Some 4,000 drug tests will be conducted throughout the Winter Olympic games in Sochi, which commenced today, and for the ensuing months after they end. But it’s likely that none of these tests will be able to detect a new muscle growth drug being introduced to athletes on the black market called Full Size MGF.
Full Size MGF reportedly develops muscles on its users as much as twice their natural size, and is undetectable by standard tests. The costs involved with preparing an athlete for the Olympics with Full Size MGF are only about $135,000, according to a program on German broadcast WDR.
At a World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) news conference on Thursday, director general David Howman spoke on the matter: “[w]e are aware the black market exists for products in the research and development process for medical companies and are being stolen.” Howman continued, “[t]hat’s why we have an arrangement with the pharmaceutical industry so that when we are aware of products being made available on the black market we let them know.”
According to the German broadcast, testing has only been conducted on animals. “It’s very shocking this drug was only trialed on animals. That is outrageous but it is not surprising,” said Howman.
Full Size MGF is just another blemish to add to the list of the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi. Unfair athletic advantages are one thing, but the health implications are the bigger problem here. “It is outrageous someone is producing substances like that and passing them on with the risk to an athlete,” said Sir Craig Reedie, president of WADA.
According to Reedie, caution need be applied, despite the drugs indiscernible nature so far. New regulations allow for WADA to re-test control samples for up to ten years after the initial testing. So whomever is using now may get their 15 minutes, or in this case 10 years of fame, but eventually it could come back to haunt them.