Knicks Forward Noah Suspended over SARM

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New York Knicks forward Jaokim Noah tested positive for a prohibited drug and was suspended in March 2017 for 20 games. Noah tested positive for a Selective Androgen Receptor Modulator LGD-4033 or SARM supplement, a violation of the NBA anti-drug policy.

The supplement was a non-steroidal SARM that is currently being developed as a treatment for osteoporosis and muscle wasting. Noah said he consumed an over-the-counter supplement to help his recovery from a knee injury, but that he did not know it was a SARM. The players' union determined that Noah had simply made a regrettable mistake by taking the supplement. He will forfeit up to $3 million in salary during this suspension.

What’s in The Bottle?

Accidently taking a SARM may be easier than most people think. Consumers must be aware that many of these products are mislabeled, leaving them unable to make informed use decisions. In fact, a study published in JAMA found that many SARM products, including those found online, contain ingredients that have never been approved as well as additional substances like steroids and hormones. Study authors analyzed 44 products advertised as selective androgen receptor modulators, and found-

  • Four contained no active compounds
  • 11 contained substances not listed on the label
  • 17 contained some other unapproved drug
  • 23 contained SARMs like Ostarine, Andarine, and LGD-4033
  • 26 products listed compound amounts that were substantially different than amounts determined by analysis

Study authors noted that the compounds found in their analysis have not been approved by the FDA, so companies cannot sell them, and physicians cannot prescribe them. Because product labels do not always accurately reflect what’s in the bottle, these products should never be consumed. SARMs are prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and athletes who take them violate Anti-Doping Rules.

SARMS and Hidden Dangers

These ‘legal’ alternatives to steroids are dangerous and can cause life-threatening reactions, including heart attack, stroke, and liver toxicity, the FDA said in a warning statement. In fact, the FDA reports that it has identified 35 patients who suffered liver injury, some with life-threatening injuries that required hospitalization, in association with the use of SARMs. The agency said that elevated liver enzymes ALT, AST, and AlkP were seen in the majority of the cases that involved liver injury. In some cases, patients were taking multiple products, which made researchers question if interactions between products could cause harmful effects. Drug-induced liver injury is a known potential side effect of some steroid products as are:

  • Abnormal cholesterol and fat in the blood
  • Acne
  • Decreased sperm count
  • Enlarged breasts
  • Excessive hair growth
  • Hair loss
  • Mood disorders
  • Testicular atrophy

Anyone who wants to know more about dangerous SARMs and the names of products that contain them, Operation Supplement Safety (OPSS) has developed a list of SARM products and ingredient names that are banned in the military, including products with some of the most common ingredients Andarine (S4), Ligandrol (LGD-4033), Enobosarm (Ostarine, MK-2866), S-22 and RAD140 (Testolone).

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