The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has issued a statement clarifying the status of an anti-obesity drug not currently authorised that has hit the headlines in recent weeks due to its use by athletes – and the message is that the drug, AOD-9604, is definitely banned. Its statement follows news of positive tests by several cyclists in recent weeks for another drug obtained from the black market, GW501516, which is the subject of a WADA health warning.
The Australian reports that AOD-9604, which also builds muscle mass, is one of those at the centre of an investigation into doping at AFL clubs Essendon and Melbourne.
There had previously been some confusion about the status of the drug, which an Australian Crime Commission (ACC) report into doping in sport and its links to organised crime, published in February, had said was not banned.
The ACC had made that assertion in an appendix to that report, in which it also acknowledged that “AOD-9604 is not approved for human use.”
A Google search suggests that it is widely available through websites targeting body builders, however.
In a statement published on the website of its Play True magazine, WADA said:
AOD-9604 is a substance still under pre-clinical and clinical development and has not been approved for therapeutic use by any government health authority in the world.
Therefore, under the 2013 Prohibited Substances and Methods List, the substance falls into the S.0 category which states:
“S0. NON-APPROVED SUBSTANCES
Any pharmacological substance which is not addressed by any of the subsequent sections of the List and with no current approval by any governmental regulatory health authority for human therapeutic use (e.g drugs under pre-clinical or clinical development or discontinued, designer drugs, substances approved only for veterinary use) is prohibited at all times.”
For more advice and information regarding medication or supplements, athletes are advised to contact their national anti-doping organization or international federation.
WADA’s List of Prohibited Substances and Methods can be found here.
Earlier this month, the UCI announced that it had provisionally suspended Rusvelo rider Valery Kaykov, a European Championship team pursuit gold medallist, after he tested positive for a drug known as GW501516, which boosts endurance.
The 24-year-old has been sacked by his team and the Russian cycling federation is investigating the case.
The sample that produced the positive result in that case was taken from Kaykov on 17 March – just four day’s before WADA warned athletes not to use the drug due to potential toxic side-effects.
Last week, the UCI revealed that four Costa Rican riders had also tested positive for the same substance during December’s Tour of Costa Rica.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.