Tainted supplements

Discussion in 'Texans Talk' started by otisbean, May 13, 2010.

  1. otisbean

    otisbean All Pro

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    I posted this on another site but wanted it to be posted here as well:

    I spoke with a Dr. friend of mine in CA, he is familiar with the Cushing situation as he is a Texan fan. First, HCG will stimulate Leuteinizing Hormone in the body. It will not help produce extra testosterone, ie it will not boost a person's testosterone levels past the normal range as steroids will. It can help raise a persons level with in the normal range, meaning that if the normal range is 200 on the low side and 900 in the high side it could help you go from 200 towards 900, but it won't help you get out of the range of normal as roids will. He said alot of roid users don't even take HCG anymore, as Clomed is what most users will use to boost their natural testosterone production after doing a cycle.

    I asked him, could he have gotten it from a "natural" testosterone supplement like the 100s that are available at GNCs ect... he said absolutely. He suspected this was the likely culprit as the levels were so low. He believes that it is very difficult to successfully take steroids in the NFL as they have an ULTRA strict policy. He said most of the time when guys get busted for diuretics their actually taking them to make weight, not to mask roids.

    Is the case strong that Cushing took roids, I don't think so. If you don't think supplements can be tainted check this out:

    http://www.physorg.com/news176664344.html

    He was tested all year, he had one negative test with a very slightly elevated level of a drug that shouldn't even be considered in the same category as the real deal, in all honesty.

    This brings me to a final point, is it cheating if a guy takes a supplement to boost his testosterone to a higher level so long that the level is within the normal range? Different people have different levels occurring in their body's naturally, some are in the low range 200-300 and some are naturally up near 900. What's wrong with a guy bumping his level up from 300 to 800 with a supplement?

    BTW, here is more info on tainted supplements:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/11/sports/11dopingweb.html

    This one is about an OTC supplement that caused a positive steroid test

    http://www.precisionnutrition.com/tainted-supplements

    This one is from Dr. John Berardi's website regarding the surprising number of tainted supplements.
     
  2. CloakNNNdagger

    CloakNNNdagger Site Contributor

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    Your Dr. friend is correct about the 1st paragraph statments, as I have posted similarly in the past with the qualification the testosterone levels being able to be bumped to somewhat above the high levels of normal in some cases.........but not very useful by itself in performance enhancement.

    No one will argue that many supplements can be "adulterated" with "unknown additional substances."

    BUT, as many fans do not realize, that is why the NFL/NFLPA has agreed to follow the NSF CERTIFICATION PROCESS.

    In essence, ALL NFL teams have open access to laboratories ( and make them available to players and coaches) that will independently evaluate any given supplement for content and purity by sophisticated accurate methods such as liquid chromatography.

    The problem is, if the player is not overtly gaming the system, that some players choose to claim ignorance of what they want to view as "benign" over-the-counter supplements. What further compounds the problem with over-the-counter supplements is that, to begin with, they many times have LABELED multiple ingredients.

    In summary, if players stick to the rules and processes available to them, it is virtually impossible for them to travel down the wrong road of positive testing.
     
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  3. otisbean

    otisbean All Pro

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    I know about the NSF, in fact it's discussed in one of the articles I posted. The article also has a list of NSF certified supplements. There isn't alot of variety on the list, it seems to be mostly meal replacements and protein powders. I'm guessing that athletes are choosing to use different supplements and perhaps it's causing problems.

    Im not defending that choice, Im not saying it's right or wrong, but I can understand it. WHen there are millions of dollars on the line, and physical performance plays a major role in obtaining said money, I can understand why guys might be looking for any edge possible. If an OTC supplement can boost performance and be legally to obtained, I can completely understand why someone would use it. Heck the only supplement I use thats on that list is muscle milk. There are supplements I take now that I would continue to use if I were to play in the NFL because for me they work. Their not on NSF list though.

    My main problem with the Cushing issue is that many fans and media goons were so quick to assume he used steroids. My purpose was to get people to understand there are other, legitimate ways that this could have happened. I'm not saying that this IS what happened, just that its possible.

    According to my physician friend he feels that a tainted supplement could easily be the cause. He tested positive only one time with a very low level. He said it's possible that he was taking HCG to try to boost his own testosterone output, but he doubted that based on the really low levels and the fact that he only tested positive once.
     
