A study scheduled to be released Wednesday and obtained by USA TODAY reports
that 13 of the 52 supplements (25%) purchased at various U.S. retailers
contained small amounts of steroids and six (11.5%) had banned stimulants.
What’s more, there’s a reference to another, earlier study I hadn’t heard about:
A study by the International Olympic Committee conducted from 2000 to 2002
showed 18.8% of the 240 supplements purchased in the USA contained steroids.
One of the common, and entirely justified, complaints of players is that there’s no way for them to know if the creatine they purchase has something else in it. This – again – points out the need for some kind of reasonable way for players to buy clean, well-tested supplements, whether that goes through a certification program, MLB and other sports band together to offer an inspection program — whatever.
It raises a whole new set of questions now becomes: if a player uses a protein supplement, say, with a “small amount” of steroids, would they test positive? For how long? What kind of steroids are showing up in commercially available supplements, and doesn’t that argue for FDA oversight?
If you get a large enough answer to those first questions, you can explain away every positive drug test as the result of actually taking tainted supplements:
player population * percent taking supplements and not any banned drug * percent tainted supplements * percent of time a tainted supplement causes positive test = number of players who test positive without knowingly taking steroids
1,200 players tested * 100% taking some kind of supplement * 25% of supplements have some small amount of steroids * 1% positive test rate from taking those supplements = 4 positives/season from tainted supplements.
hat-tip to MSB