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