  4. CloakNNNdagger

    CloakNNNdagger Site Contributor

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    It appears that your physician friend and you do not understand that any coach or player may submit to their team ANY supplement not on the NSF certified list to independent testing for content and purity BEFORE they begin taking it.

    Secondly, the reportedly "low" levels (x 2) would have BOTH BEEN ABOVE THE EXPECTED LEVELS IN MALES, or they would have not have been reported as "positive." "Positive" in such testing is NOT synonymous with "presence."

    As I have explained before, there is typically a generous buffer assigned to a test before a sample falls out as "positive." This is to avoid the unfair "gotcha factor" based on borderline results. The term "LOW" has been thrown around too freely by those who know better. Their motive must remain suspect.
     
  5. HJam72

    HJam72 Hall of Fame

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    Maybe he didn't want to admit that he was pregnant. :thinking:
     
  6. infantrycak

    infantrycak Mod. Staff Member

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    Did I miss it somewhere and you found out the NFL number is in fact 2 x some norm? - and if so, what is the norm?
     
  7. BullNation4Life

    BullNation4Life Hall of Fame

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    IT'S NOT A TUUUMA, IT'S A BOY!
     
  8. Double Barrel

    Double Barrel Modified Simian

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    I was curious about the "low" comments, as well.

    And what was strange to me is that an elite athlete, with millions of dollars and a pro career on the line, one who is known to be in tune with every aspect of his health and fitness, appeared to be so clueless about this substance and the different aspects of it. This doesn't even begin to touch on the tumor remarks.

    If I - just a football fan and regular dude - have learned so much about the substance just from reading your informed posts the past few days, I find it really weird that Cush has had this situation for over 8 months and still seems so uneducated about it. And he does not come across as a so-called "dumb jock" and appears to be intelligent, so his press conference seemed at odds with who he is known to be.

    I have no desire to witch hunt the guy. I'm just trying to be more educated on the matter so when I talk to other people, especially those with biased assumptions, I can reply with facts and knowledge instead of emotion-based speculation.
     


  9. Joe Texan

    Joe Texan Inducted 04

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    I feel real good about what the first Dr said. He got hold of something bad, took it found out is was bad quit taking it got busted and is serving his punishment

    CASE CLOSED
     
  10. gtexan02

    gtexan02 Working?

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    Who said that?

    Also, if this is true, then Cushing is an outright liar. he said he had no idea how it got in his body, and is concerned for his health. Are yuo saying Cushing is a liar?
     
  11. devo-x

    devo-x Veteran

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    I think it was an unintended side effect of one of the many supplements he takes after reading about the Texans official who supposedly 'warned' Cushing and our former Strength and Conditioning Coach about a supplement that could result (and did) result in one positive test

    It's the most logical conclusion at this point
     
  12. otisbean

    otisbean All Pro

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    Just so I'm clear with what you are saying, if 47 of the Texan players show up with 2 supplements each, the Texans will run 94 different lab tests on said supplements? If so that's pretty impressive

    To be perfectly clear as to what my friend said, he said he would be surprised in he was taking HCG as he didn't feel it would do anything for him that he couldn't get from an OTC testosterone supplement, IE why take some thing on the banned substance list when they are other supplements on the market that do a really good job with helping boost test level. Thats why he thought it might be a tainted supplement. MY point in listing the articles was to show that this absolutely happens (tainted supplements), and to present an alternative theory of the crime so to speak. As I said in the original post, this was posted on another thread in response to all the he has to be doing steroids posts. My friend also said that the NFL steroid testing is no joke, and he felt that the number of steroid users in the NFL was actually pretty low.

    My posting of his HCG levels was simply what was being reported in the media at that time of the original post. I find it interesting and a bit peculiar that in his appeal hearing the NFL had 2 toxicology experts and 1 said there was no way HCG could occur naturally while the 2nd said that it was possible and he was suspended. I would think they would want a consensus from their experts.
     
  13. CloakNNNdagger

    CloakNNNdagger Site Contributor

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    This is not how the process plays out. For example, just like I as a physician who chooses to maintain a membership with the entity Consumer Lab, I am able to request the independent content and purity data on specific supplements. Their database accumulated over the years is substantial. It does not obviously, however, include every manufacturer or every supplement known to man. If they do not have data on a certain supplement, then I may submit a sample of the supplement for independent testing at my expense (which is not nominal).

