October 29 , 2003  
Volume 97, Issue 33  

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WASHINGTON (AP) -The newly unmasked steroid causing a furor in athletics is an illegal drug, not a dietary supplement, and poses some serious health risks to people who use it, the Food and Drug Administration warned Tuesday.

America drug authorities first learned about the steroid, called THG, this summer after an anonymous tip. It apparently was designed specifically to be undetectable by the standard test given to athletes.

Europe's fastest man -100-metre champion Dwain Chambers of Britain- has admitted taking it. Meanwhile, dozens of top Olympic and professional athletes have been subpoenaed to testify before a federal grand jury probing a California lab that sells nutritional supplements. Now armed with a THG test, sports organizations are scrambling to retest athletes and decide what penalties to impose for its use.

THG actually was derived by some simple chemical modifications of two well-known -and athletically banned- synthetic steroids, called trenbolone and gestrinone, said FDA Associate Commissioner John Taylor.




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