, not the availabilty. Maybe someday they'll pull their collective heads out of their collective asses and realize this. If they want to win the war on drugs they need to find ways of curbing the demand.

Just a thought.


Just some more information for those of you taking the initiative to write/e-mail your senators/congressmen...

The bill is S. 1780 and here is the link to the full text of it:


Btw, one of the more ludicrous parts is Sec. 4, the prevention and education programs that "shall award grants to
public and nonprofit private entities to enable such entities to carry
out science-based education programs in elementary and secondary
schools to highlight the harmful effects of anabolic steroids."

Unbelievable that they are considering this.


Oops forgot to post the house version. Anyway, again here they are:

Senate version of the bill is S. 1780
House version of the bill is H.R. 207

Search under the 108th congress, 1st session if you're looking.


Dr.D-Lo: They don't care about the drug problem. Part of their actions against drugs is to give off the impression that they care about us all. Another reason I believe is far more sinister. Illegal drugs generate gargantuan profits in which a percentage goes to pay off cops, lawyers, judges and political members of both parties to help ensure that they stay illegal and keep the money rolling in. The so-called "war-on-drugs", I believe, is one of the biggest scams perpetrated on the American public. That, to me, is the greatest reason for not legalizing them. It has nothing to do with safety.