    With the NFL, teams have this similar type of investigatory options. A team is not going to test every off brand or unknown substance brought in by their player when there are known substitutes with confirmed status. There needs to be some sanity to the process. There will be times that the player will be told “No.” And in those cases they will be aware and also usually reminded that there is no guarantee they will not test “positive” for some banned substance if they choose to proceed on their own with its use. Then, they’re on their own if they choose to “gamble.” If they just can’t live without their substance, and data is not available and testing by the team is felt to not to be reasonable, the player can always have his supplement tested at his expense by the certified lab.

    Bottom line, this is why it is made very clear within THE NFL POLICIES to the player (by signed agreement) that the player, and the player alone is ultimately responsible for what goes into his body.
     
  14. The Pencil Neck

    The Pencil Neck Subscribed Contributor

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    THe OTC testosterone supplements are on the banned list.

    From what I've heard, the NFL had 2 experts and Cush had 1. Obviously Cush's expert presented evidence for how Cush had tested positive without having taken anything. On the NFL's side, one expert disagreed with Cush's expert while the other agreed. And upon hearing that, Cush and his lawyer thought they were going to be exonerated.
     
  15. otisbean

    otisbean All Pro

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    To be clear my friend was saying he wouldn't take HCG as there are better OTC supplements, he was saying he would take them, just that there were better ones available. This brings an interesting question, I wonder why it's illegal to boost your test levels with legal substances when the normal range is fairly wide. I can see it being illegal to have test levels above normal, but what's wrong with going from the 200s to 800s. I find it peculiar.

    I thought McClains article said the NfL had 2 of their own experts and they disagreed, but I may have misread the article.

    BTW, i have an OTC test supplement (I don't really take it though, I buy crap and never use most of it) and none of the ingredients are on the 07 banned substance list (which was the only one I could find). The list had specific compounds, it didn't specifically say OTC test supplements. It did have the ambiguous "related compounds" though. I don't know if that means related to the specific compounds or what.

    Here's the list: http://www.scribd.com/doc/14066744/NFL-Banned-Substances
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2010
  16. JB

    JB Old Curmudgeon

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    Same thing PN is saying
     
  17. otisbean

    otisbean All Pro

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    Now, the following is purely for discussion purposes:

    Do you remember when a group of people had heart attacks that were attributed to Ephedra? 20-20 did a supplement expose on different supplements that contained ephedra. One brand, which was very reputable at the time, had 2 separate bottles of the same product tested. One bottle had 1/2 the amount listed on the label while bottle 2 had twice the listed amount in the bottle. I bring this up because I'm not sure that creating a list of OK supplements would be all that effective given this example. If a lab such as consumer lab tested supplement X from company Y once and the supplement tested OK, how do we know that another bottle wouldn't contain a bad ingredient or improper levels. I don't have the answer to this, I guess the thing to do is to not take anything. As a strength coach, I would think professional athletes would benefit more from supplements, given their workload, than the average Joe that eats fast food 3 times a day

    It seems to me that the NFL would be better off looking for abnormally high levels of hormones ect... vs looking for specific compounds. For example, I can go buy DHEA at my pharmacy or supplement store but its on the banned substance list. Previously I mentioned that people have varying levels of test present in their system. If I remember correctly the range is pretty broad, if your a physician then you may have the exact numbers of more info, I see nothing wrong with elevating your levels to the high side of the normal range. I see that as leveling the playing field vs cheating. To me, cheating is more like going to from normal to twice the normal amount, or something to that effect.

    Thanks for your input.
     
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  18. Rey

    Rey Guest

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    If Cushing was going to cheat, why not just take HGH?
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2010
  19. CloakNNNdagger

    CloakNNNdagger Site Contributor

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    Otisbean,

    That's exactly what Consumer Lab does in its testing............it will test for consistency of amount per unit per bottle and amount per unit in multiple samples of bottles from different lot numbers (batches) before putting on their stamp of approval.

    On the second point, on the surface it would seem correct. But the physician can only petition the use of a banned substance if it is to CORRECT AN ABNORMALITY. Low normal or mid normal is not considered an abnormality.
     
  20. Texan_Bill

    Texan_Bill Subscribed Contributor

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