Daily Telegraph - SARMS - Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators - are still in the trial phase for human use but are already widely available overseas with numerous testimonials on internet forums, especially from bodybuilders who are experimenting with dosage.
The World Anti-Doping Agency did not specifically name SARMS but yesterday declared their fears that some 10 per cent of international sportsmen and women are using prohibited performance-enhancing drugs.
Charlie Francis (the coach of Ben Johnson) told the Daily Telegraph before he died in 2010 that SARMS in the form of ostravin and the stronger S4 (which is now detectable), was already in use at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and was the "dope de jeur'' in Berlin at the 2009 world athletics championships.
"My understanding is that it works like an anabolic steroid but that it throws out a chemical signal which doesn't alter your endocrine profile, doesn't affect liver function or the hormone axis so you don't crash when you come off the stuff,'' said the coach, Charlie Francis, who spoke at the time on condition of anonymity in late 2009.
"SARMS just enhances testosterone production and/or utilisation,'' Francis said. "And you throw that together with human growth hormone and you've got a pretty potent cocktail.''
The coach added that while one of the great appeals to users is that SARMS can be taken orally, he had also heard it was being administered intravenously overnight in conjunction with vitamin and protein drips.
SARMS has huge implications for the health industry because, in different forms, it offers a viable substitute for steroids in hormone replacement therapy, osteoporosis, benign prostate hypertrophy and in combating muscle wasting.
The only side effect reported, extensively, by bodybuilder guinea pigs on internet forums is a change in light sensitivity. "It's like looking through yellow sunglasses at night, a high beam coming at me no longer blinds me,'' said one user.
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