By Jim Roza
The latest controversy regarding Phillies’ pitcher J. C. Romero's use of 6-OXO (a designer type quasi-steroid which is sold in some health food stores) begets the question, “When is a compound a steroid or a supplement?” Clever chemistry has created many steroid-like compounds that supposedly provide the same benefits as the banned substances that FDA allows only by prescription. Through the manipulation of molecules, new compounds that have never before been seen can be put onto the market with little or no oversight.
A recent article in ESPN’s ezine entitled, “Steroid Nation: Wait and Watch”, illustrates how entrepreneurial individuals can seemingly evade FDA jurisdiction under the guise of dietary supplements. But what about the provisions of DSHEA? Aren’t new compounds marketed as dietary supplements prior to 1994 suppose to be submitted to FDA as new dietary ingredients for their review? Apparently, these individuals and companies are not fulfilling the requirements set forth in this law.
Sadly, I have not seen nor read one comment about this issue as it applies to new dietary ingredient submissions as prescribed by DSHEA. That’s unfortunate because the brunt of criticism that our industry is taking for these sins could easily be eliminated if more emphasis was based on exercising this requirement.
DSIB: Supplements at the Olympics
DSIB: Supplements and Doping at the Olympics